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Post Match Analysis:
Midlands Regional Championships 2002

Fourth Section:

Sunday 3rd March, Belvedere Club
Adjudicator: Steve Sykes
Commences: 11.00am


1. Wem Jubilee, R. Thorne, 185, 2
2. Leics Co-op Snibston Charnwood, 184, 1
3. Long Eaton Silver, S. Stansfield, 182, 7
4. Phoenix West Midlands Brass, M. Williams, 181, 10
5. Newhall Band, M. Phillips, 180, 5
6. Bakewell Silver, M. Wilcockson, 179, 6
7. Banovallum Brass (Horncastle), E. White, 178, 3
8. Wellington (Telford) Brass, S. Curtis, 177, 8
9. Rolls-Royce (Derby), N. Eden, 176, 16
10. Tideswell, B. Thompson, 175, 18
11. Enderby Youth Band, S. Osgood, 174, 4
12. Hathern 'B', G. Wood, 173, 11
13. Dunchurch Silver, G. Smallwood, 172, 17
14. Corby Silver, C. Stevens, 171, 9
15. Kirkby Colliery Welfare, S. Berrill, 170, 15
16. Black Country Brass, A. Manley, 169, 14
17. Skegness Silver, S. Walker, 168, 13
18. Swineshead Silver, D. J. Stephens, 167, 12

Top 3 bands qualify for the National Finals.

If ever two bands thought they were given a bad draw, then Wem Jubilee and Leicester Co-op Snibston Charnwood would have been prime candidates to curse their luck prior to the Regional Fourth Section starting at the Belvedere Club on Sunday. Given by the end of the day they had produced two really fine performances of the set test by Gordon Jacob and had more than comfortably taken the top two qualifying spots for Torquay, we don’t think you’ll hear them complain too loudly the next time there are drawn early out of the hat.

Leicester Co-op opened proceedings with a fine detailed performance that had plenty of the good qualities of balance and tone that Steve Sykes was looking for. All three movements had the stamp of a band that had been rehearsed well by G. Jacklin and the end players all gave thoroughly good accounts of themselves. It was a performance that immediately had you thinking – "very nice" and it was the bench mark for all the others to follow. That only one other band could beat it was a bit of a surprise given that there were 17 others to go, but it remained throughout the contest, the performance that the audience and adjudicator for that matter kept referring back to. Second place for the band was very well deserved.

Wem Jubilee followed on stage and immediately gave notice that here was a band that was well rehearsed and had got all the basics right. They had fuller sound than Leicester and a rounded tone that belied their status. R. Thorne (sorry but we didn’t get the Christian names) directed with so much sense and an appreciation of the bands capabilities, that at no time did they appear to struggle with the musical or technical content of the piece. All three movements were very well played and they sounded a band that belonged a class higher. Well done to all and top spot was more than justified.

Third place and the remaining qualification spot went to another band early in the draw at number 7, and Long Eaton also did the business of getting the basics right and leaving the music flow. Nothing too fancy and real good solid performances from each of the soloists saw them home just ahead of 4th placed band Phoenix West Midlands Brass. Long Eaton should be well satisfied at the result and claming the trip to Torquay. They weren’t on this occasion quite there with the two leaders but they sounded a band more than capable of improving further and putting up a strong challenge come the Finals.

Just outside the qualification spots came Phoenix and Newhall, whilst both Bakewell and Banovallum produced good solid performances that were only let down by some individual mistakes and a propensity to let it "rip" a couple of times too many. They both played well, but against the better bands that came above them, they just lacked that little bit of classy playing to make more of a mark.

Wellington, Rolls Royce and Tideswell came 8th, 9th and 10th, and again there was plenty to credit in their performances, but the main problem was that they couldn’t sustain the quality throughout all three movements and the Finale in particular suffered from tired lips and intonation problems. Still all three have plenty to cheer and will be stronger this time next year.

From 11th place down to 15th was a toss up really between the bands, and in truth any of them could have changed places without too much trouble. Enderby, Hathern, Dunchurch, Corby and Kirkby filled the places in that order, but there was very little to choose between them and all had more good moments than bad. Intonation and splits possibly accounted for them all not coming higher and they were all unable to sustain the quality playing through all three movements. Still, plenty of good stuff to work on during the year.

The bottom three struggled to be fair and they were a little of the pace and meant that as they all played after each other the contest had a bit of a lull in the middle. All three bands, Black Country Brass, Skegness Silver and Swineshead Silver attempted to play the piece and had some good moments throughout. They should all be congratulated for their efforts and the spirit they showed in trying to overcome some very real difficulties. All three conductors obviously had worked hard and there was plenty of good raw (and   young) material to mould together to make a stronger challenge next year. We wish them all well and we hope to be able to report success for all three in 2003.

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