Articles & features: 2007 / International
4BRDU lists the profiles for the adjudicators...
4BR has been wondering if some things might not quite go to plan in the next 12 months as we may have expected....
Who are the players (and conductors) who we have chosen as the 4BR Band of the Year for 2007? Some great performers from all around the world have made it into our band for us, but do you agree with our choices?
Just in time for you to all argue about - these are the winners that you voted for in 2007...
Sixteen year old flugel player, Ben Craig-Wadham, writes for 4BRDU about the Fortress Youth Brass.
4BR braved the cold weather to listen to the brass contenders in the BBC Young Musician Semi Finals in Cardiff.
Just how many conductors some bands use to try and win a contest is an eye opener...
Chris Thomas was at the Royal Spa Centre a couple of weekends ago to listen to the bands compete in an enoyable West Midlands battle.
This month we go back 40, 30, 20, 10 and then 120 years to find out what was happening in the brass band world as the Festive Season approached...
From the latest high wonder products to the simplest little bits and bobs and a few that are truely weird and wonderful. 4BR has been out shopping - this is what's on offer at Normans in December.
The 2007 4BR Special Award goes to Peter Roberts, the greatest soprano cornet player in the history of the brass band movement.
Here is a real tricky one for you to vote on. What was the very best contest performance you heard during 2007 - and we don't just mean one that took the winners prize either. There is a possible endless selection to choose from...
What was the best piece any band performed during 2007 then? Lots of stuff played - some great, some good, some not worthy of a mention maybe?
Which talent do you think made the biggest new impression on the banding scene during 2007? Lots to choose from as someone or something have created a real impression in the last 12 months.
Who was the best Lower Section/Youth Band in 2007 then? Some quite brilliant achievements during the past 12 months from lots of bands, so if you think your band were the best, then get voting.
Some of the very best performers in the movement have released CDs this year, and all have been of fantastic quality. It's going to be a pretty difficult choice for you to make.
There have been some fine recordings released by numerous band during the past 12 months, but which one did you think was the best of the lot. There was plenty to choose from.
We have some of the greatest talents in the world within our movement, but whom do you think was the one absolute star of the year?
Who do you think should gain the accolade as the best stickman (or woman) for 2007. There have been some pretty exciting talents on show on the podium in the past 12 months, but who do you think was the best?
Who do you think should be awarded the accolade as the 4BR Band of the Year for 2007. Plenty to choose from isn't there?
It's time to get your thinking caps on and start to vote in the categories to see who you think has been the best of the best in 2007.
St Mary's Band Club Sunday 25 November 2008 Adjudicator: Matthew Van Emerik
Perth has just about everything you could ever want for happiness - even a hall fit for a great brass band contest.
A battle of the Scottish heavyweights saw Whitburn play Macduff to Scottish Co-op's Macbeth and claim victory by a very close shave...
There was a very clear winner in the battle for the Scottish Challenge Shield and Clackmannan under Paul Kiernan swept their rivals aside in taking it.
There was an impressive winner in the Scottish Cup as Campbeltown and Craig Anderson took the honours in true Roman style.
Chris Thomas was on 4BR duty at Guthlaxton College to listen to the bands at the recent LBBA Open Contest
The end of season Scottish Open takes place in Perth this weekend. Which one of the 14 bands taking part can round off their season in style?
14 bands will line up to see if their own choice performance will catch the ears of judges Roger Webster and Peter Meechan.
Eight well matched bands take to the stage to see if they can raise the Scottish Challenge Shield.
8 bands line up to do battle for the Scottish Challenge Cup and try and gain the domestic bragging rights to tide them over into the new contest season.
Sunday sees a day full of high class playing at the Scottish Youth Championships.
4BR looks at Peter Meechan's intriguing take on 'The Scottish Play'.
These are the men in the box on the weekend for the Scottish Open, Scottish Shield and Scottish Challenge Cup.
There was a fine turn out of bands at the Wilkinson's Northern Open this weekend and plenty of playing to match too.
The King of Entertainment was crowned for the eighth time on the weekend - and the bad news for his rivals is that he doesn't intend abdicating just yet...
From Tricky Dicky to the man who invented the lightbulb - Gateshead had it all this year - even if the Austrians couldn't understand the lingo...
The thriving American brass band scene once again put on a contest to remember with Fountain City picking up the honours this year - with a little bit of British help.
Malcolm Wood was on hand to report on Wingate's trip to the US Open where there was plenty to write about - although some things will have to remain tour secrets...
The US Open once again had plenty to offer - especially now the Dollar is in free fall!
Dave Tinker was in Dukinfield on the weekend to enjoy some great playing from the competitors. The only pity was that there wasn't too many others there to enjoy it with him...
Saturday 10 November Hosted by Canning City Brass Band Adjudicator: Mr Greg Aitken
Brass in Concert may be 31 years old this year, but there is no sign of middle age spread as 12 top bands come to The Sage to see if they can impress the judges and win loads of dosh.
4BR takes a look at the cast list of entertainers lined up for our enjoyment this weekend at The Sage, Gateshead, and wonders if they have got what it takes to top the bill come the results.
These are in the men out of the box this weekend that need to be impressed.
Who's won what and when. Winners and conductors, best soloists, march prize and all the awards fromth the UK's premier entertainment competition.
The White Rose County is now flexing its musical muscle it seems as Yorkshire bands enjoyed their outing to North Wales.
Perhaps all eyes were on others, but it was Graham O'Connor and Powerfuel Hatfield that stole the show in the top section from under their noses.
Some wonderful performances in the First Section, but it was Skelmanthorpe who once again showed that they enjoy the sea air better than their rivals.
The judges Stan Lippeatt and Kevin Wadsworth knew exactly what they were looking for in the Second Section - and Wakefield Metropolitan gvae it to them in spades.
It was a band from the North West that made the most of the Northern Landscape test as Flixton took the honours in the Third Section.
One band stood out from the rest in the Fourth Section on a day when the basics were not always in evidence.
