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2018 London & Southern Counties Championships
As it happened

All the action from the 2018 London & Southern Counties Championships — As it happened.

London and SC

Sunday 18, 20:32:14

Result:

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Championship Section:

Test Piece: Odyssey (Kevin Norbury)
Adjudicators: Ian Brownbill & Sandy Smith

1. Friary Guildford (Chris King)*
2. Thundersley (Nigel Taken)*
3. Wantage (Paul Holland)
4. Zone One Brass (Richard Ward)
5. Kidlington Concert Brass (Duncan Wilson)
6. Redbridge (Jeremy Wise)
7. East London Brass (Jayne Murrill)
8. Haverhill Silver (Paul Filby)
9. Aveley & Newham (Alan Duguid)
10. Jersey Premier Brass (Tim Pritchard)
11. Medway (Melvin White)

*Qualify for National Final

Best Cornet: Richard Straker (Friary Guildford)
Best Euphonium: Wantage
Best Horn: Chris Pannell (Friary Guildford)
Best Trombone Section: Friary Guildfod

withdrawn: Northfleet Brass (David Lewis)


London and SC

Sunday 18, 20:12:47

Championship Section:

Malcolm Wood's round up and prediction:

The final contest of the weekend and regional series was one that had some performances of real top notch Championship Section playing. Odyssey proved to be a tricky test though with all bands certainly put to the sword at times.

Some will head home knowing that Kensington will not be on their horizon whilst others may just rue their error count. Those towards the bottom end can hold their heads up, as it was a baptism of fire at times.

It's Friary Guildford for us with a very musical Wantage behind ahead of East London, Zone One and Redbridge battling it out for the top four spots.

Tight though...

4BR prediction:

1. Friary Guildford
2. Wantage
3. Zone One
4. East London
5. Redbridge
6. Thundersley

Dark Horse: Aveley & Newham


London and SC

Sunday 18, 20:10:40

Championship Section:

11. Zone One Brass (Richard Ward)

A well measured account to round off the contest from Zone One and Richard Ward that had so musical intent to admire.

Technically it was not always on the button, but musically, its right up there. The judges may just sway with it, but nip and tuck i the comparison stakes with other leading contenders.

As tasty as anything heard today at times. Very, very, very close at the top now.


London and SC

Sunday 18, 19:49:35

Championship Section:

10. Aveley & Newham (Alan Duguid)

Aveley delivers a reading that certainly had lots to appreciate but it never really grabbed you by the throat with the authority to make you think, 'can it get into the top two?'

In fairness to the MD, like others he knew the capability limitations of his band and made sure there were no catastrophes. It was very intelligent conducting.

As a result, the tempo markings were kept at a sensible limit, but the dynamics needed a touch taking off at times (contest adrenaline kicking in perhaps?).

Shame about the scrappy close.

To come

11. Zone One Brass


London and SC

Sunday 18, 19:33:10

9. Redbridge (Jeremy Wise)

Redbridge takes to the stage with Jeremy Wise, although the rumour mill in these parts was saying it was going to be someone else.

Solid stuff without the bravura of Friary or Wantage, and at times it was also a touch scrappy. Jeremy Wise encouraged the ensemble to show their real metttle and they stood up to the task: Those scrappy bits will frustrate though.

The opening was full of quality playing and warmth, whilst the central section certainly had lots to appreciate. So did the closing section, but again scrappiness crept in. It's a tight one for sure, but is it a qualifier?

May be not today'..

To come

10. Aveley & Newham


London and SC

Sunday 18, 19:12:35

Championship Section:

8. Medway (Melvin White)

A reading of musical astuteness from Melvin White at the Gordon Craig Theatre.

He never asked Medway to do anything they could not do, and as a result it meant that his interpretation was tailored to their abilities.

It tested the ensemble, but the tempos were kept on an even keel. This was about reminding the players to enjoy their moment in the spotlight, as opposed to feeling hot under the collar.

Hats off to the soloists and to the percussion for pushing everyone along — but also the MD who used his noggin right from the word go.

To come:

9. Redbridge


London and SC

Sunday 18, 18:39:51

Championship Section:

7. Kidlington Concert Brass (Duncan Wilson)

A roller coaster ride this from Kidlington. The quality playing shone through, but did it have too many slips to really make an impression?

The opening wasn't bad,but fragility crept in (those annoying niggles) and you just sensed the tension before it refocused and started to become much more cohesive.

The edgy elements were to be heard though, but so was the quality. It was a valiant effort.

Fully committed and a reminder that the step up from First Section is never easy.

To come:

8. Medway


London and SC

Sunday 18, 18:39:06

Results:

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Fourth Section:

Test Piece: World Tour (Rodney Newton)
Adjudicators: Sarah Groarke-Booth & John Ward

1. Bradwell Silver (Brian Keech)*
2. Regent Community Brass (Chris Bearman)*
3. Great Yarmouth Brass (Colin Swaep)*
4. Hadstock Silver (Diane Pannell)
5. Cottenham Brass (Peter Mackley)
6. Watford (Ian Graves)
7. Royston Town (Steve Earley)
8. Pangbourne & District Silver (Stewart Lewins)
9. Woodbridge Excelsior (Chris Lewis-Garnham)
10. Bletchington Silver (Sheldon Barwick)
11. Witney Town (Steve Sizeland)
12. Hemel Hempstead (David Edmonds)
13. Abbey Brass (Rob Tompkins)
14. Letchworth Garden City (Tim Welch)
15. Wantage Academy (Nikki Jones)
16. Marsh Gibbon Silver (Chris Johnston)
17. City of Oxford (Dexter Drown)
18. Amersham Community Brass (Paul Fisher)

*Qualify for National Final


London and SC

Sunday 18, 18:21:19

Championship Section:

Malcolm Wood's halfway thoughts

This has been a contest of the slow burning variety so far today. The bands have been tested on a work that they'd hoped would have shown their true potential.

