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2018 Regional Championships: London & Southern Counties, North and Wales
Stevenage, Durham and Swansea
17-18 March 2018.

Live comments

Malcolm Wood (London & SC), Iwan Fox (Wales) and Steve Jack (North)


Sunday 18, 21:40:08

That's all folks...

The 2018 Regional Championships are over for another year.

Congratulations to all the champions and the qualifiers — and we wish them all well with their fund-raising efforts as they start planning for London and Cheltenham.

We've certainly had an enjoyable time, and our thanks go to all the Regional Committees who made us very welcome at each of their events.

Our apologies for the lack of coverage on the two sections we missed. I'm afraid we can't quite cover all eventualities — especially the weather.

Catch up with our news reports on each event over the next week or so.

Hope you have enjoyed our coverage.

London and SC

Sunday 18, 20:32:14


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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withdrawn: Northfleet Brass (David Lewis)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


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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

Black Dyke Band - Mirfield Parish Church

Thursday 22 March • Mirfield Parish Church, 38 Church Lane, Mirfield WF14 9HX

Regent Hall Concerts - Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama Brass Band

Friday 23 March • Regent Hall. (The Salvation Army). 275 Oxford Street. London W1C 2DJ (opposite RESERVED) W1C 2DJ

The Fairey Band - Ensembles from Bramhall High School

Friday 23 March • Bramhall High School. Seal Road. Stockport SK72JT

Croydon Citadel Band - The International Staff Band of The Salvation Army

Saturday 24 March • The Salvation Army. Booth Rd. Croydon. CR0 1XY CR0 1XY

Black Dyke Band - Newtown (Powys)

Saturday 24 March • Theatre Hafren, Llanidloes Rd, Newtown SY16 4HU

Cheshire Constabulary Band

March 22 • We are still looking for a Tenor Horn, Cornet and snare drummers (for our Corps of drums). Smart friendly well run band with varied engagements, just one rehearsal a week. Open to all walks of life (you do not need to work for the Police!)


March 22 • Do you want to be part of one of the best run brass band organisations in the North West of England? Then look no further. The Pemberton Old Wigan DW organisation are holding auditions for the position of Conductor for their B band. The band is currently well placed in the 2nd section North West area and are looking for an ambitious and forward looking candidate who can take the band forward. No time wasters please.

Chelmsford Silver Band

March 22 • Chelmsford Silver Band require the following. Bb bass, Cornet and 2nd Baritone players. A non-contesting band, established for over 50 years and enjoy a good reputation performing at local and regional events plus organizing our own concerts.

Alan Duguid

BA (Hons), PGDipMus, PGCE
Conductor, Composer, Adjudicator (ABBA)