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National Finals 2002: The Fourth Section

Test Piece - "A Cambrian Suite" - Michael Ball
Riviera Centre, Torquay
Saturday September 20th.

We've tried our best to get as much information as possible on al the bands for the Fourth Section. Sorry if some of the information may be wrong or out of date - we have visited as many websites of the bands as we could (some are not regularly updated!). Hope this gives you a bit more information on the contenders for the Fourth Section than you have been getting over the years.

(Where possible information on bands has been supplemented with facts from band web sites.)

Conway Town

Musical Director: Keith Jones

Having come 6th in the 1999 Regionals they were in full command when they won their first Regional Championship title in qualifying for Torquay this year at Swansea. Their performance saw them gain a two point winning margin over Porthaethwy Menai Bridge and the adjudicator Colin Hardy stated, "They made a lovely rounded balanced sound and made music of al the sections in a very difficult test piece."

Douglas Town

Musical Director: Kevin Mitchell

Previous results at the Regionals have been fairly good over the years but from draw number one the band from the Isle of Man set a very good standard and improved on these to take runners-up place this year behind Timperley. They were conducted on that occasion by Gordon Higginbottom, but we understand Kevin Mitchell will be heading them in Torquay.

Emley Brass

Musical Director: Jack Boden

Emley gained qualification to the National Finals after coming second at the Yorkshire Regional Championships where they played off the number two draw to gain the runners up spot from adjudicator Barry Thompson. The year before they didn't compete and were given an average mark so this was some considerable achievement. The band came 3rd third this year at the Holmfirth contest.

Hayle Town

Musical Director: Derek Johnson

Hayle Town took runners up spot in the Regionals this year in a 23 band field playing off the number 16 draw to gain 182 points from adjudicator Barry Thompson. Derek Johnston once more is at the helm to see if they can add the National title to their CV. The band won the Weston Super Mare contest earlier in the year.

Hetton Silver

Musical Director: Ken Wheatley

Hetton Silver are looking to progress back to the third section nationally and this could be fulfilled here having won the North of England Regional in March. There they gained 180 points from adjudicator Roy Roe off the number one draw who thought they gave a "good consistent musical performance". They came 6th in the third section in 2000 but didn't compete in 2001.

Hungerford Town

Musical Director: Tim Crouter

Principal Cornet Kimberley Taylor
Solo Horn Jenny Hughes
Solo Euphonium Jeremy Cooper
Solo Trombone Chris Sketchley
Soprano Cornet Phil Carter

The current band have a relatively short history having reformed in the mid 70's and have patiently through the years set about a re-building process and to quote the band in achieving an invitation to the National Finals "it's been a long old haul". The new contest season has seen them promoted to the 3rd section locally after coming 2nd in the 2002 regionals where they took the runners up spot in a massive 28 band field.

Tim Crouter has conducted this very friendly band for about 5 or 6 years and this contest will see a number of family members take the stage including the conductors wife, Sandra, playing on the top line. Others include 3 members of the Healey family on bass, cornet and percussion, husband and wife Rod and Jenny Hughes on percussion & solo horn and the Long partnership on 2nd trom and baritone. The band came second in the 2nd section at the Wessex Winter Contest in December and won the Carnegie Contest in April.

Jedforest Instrumental

Musical Director: Alan Fernie

Principal Cornet David Sutherland
Solo Horn Nicola Currie
Solo Euphonium Jo Steady
Solo Trombone Les Rose
Soprano Cornet David Lightbody

The band practice in their custom-designed band hall, which was opened in March 2001 by HRH The Princess Royal. Jedforest Instrumental Band has enjoyed quite a bit success under the baton of professional conductor, Alan Fernie. The band finished in 2nd place at the Scottish Championships in Motherwell where they gained 181 points from adjudicator Markus Bach. They were the best 4th section band at the Borders Contest in December last year.

