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2003 Midlands Regional Qualifying Championships

Third Section
Sunday 2nd March
Starts: 10.00am

Roy Roe

Test Piece: Northern Landscapes - Peter Graham

The 3rd Section should prove to be an interesting fight on Sunday and should be an appetising apéritif for the main course that is the Championship Section.

Not the greatest of records for the qualifying bands from here when it comes to the Finals themselves, as there hasn’t been a Midland winner since 1994 and Glossop Old. Before that you have to go back to 1990 and Blidworth, so two triumphs in 13 years isn’t too grand.

Still, there are plenty of good solid bands here this year hoping to gain the trip to Dundee and adjudicator Roy Roe will have a difficult task sorting them out. The set work is a tester but should ensure the bands with the right qualities make their mark.

Wem Jubilee and Leicester come up from the 4th Section, whilst three bands in the form of Stamford, Croft and Shipston come down from the 2nd Section to fight it out. 5 new MD’s take a bow this year with the bands.

Alcester Victoria
Conductor: N. Smith

Last Year: 11th
Last Seven Years:
2002: 11th
2001: 14th
2000: 6th
1999: 13th
1998: 14th
1997: 3rd 4th Section

Alcester were promoted up to the 3rd Section in 1998 and since then they have held their own here without suggesting they can challenge for the trophies. 6th has been their best in 2000, but they improved to 11th last year after coming a lowly 14th in 2001. More of the same perhaps?

Audley Brass
Conductor: K.M. Birch

Last Year: 12th
Last Seven Years:
2002: 12th
2001: 3rd
2000: 9th
1999: Winners 4th Section (prom)
1998: 4th 4th Section
1997: 9th 4th Section

The winners of the 4th Section in 1999 have had a bit of an up and down time in this contest since 2000. 9th was a good solid start in their debut year of 2000 but they just missed out on a qualification place in 2001. A drop to 12th last year was a set back though and they will be hoping to get back on track and a top six finish at least.

Carlton Brass
Conductor: T. Wilson

Last Year: 2nd
Last Seven Years:
2002: 2nd
2001: Winners 4th Section (prom)
2000: 5th 4th Section
1999: 21st 4th Section
1998: DNC
1997: DNC

Carlton have made remarkable progress here since coming 21st in the 4th Section in 1999. Since then it has been upwards and onwards with a win in 2001 and promotion followed by a super 2nd place here last year. They went on to the National Finals where they came 8th, so they know they can hold their own. Should be up there in the prize list again we think.

City of Birmingham
Conductor: S. Platford

Last Year: 8th
Last Seven Years:
2002: 8th
2001: 20th 2nd Section (rel)
2000: 16th 2nd Section
1999: 19th 2nd Section
1998: 12th 2nd Section
1997: 9th 2nd Section

Relegated last year after a prolonged struggle in the 2nd Section, City of Birmingham came 8th here last year. A change of MD and 12 months of regrouping should hold them in good stead and they will be keen to move back towards the top of the prizes. Top six material if things go to form.

Croft Silver
Conductor: C. Jones

Last Year: 17th 2nd Section (rel)
Last Seven Years:
2002: 17th 2nd Section (rel)
2001: 11th 2nd Section
2000: 20th 2nd Section
1999: 7th 2nd Section
1998: 7th 2nd Section
1997: 3rd 3rd Section (prom)

Croft were promoted from this section in 1997 and had two good years in the 2nd Section before falling away somewhat in resent times and finally being relegated. A new MD here and a determined approach may hold them in good stead to record a decent result and show that they are on the way back.

Daventry Brass
Conductor: P. Northey

Last Year: 13th
Last Seven Years:
2002: 13th
2001: 13th
2000: 4th
1999: 17th 2nd Section (rel)
1998: 18th 2nd Section
1997: 12th 2nd Section

Two consecutive 13th places is a bit unlucky for some and Daventry will be hoping that it won’t be the same result third time around. They have shown that they can do very well here and came 4th in 2000, whilst they have been up to the 2nd Section as well. Anything in the top 10 will be a move in the right direction.

Ilkeston Brass
Conductor: D. Jones

Last Year: 17th
Last Seven Years:
2002: 17th
2001: 18th 2nd Section (rel)
2000: 19th 2nd Section
1999: 12th 2nd Section
1998: 13th 2nd Section
1997: 18th 2nd Section

17th place last year was a major disappointment but the band had struggled somewhat in the 2nd Section for a few years before the drop. They will be hoping therefore for an improvement all round and a move back up the placings table.

Leicestershire Co-op Snibston Charnwood
Conductor: G. Jacklin

Last Year: 2nd 4th Section (prom)
Last Seven Years:
2002: 2nd 4th Section (prom)
2001: 10th 4th Section
2000: 12th 4th Section
1999: 17th 4th Section
1998: DNC
1997: DNC

The results show a band that has improved each year here since they entered the contest in 1999 and came 17th in the 4th Section. Since then it has been an upward climb and they came a very well deserved runners up in the 4th Section a twelve month ago. They went on to come 9th at the National Finals, and so they will be looking to consolidate themselves here this time around.