Friary and Wantage lead the way, but being honest it's a sweet wrapper between them — which we will mull over during the break. Friary was solid contest winning stuff, whilst Wantage wanted to leave their musical mark. Very close at the top end with East London and Thundersley pushing for top four.

To come:

7. Kidlington Concert Brass


London and SC

Sunday 18, 18:20:48

Championship Section:

6. Wantage (Paul Holland)

Now then, Paul Holland's reading was a joy to behold — and oh boy, how Wantage played it.

The MD is on the Music Panel so he will have known this inside out, and the way he coerced his players into delivering what he wanted makes them a very serious contender today.

We had a fabulous opening with great detail and tempos that did not hang around, but it was done with authority and style. We almost feel like we are in the Gordon Craig Church at time. This sang so musically.

The central section was lovely on the ear and so confidently delivered. The solo lines were rich in warmth whilst the closing elements could even convince the most ardent non-believer into finding the brass band lord above.


London and SC

Sunday 18, 18:03:12

Championship Section:

5. Friary Guildford (Chris King)

The defending champion delivers a fully bloodied reading of the Norbury piece that had that stamp of contest winning authority about it.

Razor sharp detail and clarity, it breathed musicality from the start until the close. The piece was interpreted by Chris King with such insight and his players responded in kind.

The lyrical section oozed musicality. Richard Straker was the first cornet soloist to really shine in the spotlight without tension. Full marks to the percussionist playing with arm in sling — very impressive.

The journey home was full of drive and musical belief but there was the odd moment.

A performance that will take some beating today.

To come:

6. Wantage


London and SC

Sunday 18, 17:50:25

Championship Section:

It's all eyes on Stevenage...

It's not a phrase you write everyday, but with Durham and Swansea completed the focus of the banding globe will be on Stevenage and the final berths for Kensington in October.

Join us over the next couple of hours as the Regional journey concludes.


London and SC

Sunday 18, 17:40:56

Championship Section:

4. Thundersley (Nigel Taken)

One of those performances where you give credit for the approach from the middle but also want to scream in equal measure, because the piece was so well structured and within the grasp of the players. It just did not fully materialise for us.

The opening section just yearned for more clarity, detail and impetus, whilst the central lyrical section was a touch hit and miss (came off for some solo lines and not others). Good but frustrating.

To come:

5. Friary Guildford


London and SC

Sunday 18, 17:20:32

Championship Section:

3. East London Brass (Jayne Murrill)

This was a tasty interpretation from Jayne Murrill. Structured and styled right from the opening bars, it allowed her players to relax and enjoy themselves.

It was the first account where the complete musical picture has been cohesively painted, although not everything linked with the solidity required at times.

Soloists delivered the goods though: A few tricky moments, but nothing serious, whilst the astute MD ensured the journey home was as stress free as possible with the energy levels maintained right through although there were hints of tiredness just starting to creep in.

To come:

4. Thundersley


London and SC

Sunday 18, 17:02:49

Championship Section:

2. Jersey Premier Brass (Tim Pritchard)

A very creditable, hard working performance from the Channel Islanders — and one that they can be proud of.

It tested them, but they got inside the detail of the music with the MD pulling the tempos back . It was a test though. That resulted in a few tentative moments and uncertainties, but there was real belief to the playing.

The lyrical sections demonstrated fine musicianship and control whilst credit must go to the percussion for continually pushing the pulse forward without rushing.

Top section banding is not easy, but that was sheer blood and guts at times. Take a bow folks.

To come:

3. East London Brass (Jayne Murrill)


London and SC

Sunday 18, 16:50:12

Championship Section:

Quick reminder....

Quick reminder from the MC and stewards in the hall not to use any device to record. The stewards are vigilant and if they spot anything they are asking people to leave.

Why not enjoy a proper recording from World of Sound — they are legal and so much better anyway.


London and SC

Sunday 18, 16:42:36

Championship Section:

1. Haverhill Silver (Paul Filby)

A very considered, if not error free reading from Haverhill to get things underway here. It was a journey from darkness to light that just needed more clarity and detail (and was a bit heavy dynamics at times).

The quality playing was there especially in the lyrical sections, but there was some erratic playing at times and it did tire towards the end.

A bold, brave effort though.

To come

Jersey Premier Brass


London and SC

Sunday 18, 16:28:05

Championship Section:

The last leg.....

So the final contest of the Regional series is about to start with eleven accounts of Odyssey — Northfleet pulling out (but not due to the weather we understand).

Ian Brownbill and Sandy Smith doing this one well into Sunday night.