4BR's Pat Herak looks at the eight runners and riders for this years event at Arlington Heights.
4BR will once again be in Arlington Heights, Illinois for the US Open Brass Band Championships. Now in its 5th year, the US Open has established itself as a North American contest with international flair.
This month we look back to November 1978 and the second running of the then Rothmans Brass in Concert Contest.
The cream of Norwegian banding takes to the stage in Stavanger this weekend to showcase their unique brand of brass inspired entertainment.
Lots of famous and not so famous judges have been in the box over the years here. 4BR has compiled the longest list ever on who was where and when - and who gave you a prize or not from 1974 to 2007!
In the 33 years a lot of bands have been declared the winners here, but these are the ones who the most first prizes.
These are the men in the box who need to be impressed this year at Prestatyn.
The Fourth Section is always a bit of a delight and with a Welsh flavour to the music this year promises to be a cracking contest.
Peter Graham's 'Northern Landscapes' is set to test 14 well matched bands on Saturday afternoon.
Lots of well matched bands in the Second Section all hoping to become 2007 champions.
A competitive field lines up in the First Section all hoping to take away with them the title.
20 bands line up to try and become the 2007 Pontins champion.
With a new winner guaranteed this year in the Harry and Margaret Mortimer Championship who will be partying on Sunday night after claiming victory on Philip Sparke’s Partita?
The fun and games, great music, good prize money and the chance to dress up as a nun in the night. Pontins has it all.
Grimethorpe take the National for a second year running - and by quite a margin too. Anyone disagree?
Happy days are here again? It seems someone has been listening and has given the old contest some HRT jabs.
Musical Director: Warwick Tyrrell Sunday 21 October Sutherland Entertainment Centre
Bruce Myers writes about the tour and CD recording of the Gunnedah Shire Senior Band and its Musical Director, Jason Katsikaris, which took place in July of this year.
4BR has updated the records to show which draw numbers may give your band that little bit of an extra slice of luck come draw time - and which ones won't.
4BR has trawled through the record books once more and updated who has won the most money at the Nationals since 1945, and how much the competition has actually paid out. It may surprise a few of you.
4BR has updated our useless facts and figures for you. So if you are bored between bands try and find the year when a monkey orchestra and its conductor was a main attraction at the venue (and they were not competing!)
Two debutants in the box this year and one with years of experience.
4BR looks at the records of the 20 conductors trying to add a National title to their CV this year to see if they are really as good as their record suggests.
It could well be last man standing on this one as Philip Sparke conjurs up a cracker for us to enjoy once more.
4BR looks at the records of the 20 bands that will take to the stage trying to win the title this weekend.
A little bit of Uncle Sam comes to the Royal Albert Hall on Saturday, but who will be flying the star spangled banner of victory after the results?
From the latest high wonder products to the simplest little bits and bobs and a few that are truely weird and wonderful. 4BR has been out shopping - this is what's on offer at Band Supplies in October.
Sarah Mears reports for 4BRDU on the 150th birthday celebrations of the Tanunda Town Band.
6 October 2007 Tanunda Adjudicators: Selwyn Holmes A & B Grade Dr Kevin Cameron C, D & Junior Grade
This month in history is October 1957 and a look back at the National Championship at the Royal Albert Hall. A different world indeed...
Simply the Best!
Tanunda celebrates is 150th birthday in conjunction with the South Australian Band Championships, Saturday 6 October.
Sergio Marshall talks to Waitakere Brass soprano cornet player, Fendall Hill, the current Australian and New Zealand champion soloist, who has produced a CD entitled 'Too Accessible', which has just been included in the 4BR list of CDs for sale.
Pennine Brass were certainly taking the Ratcliff high road on the weekend, with a commanding victory in the First Section.
The Welsh sporting public didn't have a great deal to shout about on the weekend, but the music lovers found plenty to be proud of in the Second Section.
There was no place like Rome for Middleton on the weekend as under their new leader, promoted from the ranks, they took the Third Section title.
It was Ben Hur meets Gladiator in the Fourth Section, but it was a female leader who beat off her rivals to claim Caesars crown.
Now we are used to the joys of Harrogate, perhaps the time has come to really make it into a contest weekend to remember.
Ross Gerritsen, as soon as he was released from hospital, has put together a blog style article of the 2007 National Band of NZ on tour.
It may not quite be the mecca of the North but Harrogate is starting to appeal to the brass band fraternity...slowly mind you.
Can the best First Section bands here get to grips with an intriguing test piece to win the coveted title. Only one will be crowned champion.
Expect a real old battle for the title here with bands from all over the country in with a real chance of glory.
A difficult set work and some cracking bands should make for a memorable contest - as long as they don't come over all Carry on Cleo...
Could the Fourth Section be the highlight of the Harrogate weekend once more? All the ingredients seem to be in the right place...
This is what the composers have written about their pieces - so you know just what they had in their minds eye when they wrote them.
These are the eight men in the box at Harrogate this year. Plenty of experienced ears in the mix too.
More tales of the toga tyrants and tribunes of ancient Rome to sort out 20 of the best Fourth Section bands in the country. Who will be crowned Ceaser come Sunday night?
It's togas and sandals time in the Third Section as Bruce Fraser's test piece should sort out the Russell Crowe's from the Russell Brand's.
Darrol Barry's interesting set work will test 16 of the best Second Section bands out, but which one will head home as Champions this year?
17 bands take to the Ratcliff Highway on Saturday to see who can be crowned First Section Champion of Great Britain.
Find out just what William Relton, Steven Mead and Geoffrey Whitham thought about the top six performances on the day.
A masterstroke of brass band pyschology may have well won the day at the 2007 British Open. Bob Childs as the Duke of Wellington...
The 2007 British Open was very nearly perfect - from the thrilling climax of the contest to the 4BR Editor going partially deaf...
Rex Richardson, one of the worlds leading cross-over trumpeters, is forming strong bonds with the brass band genre. 4BRDU profiles this generous, talented performer.
