National Finals - 1st Section: Contest details, runners and
riders, our dodgy predictions and test piece review..
Test Piece: Fantasy for Brass Band (Malcolm Arnold)
Adjudicators: Richard Evans and Geoffrey Whitham
Preston Guild Hall, Sunday, September 3rd
Commences after Second Section.
Alliance Brass (B. Ellin) London
ASDA Stocksbridge (D. Renshaw) Yorkshire
Bo ness and Carridan (A. Swainson) Scotland
Broughtons Brass (C. Bentham) North
Cinderford (L. Baglin) West
Harrogate (D. Lancaster) Yorkshire
Johnstone Silver (R. Tennant) Scotland
Kibworth (J. Berryman) Midlands
Mossley (S. Stonehouse) N. West
Pennine Brass (I. Porthouse) Yorkshire
Ratby Cooperative (K. Steward) Midlands
Seindorf Beaumaris (G. Evans) Wales
Staines (M. White) London
Thornbury (P. Harper) West
Treherbert (G. Sheppard) Wales
United Coop (Crewe) (J. Sparkes) N. West
This is going to be a difficult one to try and predict. Some really
good bands find themselves up against a good testpiece and each
other, and it wont be a surprise if the judges will find it
difficult to find the winners.
Some names pop out as bands to look out for, and the main challenge
would seem to come from the traditional banding strongholds of Yorkshire
and Lancashire, with possible contenders having a good bash from
Wales and Scotland.
Pennine Brass, the current French Open Champions are a fine young
band and have a string of good results behind them in the past two
years to boost their confidence, including coming runners up in
the Second Section last year. Harrogate, the champions of the North
and ASDA Stocksbridge who took the Yorkshire title ahead of Pennine
will also be given short prices at the bookies and will be worth
a flutter. Harrogate came 11th in the Second Section Finals last
year and so have made a big leap in their standard of playing, whilst
ASDA Stocksbridge came 6th in this section last year and will be
out to improve on that.
The Scottish champions, Johnstone Silver have been playing well
of late and they will present a strong challenge with Boness
and Carridan, a famous name north of the border. Both have very
experienced men at the helm, which should prove useful on this test
piece. The west country send champions Thornbury under Philip Harper,
and he is a young man who is making a name for himself with very
well thought out readings of testpieces, whilst Lyndon Baglin, one
of the great euphonium players is found taking the stick with Cinderford.
Wales will have two very strong outfits on parade, with Seindorf
Beaumaris in particular a band that thrives at National Finals.
Could this year see the final push of the band towards Championship
status? Treherbert could be the dark horses for us, as they have
a very experienced line up of ex championship section players who
have seen it and in many cases, done it all. They will travel with
The North West sends two good quality bands in the form of Mossley
who hope to improve on their runners up spot of last year under
Simon Stonehouse. Their performance at winning the Area title was
memorable indeed and they should be up and around the prizes. United
Coop (Crewe) are another hard working band that has consistently
done well at both Area and National level and could also be in with
The Midlands have high hopes from Kibworth who will be conducted
by John Berryman, one of the nicest and most experienced band trainers
around. He will now the test piece inside out, and this should bode
well for his charges. Ratby Cooperative came runners up to Kibworth
at the Areas and pushed them close so they will also be hoping for
a good result especially as they came 5th last year in the Finals.
The resurgence in the North of England could be given a boost by
Broughtons Brass who came runners up to Harrogate at the Area and
could be a surprise package at the Finals.
Finally to London, and two bands that are capable of causing an
upset or two. Staines will be taken by Melvin White, who has a fine
track record as a band trainer and will have prepared his outfit
well and will hope to improve on last years 14th place and
Alliance Brass, who won the Area title by a clear two point margin
and could surprise many.
And who do we think will win? Well, the First Section is notoriously
difficult to predict, but of course well put our heads on
the block are make absolute fools of ourselves!
Dark Horse: Boness and Carridan
Test piece review:
For test piece review - click here