London and SC

Sunday 18, 16:10:42

Draw:

Championship Section:

Test Piece: 'Odyssey' — Kevin Norbury
Sunday 18th March
Adjudicators: Ian Brownbill & Sandy Smith
Draw: 2.00pm
Commences: Following Second Section but not before 3.30pm

1. Haverhill Silver (Paul Filby)
2. Jersey Premier Brass (Tim Pritchard)
3. East London Brass (Jayne Murrill)
4. Thundersley (Nigel Taken)
5. Friary Guildford (Chris King)
6. Wantage (Paul Holland)
7. Kidlington Concert Brass (Duncan Wilson)
8. Medway (Melvin White)
9. Redbridge (Jeremy Wise)
10. Aveley & Newham (Alan Duguid)
11. Zone One Brass (Richard Ward)

withdrawn: Northfleet Brass (David Lewis)


London and SC

Sunday 18, 16:09:40

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1st Place — LGB Brass

Results:

Second Section:

Test Piece: Ex Terra Lucem — Jonathan Bates
Adjudicators: Leigh Baker & Tom Davoren

1. LGB Brass (Ian Stewart)*
2. St Sebastian Wokingham (John Watts)*
3. Milton Keynes Brass (Jonathan Mott) *
4. Wantage Concert Brass (David Hayward)
5. Horsham Borough (Mark McLaughlin)
6. Chinnor Silver (David Pegram)
7. Soham Comrades (Mark Ager)
8. Waterbeach (Andrew Kershaw)
9. Tilbury (Ben Jones)
10. BAE Systems (Melvin White)
11. Yiewsley & West Drayton (Christopher Cole)
12. Welwyn Garden City (Graham Chambers)
13. Epsom & Ewell Silver (Paul Graham)
14. Fairlop Brass (Kevin Jordan)
15. Littleport Brass (Nicholas Garman)
16. Hungerford Town (Tim Crouter)
17. Cold Ash Brass (Jemma Johnstone)
18. Castleton Brass (Peter Ryan)

*Qualify for National Final

Best Basses: Chinnor Silver
Best Trombones: Wantage Concert Brass


London and SC

Sunday 18, 15:36:15

Second Section:

Malcolm Wood's round up and prediction

Once more Johnny Bates' piece has done what it set out to do: test the bands.

It has been an enjoyable listen today for over five and a half hours, and whilst the standard has varied at times the bands that have built performances around the basics and been consistent in the three sections should fair well.

Terrific to see the composer here supporting the contest and wanting to hear every band perform — even more so with the weather conditions outside. Real commitment and the bands and organisers have appreciated his presence.

We could be miles out here today, but in for a penny...

4BR prediction:

1. Wantage
2. Littleport Brass
3. St Sebastians Wokingham
4. Milton Keynes
5. Waterbeach Brass
6. Horsham

Dark Horse: LGB Brass


London and SC

Sunday 18, 15:17:18

Second Section:

Slightly misfiring accounts

Two more accounts that offered potential but never quite came off today from Yiewsley & West Drayton and Hungerford Town.

The desire was there but the execution was a bit hit and miss.

To come

18. Fairlop Brass


London and SC

Sunday 18, 14:45:03

Second Section:

A dark horse

Tilbury offered an account of real quality with just a few dips, but it could be a dark horse outsider today, whilst Wokingham were slightly off the pace and it just didn't really come off.

To come

16. Yiewsley & West Drayton (Christopher Cole)
17. Hungerford Town (Tim Crouter)


London and SC

Sunday 18, 14:02:54

Second Section:

A little gem of a show

We have just a heard a little beauty of a show from Littleport Brass and Nicholas Garman. It wasn't flawless, but it was very neat and musical throughout. Nothing overdone, so keep your eyes on that one. Cheltenham on 15th September — who knows?

Waterbeach was a little bit hit and miss today, but as with a lot of bands they just didn't quite manage to nail the three sections together in a consistent manner.

To come

14. Tilbury
15. St Sebastian Wokingham


London and SC

Sunday 18, 14:01:44

Second Section:

Loads of desire and passion

We have had two intriguing renditions since the restart and the enjoyment factor from the players on stage has not diminished.

Soham brought lots of colour and character out, and although it may not be in the top two bracket, it could get a mention. Epsom was a hard-working account, that tired as it headed to the close.

Three bands qualify, but its up for grabs as not too many finding consistency in all three sections.

To come

12. Littleport Brass
13. Waterbeach


London and SC

Sunday 18, 13:15:34

Fourth Section:

Apologies

The weather has defeated us in the Fourth Section. Apologies for not being able to provide the service we try to achieve at every event.

Iwan Fox
Editor


London and SC

Sunday 18, 13:06:59

Full Draw:

Fourth Section:

Sunday 18rd March
Test Piece: 'World Tour' — Rodney Newton
Adjudicators: Sarah Groarke-Booth & John Ward
Draw: 10.30am & 12.30pm
Start: 11.30am

1. Regent Community Brass (Chris Bearman)
2. Watford (Ian Graves)
3. Wantage Academy (Nikki Jones)
4. Cottenham Brass (Peter Mackley)
5. Hadstock Silver (Diane Pannell)
6. City of Oxford (Dexter Brown)
7. Hemel Hempstead (David Edmonds)
8. Royston Town (Steve Earley)
9. Amersham Community Brass (Paul Fisher)
10. Abbey Brass (Rob Tompkins)
11. Bletchington Silver (Sheldon Barwick)
12. Letchworth Garden City (Tim Welch)
13. Marsh Gibbon Silver (Chris Johnston)
14. Bradwell Silver (Brian Keech)
15. Witney Town (Steve Sizeland)
16. Great Yarmouth Brass (Colin Swaep)
17. Woodbridge Excelsior (Chris Lewis-Garnham)
18. Pangbourne & District Silver (Stewart Lewins)


London and SC

Sunday 18, 13:00:11

Second Section:

The final nine

So Leigh Baker and Tom Davoren have had a break and are back in the box for the second half of the contest.

To come

10. Soham Comrades
11. Epsom & Ewell Silver


London and SC

Sunday 18, 12:33:44

Second Section:

Malcolm Wood's halfway thoughts:

What an enjoyable contest this has been. All of the nine bands have given the work a good crack.

Some have fared better than others, but audience has enjoyed every one, as has the composer, who set off at 6.00am from Manchester to get here.

Very little in it at top end though: Wantage, LGB Brass and then there after its a very open contest

Cup of tea now, back soon...