A decade is a long time in banding, but where are the smiling faces of the YBS Band, winners of the British Open in 1997 now gone...
4BR looks at Kenneth Downie's glorious new test piece for this year's contest.
Kenneth Downie is the man who brings us 'Visions of Gerontius' this year.
4BR has updated its records to find out how the bands from the Grand Shield have fared over the years. Some have come and eventually conquered whilst others haven't been so lucky and have even disappeared from the face of the banding earth.
4BR has updated its stats on the draw once more - and guess what? The stats don’t lie – draw early and you can just about give up hope of a win…
4BR has updated our list of useless facts and figures about the British Open to bore the pants of your loved ones if you have a quiet moment or two this weekend. It's a sure fire recipe to lose any fiends you may have...
4BR looks at the track records of the 18 men who will be trying to win for their bands and also get their hands on a prized Mortimer Trophy to put on top of the television.
4BR looks at the records and form guide of the 18 runners and riders hoping to win the famous Gold Trophy.
With perhaps the strongest line up of bands ever at Birmingham this year and a great set work, Symphony Hall seems set for a classic contest. But who will win?
26 August Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre Adjudicator: Doug Trottman OAM
26 August Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre Adjudicator: Doug Trottman OAM Test: Procession, Hymn and Circus Theme, Graham Howard
25 August 2007 Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre Adjudicator: Doug Trottman OAM Test: Leadsman, a Lady and a Lord, David Stanhope
Saturday 25 August Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre Adjudicator: Doug Trottman OAM
26 August 2007 Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre Adjudicator: Doug Trottman OAM
Sunday 26 August approx. 9.00am Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre
Sunday 26 August approx. 11am Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre, Penrith
Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre Saturday 25 August approx. 12noon
Sunday 26 August approx. 3.45pm Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre, Penrith
Saturday 25 August approx. 3pm Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre, Penrith
25 & 26 August 2007 Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre, High Street, Penrith,
11 & 12 August Wendouree Centre for the Performing Arts Ballarat
4BR has been out and about assessing the brightest and the best young brass players around to find out who are likely to be the superstar players of the future. To start off we have three of the best in Wales.
4BR takes a look at the reinvigorated International Brass Band Summer School, where 120 students from around the world worked hard and had plenty of fun at Swansea University.
More delving into the history books as 4BR looks back to the swinging September sixties in the old brass band world.
From the latest high wonder products to the simplest little bits and bobs and a few that are truely weird and wonderful. 4BR has been out shopping - this is what's on offer at Normans Musical Instruments in September.
From the latest high wonder products to the simplest little bits and bobs and a few that are truely weird and wonderful. 4BR has been out shopping - this month looking at what's on offer at Normans Musical Instruments.
VBL Victorian State Band Championships 11-12 August, 2007 Wendouree Centre of the Performing Arts, Ballarat
4BR looks back at stories and events that happened this month from four different decades of the 20th century.
Jamie Ford, an ex-member of Dalewool Auckland Brass and close friend of Ken Gilbert pays tribute to the late, great Ken Gilbert.
4BR's Malcolm Wood was on hand to listen to two contests that had plenty of quality but not a lot of quantity in Prestatyn.
New Zealand has so much to offer that it comes as little suprise that brass bands are finding it hard to carve a niche market for themselves here. Despite that though the future looks bright as long as they can get some money pumped into the championships
With a chance to really show what brass band entertainment was all about in these parts, the four bands produced a bit of a yawn fest...
13 of the best solo players battled it out to claim the top prize on the Thursday night with a quite remarkable Bb tuba player becoming Champion of Champions.
It was still all to play for on the Saturday as the bands prepared to showcase their talents with their own choice selections.
Something ever so slightly strange tested the bands here this year as the set work - and for some it even rubbed off on their sacred item selections too...
John McCabes Salamander proved to be a tricky little beast for the B Grade bands to get to grips with, but the own choice selections proved that the overall standard here was encouraging to say the least.
In the absence of last years C Grade winner, Tauranga City Silver, there was interest to see who would become the new C Grade Champions. Although the scores were close, Eastern Bay of Plenty Brass were winners in all three sections.
Last years winners, Roxburgh Pioneer Generation Brass had to settle for second place as the consistency of the rebuilt Papukura City Brass emerged victorious.
The freshness and enthusiasm from the future of our movement was obvious at this years Youth Band Competition.
Rome wasn't built in a day. Neither will the English Nationals, but there is time on their side and plenty of encouraging signs.
It may have been a wet day in Preston, but Grimethorpe certainly produced a ray of sunshine to take the English National title and the trip to see of they can now conquer Europe in 2008.
Friday 6 July 4.30pm - Test and Sacred Item Saturday 7 July 5.00pm - Own Choice Bruce Mason Centre Adjudicator: Nigel Boddice Test: Concerto #1 for Brass Band, Derek Bourgeois
Test & Sacred Item, Friday 6 July 9.30am Own Choice, Saturday 7 July 11.30am Bruce Mason Centre Auditorium Adjudicator: Nigel Boddice Test: Salamander, John McCabe
Friday 6 July, 5.30pm, Test and Sacred Item Saturday, 7 July, 11.30pm, Rosmini College Auditorium
Friday 6 July, 10am Rosmini College Auditorium Adjudicator: David Gallaher Music: Own Choice Test, Sacred Item and Stage March
Friday 6 July, 2.30pm Adjudicator: David Gallaher Music: Own Choice Test, Hymn and Stage March with Optional Compere Venue: Rosmini College Auditorium
4BR has a look at Peter Graham's set work 'On Alderley Edge' and finds that it tells a story of wizards, mythical stones, sleeping armies and even the odd Devil better than JRR Tolkein and JK Rowling put togther.
There will be three wise men in the box at Preston at the weekend – and all three know what it takes to make a winning performance too.
15 of the best bands in England line up to see which one of them can be crowned the National Champion of their country and win a trip to Stavanger 2008.