Jubilee Brass (Oxford)

Musical Director: Ken Membury

The Band was formed in 1977, the Queens Silver Jubilee Year, from whence the band takes its name. The Band Master Ken Membury and several of the current players have remained with the band since its formation.

Placed 3rd out of 28 competing bands at the London and Southern Counties Area the band received an invite to the National Finals as well securing promotion to the 3rd Section with effect from 1st January 2003.

Kirkby Lonsdale

Musical Director: Alan Greenwood

One of the oldest brass bands in the United Kingdom earliest accounts of the band record performances for the Coronation of both King George 1V in 1821, and for Queen Victoria in 1838.

Kirkby Lonsdale lies in the Lune Valley, on the edge of the Cumbria, Lancashire border and just a little way from Yorkshire. The river Lune flows past the market town of Kirkby Lonsdale ( "Kirk" for Church "by" "Lunes - dale" - in the Doomsday Book it's title was "Cherchebi" and it is not a coincidence that the third section test piece for this national Championships goes by this name).

The band performed very well at the Regional in the North East contest and took the runners up spot to qualify for the Finals behind Hetton Silver.

Leicestershire Co-op Snibston Charnwood Brass

Musical Director: Graham Jacklin

Principal Cornet Claire
Solo Horn Jane Green
Solo Euphonium Steve Barham
Solo Trombone Liz Barham
Soprano Cornet Nick Clark

On Thursday 18th November 1999 at a presentation evening held at the Snibston Discovery Park, Coalville, the Leicestershire Co-operative (S.M.W.) Band and Charnwood Brass were officially merged as one band. The new name for the band then became Leicestershire Co-op Snibston Charnwood Brass.

The band will be stylish at the National Finals with a new set of walking out jackets. Since the 2nd at the Regionals in the Midlands, another result went their way in taking 3rd prize at Weston-Super-Mare. They also came 3rd at the Mineworkers Contest last year.


Musical Director: Steve Platten

The band won the Regional Contest that saw continued improvement from coming 9th in 2000 and 5th in 2001. They had won the Fourth Section Regional Championship in 1993 and came 3rd in the Yorkshire Area in the Third Section the following year so they will be hoping for a repeat of that success this time around. The band came 2nd at the Holmfirth contest earlier this year.


Musical Director: Gavin Lindsay

The first recorded instance of a Lochgelly Brass Band was in 1854 under the banner of Lochgelly
Public Brass Band.

After winning the Regional Contest the trophy haul continued when they walked off with the fourth section prize from the WSBBA contest held in Clydebank and second placed in their section at the Carnegie contest. The winning performance under the baton of former CWS Glasgow soprano player Gavin Lindsay was comprehensive - a three point winning margin given by adjudicator Markus Bach.

Long Eaton Silver Prize

Musical Director: Sharon Stansfield

Principal Cornet James Stansfield
Soprano Cornet Matthew Stansfield

The Long Eaton Silver Band, was established in 1906 and after achieving quite a lot of success, they added the title "Prize" to their name. With their prize winnings they bought their own premises but during hard times in the 20's the band club was sold to a Brewery with the agreement that the band could always practice there free of charge.

Sharon Stansfield is one of nine members of that family taking the stage at the finals! This is the first time that the band has qualified for the finals since 1966 and they got there by taking the last qualification spot at the Midlands when they came third behind Wem Jubilee and Leics Co-op Snibston. They came second at the North East Midlands Contest earlier this year.

Pendennis Brass (Falmouth)

Musical Director: Glyn Thomas

Pendennis Brass came 3rd both in 2002 and last year (2001) when they went on to come 12th at the National Finals at Preston. They were relegated from the Third Section in 2000 after they had come 16th in the two years previous. They gained the third qualification spot after Barry Thompson gave them 179 points off the number 8 draw. They were 4th Section Regional Champions as far back as 1996.