London and SC

Sunday 18, 12:19:44

Second Section:

Have we heard the winners yet?

As we approach the half way point, starting to wonder if heard the potential champion yet? Chinnor may not win today, but it had lots to commend.

Horsham really went for it, but it just didn't come off from our perch — but again, lots to admire,

To come

Cold Ash Brass


London and SC

Sunday 18, 11:49:41

Second Section:

Two basses for Welwyn

Once more dedication to the core here in Stevenage, with Welwyn Garden City taking to the stage with just two basses. Great to see and food for thought elsewhere.

Withdrawing can be the easy option rather than standing tall and giving it everything — even if you are a player or two down.

Welwyn wasn't in top bracket today, but the spirit got them through it. Bravo guys.

Milton Keynes grew in stature as it went along. Perhaps not in top two, but not far from a potential mention at this stage.

To come

7. Chinnor Silver (David Pegram)
8. Horsham Borough (Mark McLaughlin)


London and SC

Sunday 18, 11:32:49

Full Draw:

Second Section:

Test Piece: Ex Terra Lucem — Jonathan Bates
Sunday 18 March
Adjudicators: Leigh Baker & Tom Davoren
Draw: 9.00am & 11.00am
Start: 10.00am

1. LGB Brass (Ian Stewart)
2. Castleton Brass (Peter Ryan)
3. Wantage Concert Brass (Danny Dullforce)
4. BAE Systems (Melvin White)
5. Welwyn Garden City (Graham Chambers)
6. Milton Keynes Brass (Jonathan Mott)
7. Chinnor Silver (David Pegram)
8. Horsham Borough (Mark McLaughlin)
9. Chinnor Silver (David Pegram)
10. Soham Comrades (Mark Ager)
11. Epsom & Ewell Silver (Paul Graham)
12. Littleport Brass (Nicholas Garman)
13. Waterbeach (Andrew Kershaw)
14. Tilbury (Ben Jones)
15. St Sebastian Wokingham (John Watts)
16. Yiewsley & West Drayton (Christopher Cole)
17. Hungerford Town (Tim Crouter)
18. Fairlop Brass (Kevin Jordan)


London and SC

Sunday 18, 11:19:55

Draw:

Fourth Section:

Sunday 18rd March
Test Piece: 'World Tour' — Rodney Newton
Adjudicators: Sarah Groarke-Booth & John Ward
Draw: 10.30am & 12.30pm
Start: 11.30am

1. Regent Community Brass (Chris Bearman)
2. Watford (Ian Graves)
3. Wantage Academy (Nikki Jones)
4. Cottenham Brass (Peter Mackley)
5. Hadstock Silver (Diane Pannell)
6. City of Oxford (Dexter Brown)
7. Hemel Hempstead (David Edmonds)
8. Royston Town (Steve Earley)

*There could be a withdrawal in this section due to the weather. Kevin Williams (secretary) was planning to let the band play in second half of draw if they arrive.


Abbey Brass (Rob Tompkins)
Amersham Community Brass (Paul Fisher)
Bletchington Silver (Sheldon Barwick)
Bradwell Silver (Brian Keech)
Great Yarmouth Brass (Colin Swaep)
Letchworth Garden City (Tim Welch)
Marsh Gibbon Silver (Chris Johnston)
Pangbourne & District Silver (Stewart Lewins)
Witney Town (Steve Sizeland)
Woodbridge Excelsior (Chris Lewis-Garnham)


London and SC

Sunday 18, 11:11:07

Second Section:

Four gone with Wantage the marker

Four down and a quality show from Wantage led by David Hayward, David is the highly respected musician, conductor as well as the efficient MC you'll see at the Spring Festival, British Open and National Youth contests.

It was so well shaped and structured, with excellent dynamics and full of character. The busy Melvin White (who conducts more bands than most MDs at regionals) fronted a well structured reading for BAE Systems that just did not gel ' touch underwhelmed at times up here in crows nest.

To come

5. Welwyn Garden City
6. Milton Keynes Brass


London and SC

Sunday 18, 10:34:32

Second Section:

Sensible openers

We have had two astute opening performances here in Stevenage. The piece isn't beyond them at this level, but there are plenty of pitfalls for bands to nosedive into if they are not together.

Get the basics right play together and go from there and that is what LGB and Castleton Brass both set out to do. Both brought the character out of the piece, but they were challenged at times, but full marks for continuing.

To come

3. Wantage Concert Brass
4. BAE Systems


London and SC

Sunday 18, 10:07:37

Second Section:

Bates here to enjoy his work

We are about tio start the eighteen performances of 'Ex Terra Lucem'. Great to see composer, Jonny Bates here as he was in Yorkshire, Midlands and no doubt briefly in Blackpool before his Foden's comittments.

We hope he enjoys his day.

Good luck to all and just a quick courteous heads up, don't record in the hall. The stewards are vigilant and will throw you out if they suspect anything.

You can get recordings from World of Sound


London and SC

Sunday 18, 10:01:24

Draw:

Second Section:

Test Piece: Ex Terra Lucem — Jonathan Bates
Sunday 18 March
Adjudicators: Leigh Baker & Tom Davoren
Draw: 9.00am & 11.00am
Start: 10.00am

1. LGB Brass (Ian Stewart)
2. Castleton Brass (Peter Ryan)
3. Wantage Concert Brass (Danny Dullforce)
4. BAE Systems (Melvin White)
5. Welwyn Garden City (Graham Chambers)
6. Milton Keynes Brass (Jonathan Mott)
7. Chinnor Silver (David Pegram)
8. Horsham Borough (Mark McLaughlin)
9. Cold Ash Brass (Jemma Johnstone)

Epsom & Ewell Silver (Paul Graham)
Fairlop Brass (Kevin Jordan)
Hungerford Town (Tim Crouter)
Littleport Brass (Nicholas Garman)
Soham Comrades (Mark Ager)
St Sebastian Wokingham (John Watts)
Tilbury (Ben Jones)
Waterbeach (Andrew Kershaw)
Yiewsley & West Drayton (Christopher Cole)


London and SC

Sunday 18, 08:58:01

Good morning from Stevenage

The last day

Good morning from Stevenage where the amount of snow anticipated according to the weather apps has not arrived. We half expected to be marooned in our hotel room.