This weekend sees the second running of the English National Championships. Can it recover from its poor start last year at a new venue? Thankfully there is no football and the weather should be awful….
The 127th New Zealand Brass Band Championships Champion Brass on the Shore Bruce Mason Centre, Cnr Killarney St and The Promenade, Takapuna, North Shore, Auckland 4-8 July 2007
Nigel Boddice from Scotland is this years Chief Adjudicator. He will be ably assisted by New Zealander David Gallaher.
An excellent line-up of test music throughout all grades will be heard this year
East Coast of Australia Band Championships and "Festival of the Bands" 10 June 2007 Newcastle City Hall will be remembered as the year this competition was held under some of the most trying circumstances ever for banding in this region.
Malcolm Wood was out and about this year at the annual brass band jamboree that is Whit Friday - with all the fun and games, great playing and even a bit of underhanded gamesmanship all adding to the mix.
Malcolm Wood looks forward to the annual Whit Friday contests.
'In Memoriam RK' was a great piece of music that tested the conductors to the full...
A fantastic piece of music, great bands and fine conductors, but it was a man who knew most what the composer wanted and a band on top form that took the 2007 Masters title this year...
Cambridge offers something different for the brass band fraternity, even if we have to put up with the two wheel menaces on their bikes.
4BR has updated all the records you need to know about the Masters contest since it first started in 1989.
4BR looks at the 19 bands that are trying to leave Cambridge on Sunday night crowned as the Masters of all they survey.
This weekend sees bands from all over the world converge on a tight corner of Cambridge to see who will become the Masters International Champions.
Ballet for Band certainly tested the contenders on the day, but it was Stocksbridge who finally emerged as victors and booked their place in the Senior Cup next year with Glossop Old, Bo'ness & Carriden and Bactiguard Wire Brass.
There was a clear winner in the Senior Cup as Wingates took a step back towards the British Open - a contest they won exactly 100 yers ago.
Mixed emotions were on display at the Grand Shield with the elation of PolySteel and Sellers mixed with the disappointment of Leyland and the rest of a high class field....
In a town that seems to be drowning under the waves of its own tackiness, the Spring Festival continues to flourish due to great organisation, music and the Stereophonics...
Here are the six men who will be in the box in Blackpool this weekend.
Ballet for Band will require a light touch and an appreciation of the finer things, what with lads in tights and girls who make Kate Moss look as big as Fern Britten in a tutu. 'It's all in the mind' the composer says...
20 bands will be trying to take the first steps up the promotion ladder towards the British Open - as long as they can enjoy an fetrnnon work out at the ballet.
20 good bands try to deliver the essence of contesting success in the Senior Trophy and gain promotion one step closer to the British Open.
'Dances & Alleluias' was the set work for the 2006 English Nationals and this is what we thought of it at the time...
18 quality bands line up here to tackle a very difficult set work, and try to gain one of the four promotion places to the Grand Shield.
Which of the 18 bands here will be dancing and singing the alleluias come the results? The successful quartet will make it a step closer to the British Open, whilst the bottom four will drop through the trap door to the Senior Trophy.
'The Night to Sing' is the test piece awaiting the bands here in Blackpool, just as it was in Birmingham in 2005. This was what we thought of it then and it didn't disappoint.
We cast our eye over the 19 bands on show this Saturday in Blackpool. Plenty of talented players, determined MDs and lots and lots of pure unbridled ambition to get to Birmingham.
19 top class bands line up to try and win a place at Birmingham's Symphony Hall in September. Only two places up for grabs so who will leave the desperation of Blackpool behind...
Could the first seeds be being sown towards a Champions League style European - and what would it look like? 4BR investigates...
There was plenty going on all weekend at Symphony Hall from the composers talking about their works to a discussion on how to develop young players. All pretty interesting stuff.
64 of the best young soloists from all over Europe had headed for Birmingham but only three were left to take the stage at the Sir Adrian Boult Hall on the Thursday night.
There were only the three bands on display in the B Section but a great test piece and some determined efforts especially from the Italians more than made up for it.
With such great moments throughout the week, why did the 2007 European leave us feeling just a tad disappointed?
It was all up for grabs on the Saturday evening, but it was the very last band of the day that saw off their rivals to reclaim the European title.
The Friday night saw 12 bands produce a wonderful contest as they set their stalls out to try and claim the European crown.
What a fantastic way to spend a Sunday morning as the Junior Section provided everyone with something to savour.
Is there something in the water in Cornwall as Camborne once again show their rivals just how good they are.
Just the three bands for the schools title, but plenty to think about for the judges, players, conductors and organisers - oh, and perhaps Stephen Hawkin and Wayne Rooney too...
The best county band in the land is now Hampshire as Jock McKenzie and his band produced a fantastic account of themselves to take the title in a very enjoyable and entertaining contest.
Malcolm Wood was on hand to witness some cracking playing from the very best Premier bands in the country, as the National title stayed in Wales, but not in the south of the Principality.
4BR looks at the fashions, whims and own choice selections made by the bands since 1978 in their bids to become European Champions.
It is now 27 years since Cory won their only European title to date. Some of the 1980 stalwarts remember just how they did it.
All you really need to know about the European Contest to impress your friends. If you have any that is if you know this lot...
All you need to know from the names of the winners to the number of performances of Eric Balls worls to be used at the contest since 1978. Go on - bore your friends to death...
4BR has a look at the two men who have written the pieces for this year's championships - Martin Ellerby and Simon Dobson.
4BR has a look at the six men in the box this year for both the Championship and B Section contests.
4BRs Christopher Thomas catches up with Martin Ellerby to find out more about the composer and his new work for the Championships.
4BR looks at this year's B Section contest and hopes that the quantity will not mean a reduction in quality.
4BR looks at Martin Ellerby's 'Elgar Variations' and tries to find just who his 'friend pictured within' really is...
4BR has a look at the selections made by the bands to showcase their abilities and try and win valuable points to cbecome European Champions.
