at the Senior Cup 2002:
Qualifying Contest for the 2003 Grand Shield
Test Piece: Carnival Romain, Berlioz arr Frank Wright
EYMS take the cup back to the North East
East Yorkshire Motor Services under the baton of Gareth Pritchard
won the Senior Cup in some style and in doing so qualified as the
top band to the Grand Shield for 2003 in a contest that was notable
for the quality of the performances of the test piece Carnival
A close second were Freckleton under Paul Dalton, whose euphonium
player also took the award for the best soloist of the day, whilst
third place went to Burry Port Town and David Evans from Wales.
Fourth place went to Thoresby Colliery UK Coal under Stan Lippeatt
and ASDA Stocksbridge and Derek Renshaw won fifth spot. The final
promotion place to the Grand Shield for next year went to Yorkshire
Co-operatives and John Roberts.
Gareth Pritchard was understandably pleased when we caught up with
him outside his hotel on Blackpool seafront the next day and spoke
of the effort his new band had put into preparing for the contest.
Since I came to the band on a full time basis just a couple
of months ago they have really put in the effort and have shown
at the contest what a good band they are he said.
I felt we were in with a good chance of winning prior to the
contest due to the quality of work the band put in, and especially
after we had played, as they put in 100% concentration on the stage
and performed brilliantly. We can build on this now and we will
be confident that we can perform well come the National Finals in
EYMS qualified for the National Finals after coming second at the
Regional Championships, and the performance from the North East
band here was notable for the quality of the ensemble playing and
the security of the soloists. They were worthy winners of a high
quality contest and it was perhaps the way in which Gareth Pritchard
left the music flow with a lightness of touch in the semi quaver
work that gave the overture they excitement.
Freckleton also gave an excellent rendition of the test piece that
had some really lovely euph playing from solo prize winner Patrick
Howard and had lots of excitement and colour, whilst Burry Port
Town gave a performance of merit that also featured some lovely
euphonium playing from Ceri John. They thoroughly deserved their
promotion to the Grand Shield for next year. Thoresby UK Coal gave
a robust performance that signalled that they were a quality outfit
from the start and Stan Lippeatt gave the music time and space in
the slower moments that brought the best out of his players.
ASDA Stocksbridge once again showed that they are a band that will
do well in the Shield next year as they once again proved their
worth with a strong and committed show, whilst the last promotion
spot was deservedly taken by Yorkshire Co-operatives who just had
a few lapses here and there, but also had a very classy solo cornet
in Tabby Hall.
Below the qualifiers Hepworth put up a commendable show to just
miss out in 7th spot, whilst Ratby Co-operatives just had one too
many slips to come in the promotion places. BTM did superbly to
come 9th minus a sop player (well done to Jeff Hutcherson on solo
cornet for his heroics) and Rolls Royce Coventry filled the last
top 10 place with a performance didnt quite come off as they
would have hoped.
Stalybridge Old and Laganvale had their good moments too, but couldn't
quite do enough to come higher than 11th and 12th whilst 13th place
went to Thorntons Brass. Just doing enough to miss out on the drop
to the Senior Trophy were Woolley Pritchard Brass who came 15th.
The bottom six and relegation to the Senior Trophy saw decent
enough performances from all the bands, but performances that all
had their problems. Kingdom Brass, Thomas Coaches Mid Rhondda, Northop,
Mossley, City of Oxford and Unison Kinneil will be hoping for better
fortune come 2003. All are good bands, but on this set work they
didnt have enough quality throughout their ensemble and the
performances were liberally littered with too many individual errors.
All however, will be hoping for a quick return to the contest next
So East Yorkshire Motor Services continued their excellent form
of early 2002 and will be hoping for further success later in the
year when they go to London and the Royal Albert Hall, whilst the
other top five bands will be mightily pleased to have gained promotion
from a contest that was close and competitive as you could have
imagined. All of them will be strong contenders at the Grand Shield