We have no idea what the weather is like elsewhere in the region, but travel safe.

One band has withdrawn in the Fourth Section which starts at 11.30am. The Second Section starts at 10.00am with the first half of the draw being done at 9.00am.

Great to see so many bands on stage yesterday without full team of players when the easy option could have been to simply withdraw. It is concerning about the lack of players, but the number of bands remains tremendous here — and so does their commitment.

Off for a brew now. Draw will be posted once the judges go in box.


London and SC

Saturday 17, 21:28:07

That's it for tonight

See you tomorrow

So eight sections completed across the three regions today with the remaining seven tomorrow.

Congratulations to the winners, qualifiers. Go safe in the snow.

Back for more in just over twelve hours time.

Night all.


London and SC

Saturday 17, 21:26:19

Results:

embedded picture

First Section:

Test Piece: Brass Metamorphosis (James Curnow)
Adjudicators: Ian Brownbill & Sandy Smith

1. Sandhurst Silver (David Johnson)*
2. Amersham (Paul Fisher)*
3. East of England Co-op (Nigel Cooper)
4. Staines Brass (Shane O'Neill)
5. Fulham (John Ward)
6. Bedford Town (Steve Phillips)
7. Regent Brass (Paul Archibald)
8. Cawston (Leigh Sharpe)
9. Hitchin (Graham Chambers)
10.Colchester (David Maddocks)
11. Ware Brass (Craig Patterson)
12. City of Cambridge (Peter Bassano)
13. Egham (Gareth Green)
14. Chiltern Hills Brass (Gordon Davies)
15. Grimesdyke Brass (Sharon Broughall)
16. Alder Valley Brass (Lee Woodward)

*Qualify for National Final

Soprano: Sandhurst Silver
Cornet: Sandhurst Silver
Bass Section: Sandhurst Silver


London and SC

Saturday 17, 20:36:42

First Section:

Malcolm Wood's First Section round up and Prediction:

Brass Metamorphosis has been a very difficult test today — and not just as the contest spanned over five hours in duration.

Not many ensembles have overcome it, and just as it has done elsewhere in the UK,it leaves you scratching your head about banding at this level.

It has proved to be a deceptive challenge, with only the best MDs pulling away the numerous layers of the musical onion skin to get inside the music.

Picking a winner and a runner-up, never mind the remainder of a top-six is a challenge.

Ian Brownbill and Sandy Smith make the only decisions that count, but we wonder just where Fulham, Sandhurst, Bedford (with David Thornton on euphonium and a class above anything else today) and Hitchin will end up.

4BR Prediction:

1. Fulham
2. Sandhurst
3. Bedford
4. Hitchin
5. Regent Brass
6. Staines Brass

DH: East of England


London and SC

Saturday 17, 20:32:51

First Section:

Hitchin into the mix?

The last two bands have been and gone. Hitchin will be giving the judges a bit to ponder after a well judged reading that puts it into contention for us.

Great to see Regional Secretary Kevin Williams on horn with Chiltern Hills. He has earned his pint tonight, having been at the venue before 7am and just come off stage.


London and SC

Saturday 17, 20:01:47

First Section:

Sole focus on Stevenage

So with Durham and Swansea done for the day, the sole competitive focus is on Stevenage.

Two bands to go before the judges deliberate and announce the results.


London and SC

Saturday 17, 19:56:31

First Section:

Qualification still up for grabs

Two more contenders that were a bit hit and miss. Ware and Egham certainly found the challenges within the score and those fragilities were noticeable.

To come

15. Hitchin
16. Chiltern Hills Brass


London and SC

Saturday 17, 19:16:31

First Section:

Hold no fear:

There are not many bands whom this piece has held no fear today with Grimsdyke really tackling things head. Ok, not everything went according to plan, but it was the way they approached the piece that really impressed. A big ask after Section Two last year.

Fulham produced an account that was styled so well with just the odd fragile moment, but the first account for a while that really made a mark.

To come

13. Ware Brass
14. Egham


London and SC

Saturday 17, 18:42:47

First Section:

Different set ups, produce different results?:

It's always interesting to see an ensemble set themselves differently than the traditional format for twelve minutes on stage. Sometimes it can be beneficial, other times, not so.

Regent Brass came on as band ten with cornets sat both sides of the stage, but they benefited from a fine reading from the astute Paul Archibald — a very fine one for sure.

Not sure whether it will find favour in the box though. Prior to them, Amersham took to the stage to deliver another performance like so many today: hard grafted but with fragilities that will surely catch them out.

To come

11. Grimesdyke Brass
12. Fulham


London and SC

Saturday 17, 18:11:12

First Section:

The last leg of the day

So after the judges have had a breather and a chat with the youth judges that are here under the watchful eye of Nicholas Garman, we enter the last eight bands of day one.

Great to hear Sandy Smith encouraging the youngsters to give their thoughts, without giving any clues away.

Off we go with the late shift; stay with us, be lonely without you.....