4BR looks at the twelve bands and their records that will hope to leave Birmigham on the weekend crowned as the 30th European Champions.
4BR looks forward to the Championship Section contest. Can Brass Band Willebroek retain their title or will it head to a new home once again?
4BR looks forward to the 30th European Brass Band Championships and the delights of the fine city of Birmingham.
Waitakere certainly turned a few heads in its recent visit to Australia. Steven Booth reports..
Expectations??..I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I stepped off the plane and straight into a 5 hour rehearsal, but, I was pleasantly surprised.
After the hectic weekend that is the Nationals, a small but enthusiastic group ventured out to the AMF Northcote Bowl for an afternoon of fun and competition!
There is a fantastic day of brass playing on show at the RNCM. 4BR looks at each of the sections and tries to pin point who will come out on top after 11 fantastic hours of playing.
National Youth Brass Championships Supported by United Co-operatives The Royal Northern College of Music Manchester Sunday 29th April
The North American Championships are growing in popularity and signage it seems as the movement here goes from strength to strength due to excellent organisation and a real hunger for success from all the participants.
There was much to admire in the lower sections, with an accent on youth and some wonderful playing from individuals and ensembles on show all weekend.
Central Ohio Brass Band make the most of Elfland and Connotations to claim victory, as the up and coming bands in the Honors Section show that they are all heading in the right direction.
With standards ever rising in the USA, a superb Fountain City took the Nationals honours against some setrn opposition.
A brief review of the A to D Grade sections, with plenty of photos.
A look back at how we saw the Junior Grades.
A brief recap of the weekend.
In our final retrospective of the 2007 Regional Championships, 4BR asks if we really do have the quality at the top and the bottom of the contesting tree, or are we still stuck in the Life on Mars year of 1973.
A report on the Sunday performances of the D Grade bands.
A report on the performances of bands in the C Grade Own Choice and March.
A report on the performances of the B Grade Own Choice and Stage March.
Our reporters opinions of the A Grade Own Choice and Stage March
We take a look at the youth bands that will be competing at the 2007 North American Brass Band Championships.
4BR takes a look at the bands in the Explorer Section of the NABBA Contest.
4BR looks at the challengers in the Challenge Section itself as they strive to claim their own version of the Second Section National title.
4BR looks at the bands taking part in the Honors Section at the Championships, which equates to the First Section in Blighty.
The very best bands in North America line up on the weekend to see if they can take home with them the title as the best brass band in the North America.
4BR looks at the 2007 North American Brass Band Championships, which take place in New Albany, Indiana this weekend.
Over 250 brass and percussionist gathered to perform at the first Ohio Brass Arts Festival and God & Country weekend held in Columbus, OH, USA.
A report covering the Saturday performances of the Hymn and Test Selection
A report covering the Saturday performances of the A Grade Hymn and Test.
A report from Saturdays performance of the Hymn and Test.
A report from Saturday's performancs of the B Grade Hymn and Test.
Kew Band Melbourne claimed both the Junior and Open Champion of Champions titles at tonights events. Don Callaghan was on the spot reporting for 4BRDU.
The Annual General Meeting of the BFBB was held in Orrell recently where a number of interesting issues were discussed.
Profiles for the Chief Brass Adjudicator as well as the brass adjudicators for other events.
The major section of these Championships - in more ways than one! Chief Adjudicator, Ken MacDonald will have an enormous task over the two days listening to 32 A Grade performances.
5-9 April 2007 The Centre Ivanhoe, 275 Upper Heidelberg Road, Ivanhoe, and Ivanhoe Girls Grammar School, 123 Marshall Street, Ivanhoe
Some regradings last year has taken its toll on the number of entrants in this grade this year - still expecting some strong performances though.
Shows the synopsis' and composers notes for the test selections as well as the alphabetical listing of the own choice test selections for each grade.
The C Grade is sure to be one of the most closely contested sections of the Championships.
Congratualations to Victoria for such a fabulous field in D Grade.
A small line up of bands this year - plenty of quality though.
Malcolm Wood was on hand to enjoy the the first post regional contest of the season at Tameside.
In the first of two articles concerning the 2007 Regional Championships, 4BR finds out that the choice of test pieces has been given a generally positive 'thumbs up' response.
It may have been a marathon, but even with 23 bands to listen too, it was an enjoyable one all the same.
The bands that won through in the Third Section needed three main virtues - tuning, rhythm and the conqeuring of nerves - something the qualifiers did to a tee.
The bands here were not alone in finding it hard to make it a carnival atmosphere with some dated music, but Egham and Cawston managed it best.
Eric Ball certainly tested the bands here to the full, but it will be Broseley and City of Cambridge who will be making their own travel arrangments to Harrogate.
'Isaiah 40' proved to be a considerable test in London, but it was Redbridge who had the class to make it five wins out of six.
Stevenage proved to be a most enjoyable location on the weekend, but getting home from there was a totally different matter altogether for 4BR...
Everyone brought something to 'The Seasons' and Flookburgh and Marske who will head to Harrogate di it the most for adjudicator Maurice Priestley.
Just seven bands to tackle Darrol Barry's test piece, but it proved to be a cracking contest with Barton Town coming out on tops again.
Two very good performances on a very tricky test piece saw Wansbeck's and Cockerton through to Harrogate in 'Carnival' mood.
Brilliant Felling take the honours on their Wayfarer trip to Harrogate.
Nobody quite hit the very top of their form in the Championship Section, but that didn't stop Rg Vardy posting their 30th Regional title.
Darlington has had a bit of a make over to bring the old Dolphin Centre up to scratch - bu the old fashioned values are still very much in place it seems.
As a very tasty aperitif to the main Championship Section course that was to follow later on the Sunday afternoon, the Fourth Section delivered an enjoyable and satisfying contest.
There were just the seven bands taking to the stage for the Third Section contest on the Saturday, but even though they were short on numbers, the overall standard of playing was pretty high.