Porthaethwy Menai Bridge

Musical Director: Gavin Wyn Saynor

Porthaethwy Menai Bridge came second at this year's Regionals in Swansea when Gavin Wyn Saynor made it a double celebration after playing with the Beaumaris Band, who also qualified for the finals at the Royal Albert Hall. They finished 8th last year after not competing the year before. They were a third section outfit before this but were relegated after coming 9th in the third section in 1999.

Sandhurst Silver

Musical Director: Dave Marshall

The London & Southern Counties 4th Section Champions 2002 have a long and rich history. They rehearse in their own practice hall, built by members in the 1950s. Sandhurst, Berkshire is probably best known for its military academy, with which the band has no connection.

The final round of rehearsals for the national finals in Torquay have been held under the baton of Dave Marshall, regular MD Roger Burke's colleague from his army days, as Roger is away celebrating his 25th wedding anniversary. The band won two contests after the Regionals - the Maurice Wright Challenge Cup Entertainment contest and SCABA Spring Contest Third Section.

St. Dennis

Musical Director: Brian Minear

Fourth Section West of England Champions 2002 St. Dennis are one of the most famous names in Cornish banding, and one that has seen their name mentioned off the stage at the Royal Albert Hall in the top section in 1978, when they came 6th. They were runners up in the Regionals last year and went on to runners up spot at the National Finals as well as winning at Bugle, Hall for Cornwall and Torquay. We think the win at this years contest was the first time since 1978 that the band had won a regional title - a great return to form for a great old band.


Musical Director: Graham Hetherington

Timperley won the Regionals after finishing 6th in 2001, which was a step forward from the 9th of 2000. They came 8th at Pontins and 4th at Preston in the third section and will have ex Dyke and YBS man Ian Brownbill as "top man" in Torquay. Ian was asked to play for Timperley following the problems suffered by their Principal Cornet player, Carl Bamford who needed a lengthy period of rest following serious back problems.

Wardle & District Anderson Brass

Musical Director: Phil Shaw

Wardle and District Anderson Brass didn't compete in last year's Regionals after being relegated from section three in 2000 after coming 9th and 12th in 1999. They came up trumps in the Regionals this year though taking 3rd place just behind Timperley and Douglas Town. They came 18th at Pontins in the third section in 2001.

Ware Brass

Musical Director: Kenny Durbin

Principal Cornet Mark Huttlestone
Solo Horn Alison Moore
Solo Euphonium JohnWoodrow
Solo Trombone Graham Evans
Soprano Cornet Tony Gleave

President of the band, 1st Baritone, John Sharples has raised upward of £1000 from his own efforts to help fund the trip to Torquay. It is interesting to note that other fundraisers have not only including concerts featuring the likes of Steve Sykes but also stars like Norman Wisdom who are not normally associated with brass bands. Mark Huttlestone is a versatile player who also holds down a Big Band principal trumpet chair. Ware took the fourth and final qualification spot from the massive London and Southern Counties Regional. The band came second at the Milton Keynes contest earlier this year.

Wem Jubilee

Musical Director: Roger Thorne

We have no need to dig into the archives for information on Wem Jubilee Band (4th Section) who go to Torquay as Midland Area Champions as a full account of their recent results appears on our comments page at the moment (why not pay it a visit). This is the first time in the bands 25-year history that it has secured a place at the National Finals and they are confident that they will give a good account. They look forward to celebrating their 25th Anniversary on the English Riviera with a band strengthened with Nikki Lloyd joining on 1st Horn and Paul Barker on Solo Cornet. The Midlands Champions have been one of the most consistent bands in recent years and their record at the Regionals and at the Wychavon contest is as good as it gets. Lets hope it continues for them at Torquay.


So that's what we know then, so who do we think will come out top when the results are announced on Saturday in Torquay. Well we've put our necks on the block and come up with the following - apologies to the bands if we have given you the kiss of death.

1. St. Dennis
2. Lochgelly
3. Wem Jubilee
4. Timperley
5. Wardle and District Anderson Brass
6. Linthwaite

Dark Horse: Douglas Town

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