To come

9. Amersham
10. Regent Brass


London and SC

Saturday 17, 17:45:01

First Section:

Malcolm Wood's halfway thoughts

This has been a tough couple of hours. Hats off to the bands who've been and gone so far, but if truth be told, the standard has varied, frustratingly so at times.

Bands have struggled here though with not many being able to bring off really convincing renditions, from the first note until the last.

Some variations have gone better than others for a number of bands, but we can't honestly say we have a clear leader. Sandhurst Silver and Bedford (with a certain David Thornton esq on euph) though in contention

Ian Brownbill and Sandy Smith will have heard eight bands and got an order, that is all that counts.


London and SC

Saturday 17, 17:08:00

First Section:

Staines and Steel

You have to give it to the bands here, with that inherent desire that the show goes on regardless.

Staines went on with just two basses and two solo cornets — and this is First Section banding. The performance wasn't bad though, with plenty to admire, despite not all of the variations locking together

Colchester, a previous finalist at Cheltenham certainly got tested on the piece, but they linked the various sections togetherwell with just fragilities in ensemble to take sheen off.

To come

7. Bedford Town (Steve Phillips)
8. Sandhurst Silver (David Johnson)


London and SC

Saturday 17, 15:50:10

First Section:

Curnow work tough to crack

The first two bands in the First Section demonstrated what has been heard elsewhere — that 'Brass Metamorphosis' is not the easiest work to pull off.

East of England opened up with a thoughtful reading that just had a few moments of uncertainty, whilst Alder Valley took a little time to get into their musical zone.

Ian Brownbill and Sandy Smith — two experienced heads will know the traps and pitfalls with this exacting piece, so these bands may not be alone today.

To come

3. Cawston
4. City of Cambridge


London and SC

Saturday 17, 15:14:41

First Section:

Sixteen battle in First Section:

Here we go then with 16 accounts in the First Section. Ian Brownbill and Sandy Smith making the decisions.

Good luck to all — it could be a late one.

To come

1. East of England Co-op
2. Alder Valley Brass


London and SC

Saturday 17, 14:59:23

Draw:

First Section:

Test Piece: 'Brass Metamorphosis' — James Curnow
Saturday 17th March
Adjudicators: Ian Brownbill & Sandy Smith
Draw: 1.00pm
Start: After Third Section but not before 2.30pm


1. East of England Co-op (Nigel Cooper)
2. Alder Valley Brass (Lee Woodward)
3. Cawston (Leigh Sharpe)
4. City of Cambridge (Peter Bassano)
5. Staines Brass (Shane O'Neill)
6. Colchester (David Maddocks)
7. Bedford Town (Steve Phillips)
8. Sandhurst Silver (David Johnson)
9. Amersham (Paul Fisher)
10. Regent Brass (Paul Archibald)
11. Grimesdyke Brass (Sharon Broughall)
12. Fulham (John Ward)
13. Ware Brass (Craig Patterson)
14. Egham (Gareth Green)
15. Hitchin (Graham Chambers)
16. Chiltern Hills Brass (Gordon Davies)


London and SC

Saturday 17, 14:58:10

embedded picture
1st Place — City of Norwich Brass (Andy Craze)

Results:

Third Section:

Test Piece: 'Napoleon on the Alps' — Philip Harper
Adjudicators: Chris King & Sarah Groarke-Booth

1. City of Norwich Brass (Andy Craze)*
2. Chichester City (Alan Rodgers)*
3. Oxford Cherwell Brass (Terry Brotherhood)
4. Tendring Brass (Antony Sanders)
5. Epping Forest (Keith Schroeter)
6. Jubilee Brass (Oxford) (Clifford Sadler)
7. Crystal Palace (Michael Gray)
8. Brighton & Hove City (Matthew Hackett)
9. Olney Brass (Kevin Nicholls)
10. East Coast Brass (Paul Speed)
11. Simon Langton Brass (David Cutting)
12. Hangleton (Richard Baker)
13. Tadley Concert Brass (Paul Chapman)
14. Norfolk Wherry Brass (Eddie Baker)

*Qualify for National Final


London and SC

Saturday 17, 14:25:17

Third Section:

Malcolm Wood's round up and prediction:

Philip Harper's 'Napoleon on the Alps' has once again been an enjoyable listen, but also a considerable test.

The bands were tested not just with the basics but also with their ability to bring out the colours and character of the music.

The best thing though today? Despite bands going on stage without a full set of players (and there has been a few) it has been terrific to see that the desire to come and compete outweighs anything else.

It's going to be very close though at the top.

4BR Prediction:

1. Olney
2. City of Norwich
3. Norfolk Wherry
4. Epping Forest
5. Oxford Cherwell
6. Brighton

Dark Horse: Jubilee (Oxford)


London and SC

Saturday 17, 14:08:15

Third Section:

Have Norfolk got themselves into contention?

As we head for the final furlong, Norfolk Wherry Brass (a former National Champion) delivered a measured, musical account that really brought the character and style out of the score.

Chichester was tested somewhat though. The potential was there, but it just didn't quite come off.

To come

14. Jubilee Brass (Oxford)


London and SC

Saturday 17, 13:32:22

Third Section:

Have we heard the winners yet?

Two more performances of Philip Harper's work that offered lots of potential, but didn't quite come off as perhaps the band shad hoped.

Tadley grew in confidence after a few tricky moments, but left you thinking what a shame it just did not all gel together.

Tendring was another account that offered plenty, but again found some of tricky foibles in the piece a little difficult to overcome. Three to go though

To come

12. Norfolk Wherry Brass
13. Chichester City


London and SC

Saturday 17, 12:57:11

Third Section:

More intrepid escapades

Epping Forest and Crystal Palace have kick started the second half of the Third Section with two purposeful, fun accounts.