It will be hard to imagine that there were two more clear cut qualifiers for the National Finals at any level this year than could be found here in the Second Section on the weekend.
The First Section contest was the one disappointment in terms of overall quality of the whole weekend. It was also the one contest of the weekend when the result was greeted with a collective raising of an eyebrow or two.
It is not often Geoffrey Whitham is lost for words. However on the Sunday night here in Swansea he confessed to a packed Brangwyn Hall audience before the announcement of the results that he was ‘Gobsmacked!’ at the standard of playing in the Championship
A great weekend was had by one and all in Swansea - made all the better of course by a certain rugby result...
Pat Herak was there to see the Maple Leaf Band win inaugural Hannaford Cup at the Hannaford Cup March Contest and Community Showcase II.
The still quite young Hannaford Festival of brass is helping to ensure the future of brass banding in Southern Ontario.
Pat Herak looks back at the Rising Stars where Rob Weymouth wins the crowd and Hannaford Youth Solo Competition.
The Fourth Section promised much for the listener after the first performance of the day, but it didn't really bear fruit, although the winners delivered a fine effort.
The Third Section proved to be an interesting affair with victory going to a convincing winner in Campbeltown Brass.
Helen Perkin's 'Carnival' may not appealed to all the bands here but it certainly found favour with the two who will make their trip to Harrogate.
Newmilns set out their stall in the First Section in exciting fashion and were rewarded with a victory and a well deserved trip to Harrogate.
The 'Big 3' once again took the top three places in Dundee, but 3 into 2 qualification places doesn't go and one of them had to be left disappointed.
The Seasons was enjoyed by all the bands here and in return they provided excellent entertainment for the judges.
There was plenty of top class playing here in the Third Section where any number of bands could have made it to the finals.
It may not have been the best test piece but there were some pretty good performances to be heard - especially from Phoenix and Harborough who could celebrate wel deserved trips to Harrogate.
Eric Ball once again provided a stern test for the First Section bands, but it was Gresley and Derwent who made the most of their Wayfaring trip to make it to Harrogate.
Isaiah 40 proved a stern test here in the Midlands, but the qualifiers really put their stamp on it to claim their place at the Royal Albert Hall.
Lots of things of interest in the Midlands, but perhaps the time has come to seek a new venue.
'The Seasons' proved a stern test here in the Fourth Section, but it was Formby, Uppermill and Ramsey Town who will enjoy a bit of an autumn break in Harrogate in September.
It seems there was a case here for the adjudicator to pick all top six bands to go through to Harrogate, such was the standard. Oldham, Middleton and Eccleston were the best in a high class contest though.
It may not have been the best of the North West here in the Second Section, but Wardle and Blackpool won't mind as they booked their places at Harrogate.
Eric Ball's Wayfarer sorted out the wheat from the chaff here in Blackpool on the weekend, with Timperley topping the tree with a 100% whole wheat performance.
The usual suspects had a bit of a surprise or two here on the weekend, but it couldn't stop Fodens Richardson picking up their 14th regional title.
There are times when even the most world weary journalist may think he has witnessed everything there is to been seen or heard on a brass band contest stage.
The large field of 15 bands for the Third Section must have surely enjoyed getting to grips with Darrol Barry’s tricky, but very musical score.
Once again Helen Perkin’s ‘Carnival’ proved to be a stern test for the bands in the Second Section.
One again Eric Ball was the winner of the First Section. Don’t take our word for it either, as that was how adjudicator Barry Thompson summed it up perfectly after the announcement of the results.
There were two basics facts to be learnt about the Championship Section contest in Torquay on the weekend.
There are times when you know you are in a place where you shouldn’t be; and if you ever find yourself in Torquay, then make sure it is not in a hotel that is playing host to a pensioners bowls outing.
A good turn out of bands here shows that there is a promising future for Welsh banding. The Seasons is a fine test for all the bands here, but which pair will be looking for Autumn accommodation in Yorkshire?
The Welsh enjoy a good bit of jubilation if we ever win a rugby game, but given that may be impossible this year, which band will leave Swansea full of the joys of Spring?
This could be hard work for the bands here. A difficult test piece could cause a fair share of problems, but the Welsh always like a day out at the Carnivals.
It may only be a smallish field, but there should be plenty for Geoffrey Whitham to enjoy as the Welsh bands tackle the delights of the Wayfarer.
Can anyone stop Buy As You View from claiming their first double hat trick of titles here on the weekend. The odds are stacked very much in their favour.
They may be back to losing at the rugby, but Wales is trying hard to get back to winning ways with their brass bands.
Some new faces boost the Fourth Section this year up to an encouraging 10 bands and it should prove to be a cracking contest.
Seven bands take to the stage here to try and impress David Lancaster and book their place at Harrogate. Who will be the most jubilant come the results time?
Just the eight bands take to the stage here hoping to overcome a very serious test of character let alone technique and musicianship. Who is going to be in ‘Carnival’ mood come the announcement of the results?
A closely matched group of bands get set to tackle Eric Ball’s test piece, but which of them will come to grips with a work that is proving to be a very stern test indeed around the country.
It would appear to be a question of who can challenge Reg Vardy on paper to stop them notching up yet another Regional win, but it may be a lot closer than you may think come the results on this one.
There is always a warm welcome and a vibrant atmosphere here in Darlington, but the numbers are small despite the hard work of the Regional committee.
A huge field of bands for Steve Pritchard-Jones to listen too here and ponder over, but who will be looking forward to the Autumnal season the most and a trip to Harrogate.
It’s going to be a good band who can gets to grips with Darrol Barry’s ‘Prelude and Jubilate’ with Philip Harper making the decision in the box – a man who knows all about good rhythmic playing.
This is a difficult one – and we are not just talking about the test piece either. Who will get the nod from Philip Harper and be in the Carnival mood at the results?
Which bands will capture the beauty of Eric Ball’s Sinfonietta – The Wayfarer and impress Nicholas Childs?