Epping Forest really brought out the character and style of the piece, whilst Crystal Palace bristled with energy. A pity it didn't quite cement together as solidly as it could.

To come

10. Tadley Concert Brass (Paul Chapman)
11. Tendring Brass (Antony Sanders)


London and SC

Saturday 17, 12:22:55

Third Section:

Back underway in Stevenage

The judges have had their break here and its back to it. Seven to go..

To come

8. Epping Forest (Keith Schroeter)
9. Crystal Palace (Michael Gray)


London and SC

Saturday 17, 12:21:20

Third Section:

Malcolm Wood’s Half way thoughts

It’s been a really enjoyable couple of hours with the first seven bands really giving it their all. As it has done elsewhere, Harper’s Napoleonic tale has plenty within it to sort the bands out.

Some bands have been challenged on the piece though to varying degrees.

That said, great to see bands here not at full strength, walking on stage. The judges will know parts are missing, but the bigger picture? Compete and enjoy or pull out?

Hobby, enjoyment first and section you’re in secondary for some in this region.

Olney and City of Norwich have tickled our taste buds, but its game on.


London and SC

Saturday 17, 11:47:59

Third Section:

Olney on the march

Well now, Olney have upped the ante here in Stevenage. Not a full band, (cornets, bass short) but an MD whose music ran through his veins. He was even marching at one point side-to-side as he coerced his players.

Simon Langton epitomised everything that is great about contesting at this level. Not at full strength, (just two percussionists) which impacts on the performance, but still turn up, go on stage and enjoy it. Brilliant stuff, well done all'.

To come

7. Brighton & Hove City (Matthew Hackett)


London and SC

Saturday 17, 11:14:00

Third Section:

It's a test

Philip Harper's cinematic work has done its job over the past few weeks and it will do once again, if the first four performances are anything to go by.

Oxford had lots of promise, but it just never really came off which was a real shame. Hangleton's was blood and grit. With three basses, they gave it everything, loved the contributions on cornet, euph and drums ' real passion and desire. Bravo!

To come

5. Olney Brass (Kevin Nicholls)
6. Simon Langton Brass (David Cutting)


London and SC

Saturday 17, 10:38:53

Third Section:

Two intriguing ones to start

We have heard two intriguing accounts to get us going in Stevenage. City of Norwich with Andy Craze was fearless off number one draw.

East Coast wasn't bad either, a bit edgy at times, but brought the charcter out of the work.

To come

3. Oxford Cherwell Brass (Terry Brotherhood)
4. Hangleton (Richard Baker)


London and SC

Saturday 17, 10:15:58

Third Section:

Off we go

Off we go then with fourteen bands vying for two slots in Cheltenham. Sarah Groarke-Booth and Chris King will be making the decisions.

A quick reminder: Do not record — the in house stewards in the theatre will ask anyone to leave who they see recording performances. They are very strict here.

You can get recordings of bands from World of Sound — its legal and so much better anyway.

Good luck all.


London and SC

Saturday 17, 09:58:24

Draw:

Third Section:

Saturday 17th March
Test Piece: 'Napoleon on the Alps' — Philip Harper
Adjudicators: Chris King & Sarah Groarke-Booth
Draw: 9.00am
Start: 10.00am

1. City of Norwich Brass (Andy Craze)
2. East Coast Brass (Paul Speed)
3. Oxford Cherwell Brass (Terry Brotherhood)
4. Hangleton (Richard Baker)
5. Olney Brass (Kevin Nicholls)
6. Simon Langton Brass (David Cutting)
7. Brighton & Hove City (Matthew Hackett)
8. Epping Forest (Keith Schroeter)
9. Crystal Palace (Michael Gray)
10. Tadley Concert Brass (Paul Chapman)
11. Tendring Brass (Antony Sanders)
12. Norfolk Wherry Brass (Eddie Baker)
13. Chichester City (Alan Rodger)
14. Jubilee Brass (Oxford) (Clifford Sadler)


London and SC

Saturday 17, 09:12:02

Good morning from Stevenage

The last minute setting up is going on....

Good morning from a very cold Stevenage where there are snow flurries in the air.

One of the joys of the London weekend, isn't just the number of bands on show, but that players involved will get stuck in and help out to get jobs done.

No job is too big or too small, and just like other regions, the event doesn't happen without someone doing something.

Hats off to Alex Stevens of Friary Guildford and others whilst like the Boax's in Scotland, Kevin Williams will go into player mode later today and forget about running the event.

Thirty bands today across Sections Three and One. There will be trainee judges here as well over the weekend learning their skills and good luck to them and the judges officiating.

Also here this weekend is Richard Scott from World of Sound recording performances, so make sure you get yours. Full details in the programme. Please buy them. The amount of times over the past three weekends, people have come up and asked to look at the programme as opposed to purchasing one has been staggering — its a couple of quid to support your event!!

Section Three draw is 9am and we'll post once judges go in box around 9.45am.