The top bands south of the Watford Gap line up to get to grips with Robert Redhead’s impressive piece and try to tickle Nicholas Childs’ fancy.
We have said in the past that it is easy to dismiss the level and standard of banding in London and the Southern Counties. That may have been true in the fairly distant past, but not now it isn’t.
4BRDU takes a look at the profile of Australia's first A Grade Brass Band female conductor...
There were no Ugly Betty's in the Fourth Section where all the bands and all the horn players stood up to be counted.
There is no stopping Dodworth it seems as they found just the right ingredients to make it a Prelude to Jubilation after winning the Third Section.
Helen Perkin's 'Carnival' provd to be a bit of a mystery to many of the all male conducting line up on the weekend. Who can work women out eh?
If the bands here thought they were in for an easy time with Eric Ball then they had to think again as only three really got to grips with the travels of 'The Wayfarer'.
Brighouse take the honours and enjoy a sort of night with Liz Taylor in the process as they take the Yorkshire title.
Everyone likes coming to Yorkshire - from composers to Coronation Street.
A big field for this one, and picking a winner will be a difficult task. It will be a fine day’s contesting though with plenty for both bands and audience to enjoy in Philip Wilby’s The Seasons.
A very large field of seventeen bands will tackle Darrol Barry’s characteristically melodious Prelude and Jubilate.
Twelve bands line up to tackle Helen Perkins’ Carnival. A soft option after last year? Well, maybe, but there is still plenty to test the bands and a good few of them will fancy their chances here.
A large field of nineteen bands line up to battle it out on Eric Ball’s effervescent Sinfonietta and David Read and Alan Morrison are sure to have their work cut out for them in the box.
Twelve bands line up to do battle on Isaiah 40 in one of the most open and hard fought Championship Section Regional contests in the country. It should make for a fascinating afternoon of listening in Burton on Trent.
The Midlands can offer no less than eighty four band across the sections - all competing for that ultimate goal of National glory. As always, the region will be closely fought so expect thrills, spills and surprises galore.
A disappointing entry of six bands here will give Kevin Wadsworth and Richard Evans a short, yet close, contest to adjudicate.
The Third Section in Scotland is healthy, and a few bands will be fancying their chances in Dundee on Darrol Barry’s delightful Prelude and Jubilate.
Kevin Wadsworth and Roger Webster will have the task of separating the bands on Helen Perkin’s Carnival and, like the First Section, this one will be close.
The First Section in Scotland promises to be the closest at this year’s Scottish regional. But who will make that step up into Scotland’s premier banding league?
How will the best bands in Scotland get to grips with Robert Redhead’s Isaiah 40. Will be a very high standard here, especially from the big three?
The regional in Scotland this year has highlighted a problem that is hampering brass bands all over the UK.
4BR casts its eye over the five set works for this year's Regional Championships.
4BR's Chris Thomas interviews the composer of the Championship Section test piece Isaiah 40.
A huge field of bands for Lloyd Landry and Stephen Tighe to enjoy and place in order – some job, but made the better with a great choice of test piece.
Prelude and Jubilate is the name of the game in Third Section, but which bands can make a winning formula out of Darrol Barry’s double mixture.
A real full line up of bands for the judges to enjoy and ponder over. But which one will be having a ‘carnival’ time in Torquay come the results?
A good strong line up of bands will take to the stage here with just the one aim in mind - a voyage to Harrogate.
It really could be anyone's pick here in the Championship Section as Mount Charles strive to become the first band in over a decade to retain their title.
There is always a very warm and friendly atmosphere down in Torquay and even though they are not yet producing bands to challenge the very best in the Championship Section elsewhere it is full to bursting point with talent.
A great line up of bands on the Sunday to do battle on Philip Wilby’s The Seasons which John Maines will decree those who go forward to Harrogate.
What a record to uphold here. Whoever gets through here could well be one of the favourites come Harrogate itself, but they first have to overcome the tricky hurdle that is set by Darrol Barry’s test piece.
Which of the bands will be in the Carnival mood on the journey home this weekend and planning their arrangements for Harrogate?
Will any of the bands here will get to grips with Eric Ball’s work, and most importantly, who will tickle Roy Roe’s fancy on Sunday morning.
Can Fodens retain the local bragging rights or will someone else leave Blackpool as the best in the North West?
There is a belief that the good folk of the North West are a bit more sophisticated than their rivals over the Pennines, but does that mean they breed better bands?
Peter Sykes has written a personal reflection on the passing of one of Victoria's brass band icons - Bill Gunning.
A good turn out of bands should provide some excellent early spring time contesting on the Saturday morning, but which ones will book an autumn break in Harrogate by mastering the musical seasons?
11 bands will prelude their jubilations with a win in a keenly fought contest here on the Saturday.
Which of the 11 bands here will be celebrating ‘carnival’ style come the announcement of the results?
The bands that want to try and make it to Harrogate will have to overcome a classic piece from the pen of Eric Ball.
A fantastic contest is in prospect here as the 13 bands tackle Isaiah 40. With three already booked into their hotels for October there should be a tremendous scrap to see who joins them.
Yorkshire has a lot to be proud about at present – especially when it comes to their brass bands, so what a cracking way to start this year’s Regional Championships by coming to Bradford.
Essentially a brief summary and photo gallery from this years Ern Keller International Soloist of the Year and Band of the Year.
Royal Northern College of Music Manchester Saturday 17th February
Rob Richardson was on hand for 4BR to enjoy the 14 great performances from the cream of our entertaining youth bands - but was still left scratching his head come the announcement of the results.
The 12 bands gave the sell out audience plenty of variety on the weekend. These are the pieces that were played.
Malcolm Wood was on hand to see PolySteel return to top form to take the Yeovil title in a contest that had a number of ups and downs.
The real delight of the weekend was to be heard in the Fourth Division where a brilliant own choice selection saw victory sealed with a breathless gnu kiss...
If there was a disappointment on the weekend it was the Third Division which although it had a couple of top notch performances did feature too many bands with ambitions in excess of their talents.