London and SC

Saturday 17, 02:29:56

Competing bands

Championship Section:

Test Piece: Odyssey (Kevin Norbury)
Sunday 18th March
Adjudicators: Ian Brownbill & Sandy Smith
Draw: 2.00pm
Commences: Following Second Section but not before 3.30pm

Aveley & Newham (Alan Duguid)
East London Brass (Jayne Murrill)
Friary Guildford (Chris King)
Haverhill Silver (Paul Filby)
Jersey Premier Brass (Tim Pritchard)
Kidlington Concert Brass (Duncan Wilson)
Medway (Melvin White)
Northfleet Brass (David Lewis)
Redbridge (TBC)
Thundersley (Nigel Taken)
Wantage (Paul Holland)
Zone One Brass (Richard Ward)

First Section:

Test Piece: Brass Metamorphosis (James Curnow)
Saturday 17th March
Adjudicators: Ian Brownbill & Sandy Smith
Draw: 1.00pm
Start: After Third Section but not before 2.30pm

Alder Valley Brass (Lee Woodward)
Amersham (Paul Fisher)
Bedford Town (Steve Phillips)
Cawston (Leigh Sharpe)
Chiltern Hills Brass (Gordon Davies)
City of Cambridge (Peter Bassano)
Colchester (David Maddocks)
East of England Co-op (Nigel Cooper)
Egham (Gareth Green)
Fulham (John Ward)
Grimesdyke Brass (Sharon Broughall)
Hitchin (Graham Chambers)
Regent Brass (Paul Archibald)
Sandhurst Silver (David Johnson)
Staines Brass (Shane O'Neill)
Ware Brass (Craig Patterson)

Second Section:

Test Piece: Ex Terra Lucem (Jonathan Bates)
Sunday 18 March
Adjudicators: Leigh Baker & Tom Davoren
Draw: 9.00am & 11.00am
Start: 10.00am

BAE Systems (Melvin White)
Castleton Brass (Peter Ryan)
Chinnor Silver (David Pegram)
Cold Ash Brass (Jemma Johnstone)
Epsom & Ewell Silver (Paul Graham)
Fairlop Brass (Kevin Jordan)
Horsham Borough (Mark McLaughlin)
Hungerford Town (Tim Crouter)
LGB Brass (Ian Stewart)
Littleport Brass (Nicholas Garman)
Milton Keynes Brass (Jonathan Mott)
Soham Comrades (Mark Ager)
St Sebastian Wokingham (John Watts)
Tilbury (Ben Jones)
Wantage Concert Brass (Danny Dullforce)
Waterbeach (Andrew Kershaw)
Welwyn Garden City (Graham Chambers)
Yiewsley & West Drayton (Christopher Cole)

Third Section:

Saturday 17th March
Test Piece: Napoleon on the Alps (Philip Harper)
Adjudicators: Chris King & Sarah Groarke-Booth
Draw: 9.00am
Start: 10.00am

Brighton & Hove City (Matthew Hackett)
Chichester City (Rom Stanko)
City of Norwich Brass (Andy Craze)
Crystal Palace (Michael Gray)
East Coast Brass (Paul Speed)
Epping Forest (Keith Schroeter)
Hangleton (Richard Baker)
Jubilee Brass (Oxford) (Clifford Sadler)
Norfolk Wherry Brass (Eddie Baker)
Olney Brass (Kevin Nicholls)
Oxford Cherwell Brass (Terry Brotherhood)
Simon Langton Brass (David Cutting)
Tadley Concert Brass (Paul Chapman)
Tendring Brass (Antony Sanders)

Fourth Section:

Sunday 18rd March
Test Piece: World Tour (Rodney Newton)
Adjudicators: Sarah Groarke-Booth & John Ward
Draw: 10.30am & 12.30pm
Start: 11.30am

Abbey Brass (Rob Tompkins)
Amersham Community Brass (Paul Fisher)
Bletchington Silver (Sheldon Barwick)
Bradwell Silver (Brian Keech)
City of Oxford (Dexter Brown)
Cottenham Brass (Peter Mackley)
Great Yarmouth Brass (Colin Swaep)
Hadstock Silver (Diane Pannell)
Hemel Hempstead (David Edmonds)
Letchworth Garden City (Tim Welch)
Marsh Gibbon Silver (Chris Johnston)
Pangbourne & District Silver (Stewart Lewins)
Regent Community Brass (Chris Bearman)
Royston Town (Steve Earley)
Wantage Academy (Nikki Jones)
Watford (Ian Graves)
Witney Town (Steve Sizeland)
Woodbridge Excelsior (Chris Lewis-Garnham)



Lofthouse Brass Band - Mayor's Annual Charity Concert

Monday 23 April • Ossett Town Hall, Market Place, Ossett WF5 8BE WF5 8BE


Regent Hall Concerts - Clarendon Brass Ensemble

Friday 27 April • Charlton House. Charlton Road. London. SE7 8RE SE7 8RE


Egremont Junior Band - Egremont Town Band and Workington Town Band

Friday 27 April • Workington CA14 3AW


Wotton and District Silver Band - Tom Hutchinson

Saturday 28 April • St Mary's Church, Wotton Under Edge, Gloucestershire GL12 7LS


Black Dyke Band - Lincoln Cathedral

Saturday 28 April • Minster Yard, Lincoln LN2 1PX


Silver Spectrum Wind Band

April 24 • Brass Players wanted for established Sheffield based wind band. MD George Morton.. Rehearsals Mondays 7:30 to 9:30 pm. We enter the NCBF festival where we have gained many gold awards and on one occasion a platinum.. Wind players also welcome to apply.


The Corsham Band

April 24 • With a solid result in our first year in the Second Section at the Regional Contest, the band are now looking for an experienced Front Row Cornet Player to join our friendly and enthusiastic team.


Hathern Band

April 23 • Hathern Band are looking for a PRINCIPAL EUPHONIUM to join their Championship Section Band. This position has become vacant because the present player wishes to retire. We are looking for a committed player to fill this key seat. www.hathernband.co.uk.


Dr. Stephen Arthur Allen

D. Phil. (Oxon) [Ph.D Oxford University], GBSM, LTCL, ABSM, ALCM, Cert. Ed.