Some great performances and a winner that stood out for their passion and emotion. Who said Norwegians can't play from the heart?
There was certainly a lot to admire in the First Division as Jaren took the honours under the iconic baton of Helge Haukas.
It may have been hard work on an English classic, but the Norwegians certainly played to form on their own choice selections with Stavanger clinching victory with a brilliant piece of Mozartian Wilby.
Cloudcatcher Fells is a piece full of atmosphere and beauty, so why did so many Elite bands fail to see it in the music.
It may have taken some of the 4BR team 28 hours to get to Bergen, but once again it was well worth the wait.
Nine solo representatives from each of the States of Australia, and the National Champions of Australia, New Zealand and Great Britain, will perform on Sunday, competeing in the 33rd Ern Keller International Soloist of the Year.
Thanks to Ken Bradley for providing the results from previous years to 4BRDU.
The competitve urge is sometimes at its most severe when it comes to brothers - it certainly was with the Mortimers.
Malcolm Wood made the trip into Manchester to enjoy some wonderful playing from the semi finalists of this year's BBC Young Brass Soloist - and the final promises even more.
4BR will be in Bergen this weekend to bring you a flavour of one of the most exciting brass band contests in the world - the Norwegian Nationals.
4BR will be in Bergen to listen to the very best bands in Norway battle it out to see who will represent them at the 2008 European Championships. Can Stavanger retain their title or can someone else stop them?
4BR casts its eye over the 12 bands hoping to make the step up and join the Elite bands in Norway this weekend.
4BR casts its eye over the 13 bands hoping to fight their way out of the Second Division at Bergen.
A big old field of 15 bands will be performing their own choice selections to open adjudicators in the Third Section and they have chosen some pretty ambitious works too. Could be interesting then.
13 bands are set to take part in the Fourth Section as the growing stature of banding in the country bears fruit. The standard is improving and so are the ambitious choices of repertoire.
Who has won what and when since the Nationals started in 1979.
4BR looks at the test piece - John McCabe's classic 'Cloudcatcher Fells' - a piece of technical brilliance and sublime beauty.
John Maines is this year's man in the box.
13 bands will line up to do battle at the Octagon Yeovil this weekend to see who will claim the 30th title and the £2000 first prize.
Yeovil celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, a fantastic achievement for all concerned. A good line up of bands will be there too all hoping to try and lure adjudicator John Maines into awarding them the substantial top prize of £2000.
Malcolm Wood looks back on the 2007 RNCM Festival of Brass, picks out his highlights and appreciates some of the ancillary events.
After 150 years the world's most famous bandroom is getting a facelift to bring it into the 21st Century.
Besson and York are set to battle it out at the top end of the brass instrument market place - and it may prove to be something of a bloody fight with accusations and rumours flying around like mispitched semi quavers.
Peter Bale was making his debut at Butlins Skegness on the weekend - an experience he thought he would never make, and one it seems he may never forget...
There were no journeymen on show in the Fourth Section where 12 bands took to the stage and produced a little cracker of a contest, won again by a little cracker of a band...
There is always a link somewhere - so how did the bands get on with teaming up Crazy Horse, Emlyn Hughes and Edwin of Northumbria - pretty good in fact...
It may have taken a bit of finding for our intrepid reporter, but even though the Lakeside wasn't the greatest of venues it did provide a pretty great contest.
Sometimes you have to wait until the very last moment to find something that stands out from the crowd - just like Innovate Skelmanthorpe in fact...
With all the intrigue out of the way, it was left to the bands to give it all they got in pursuit of glory...
What happens when 11 top class bands are faced with a test piece that for all the world doesn't really tickle their fancy. It makes for an intriging contest thats what...
An impressive launch in a posh restaurant in Frankfurt promised much, but can the new range of York instruments steal a march to the top of the brass instrument market hill? 4BR Editor, Iwan Fox was there to find out...
Steve Herbert, Brass Department Manager at John Packers Ltd gives a brief oversight to the somewhat impossible quest of finding the perfect mouthpiece.
11 bands take to the stage on Saturday and Sunday hoping that their mix of Northern Lights and Saints Come Marching In will pick them up the six grand first prize. We cast our eye over them and gave our first dodgy prediction of 2007.
There is a very experienced mix of musical knowledge in the box on the weekend - oh...and Frank Renton.
12 bands line up to see if they can master Ray Steadman-Allen’s ‘The Journeymen’, although the title may be a bit of an unfair a description of the talent on show here this weekend. A nice fat cheque for the winners of £1,200 makes up for it though.
We have a look at the 15 bands that will be trying to get to grips with Keith Wardle’s neat and descriptive ‘Edwin of Northumbria’ which should test the bands musical knowledge of the 7th Century Saint.
We cast our beady little eyes over what should be a keenly contested contest as 11 bands get to grips with some Kaleidoscopic problems posed by Philip Sparke’s test piece.
We cast our eye over the 21 bands that will be trying to make ‘Common’ practice work and take home with them the cracking first prize.
Both Butlins and the Mineworkers have come a long way over the years to reinvent themselves here in Skegness.
There are five test pieces on show this weekend. This is what the composers tell us about their works.
The week long youth band camp with Musical Director Russell Gray and a team of young, talented and committed tutors was held 7-13 January at the Ewan Maddock Dam on the Sunshine Coast, about an hours drive north of Brisbane.
Carlton Brass Nottingham 1st section require the following players to complete its line up . . Tenor Trombone . . Bass Trombo...
Scouthead & Austerlands Whit Friday Contest
Venue: Dawsonâ€™s Field, off A62 Huddersfield Road, Scouthead, Saddleworth, Oldham OL4 4AS
South London Fellowship Band
Venue: Mini Tour (4th June to 7th June 2013).. See 'Concert details'.. Further information to follow.
MA Dist. (Performance Health), ARCM, Dip RAM
Musical Director, Educator, Coach, Teacher, Adjudicator, Performer