Malvern Mills & District
Conductor: M. West

Last Year: 10th
Last Seven Years:
2002: 10th
2001: 10th
2000: 2nd 4th Section
1999: 2nd 4th Section
1998: 16th 3rd Section (rel)
1997: 13th 3rd Section

Malvern were relegated to the 4th Section in 1999 but responded really well by gaining two 4th places and promotion back in 2001. Since then they more than held their own and have come 10th in each of the last two years. More of the same would be OK but you have the feeling that they will be looking for something a bit higher.

Market Rasen RPC
Conductor: B. Matthews

Last Year: 9th
Last Seven Years:
2002: 9th
2001: 7th
2000: 14th
1999: 11th
1998: 3rd 4th Section
1997: 5th 4th Section

A new MD at the helm this year and the band will be hoping for a bit more consistency in the results. Since being promoted in 1999 they have had one good year followed by one not so good, but the pattern suggests a possible top six challenge. That may or may not be right, but it would keep the band happy if it worked out that way.

Ratby Coop 'Mid' Band
Conductor: G. Newman

Last Year: 16th
Last Seven Years:
2002: 16th
2001: 8th 4th Section (prom)
2000: 10th 4th Section
1999: 12th 4th Section
1998: 14th 4th Section
1997: DNC

16th place may not seem like a great result, but Ratby held their own here last year and will therefore be looking to improve further on that this time around. The band worked hard to get out of the 4th Section and did so even though their best result was just 8th place – that makes their achievement of holding on last year so much better.

Shipston Town
Conductor: G. Coleman

Last Year: 20th 2nd Section (rel)
Last Seven Years:
2002: 20th 2nd Section (rel)
2001: DNC
2000: 13th 2nd Section
1999: 5th 3rd Section (prom)
1998: 6th 3rd Section
1997: 9th 3rd Section

Shipston come back to the 3rd Section after a poor result last year was coupled with their no show of 2001. We don’t know the reasons why they didn’t play then, but together it was enough to send them back down to a section they last graced in 1999. At that time they were strong contenders, so they will be hoping to repeat the results of 1997 – 1999.

Shirland Welfare Training
Conductor: M. Smith

Last Year: 5th
Last Seven Years:
2002: 5th
2001: 2nd 4th Section (prom)
2000: 9th 4th Section
1999: 13th 4th Section
1998: DNC
1997: DNC

A couple of years ago in Preston we heard this band give a delightful performance to win the National 4th Section title, and since then they have continued to make good progress. Marie Smith has a very talented young band and 5th place last year in their debut at the level confirmed that they were strong contenders. Could well do the same again we think.

Stamford Brass
Conductor: R. Prew

Last Year: 14th 2nd Section (rel)
Last Seven Years:
2002: 14th 2nd Section (rel)
2001: 17th 2nd Section
2000: 17th 2nd Section
1999: 15th 1st Section (rel)
1998: 17th 1st Section
1997: 5th 2nd Section (prom)

Stamford return to the 3rd Section after a few years when they found life in the 2nd Section hard work. The band have fallen away since they performed in the 1st Section in 1999, so they will be hoping that 2003 sees them start back on the road to recovery and success. A year of consolidation may be on the cards to start with though.

Conductor: R. Boulter

Last Year: 6th
Last Seven Years:
2002: 6th
2001: 6th 4th Section (prom)
2000: 6th 4th Section
1999: 7th 4th Section
1998: 6th 4th Section
1997: 6th 4th Section

More sixes than Lucifer himself, Syston will be hoping that they can get away from the dreaded number 6 and score something a bit higher in 2003. Coming in the top six though at any level is a fine achievement and last year in particular was a good result. More of the same perhaps, although the band may be giving a little prayer that they can rid themselves of the Devil’s curse!

WEM Jubilee
Conductor: R. Thorne

Last Year: Winners 4th Section
Last Seven Years:
2002: Winners 4th Section
2001: 5th 4th Section
2000: 4th 4th Section
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: 4th 4th Section

The impressive winners of the 4th Section here last year will be hoping to carry on that good form into this contest. They came 6th at the National Finals and were good value for the result. They have also been picking up prizes on their travels, so they could well make a mark here. A possible dark horse?

West Mercia Constabulary
Conductor: H. Gibbs

Last Year: 4th
Last Seven Years:
2002: 4th
2001: 3rd 4th Section (prom)
2000: DNC
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: DNC

4th place last year was an excellent result for the Constabulary band and they will be keen to show that it wasn’t a one off. In just two years then they have shown that they can be contenders for a place in the 2nd Section, so look out for them. If they play to form, they could well feature highly again.

Whitwell Brass
Conductor: K. Vernon

Last Year: 15th
Last Seven Years:
2002: 15th
2001: 4th 4th Section (prom)
2000: 11th 4th Section
1999: 15th 4th Section
1998: DNC
1997: DNC

15th last year was a good solid result for the band that gained promotion in 2001 after three good years in the bottom section that saw them improve rapidly from 15th to 4th in three outings here. Now that they know what is expected of them they can push for another leap up the table.

Past Winners:

2002: Raunds Temperance
2001: Brass 2000
2000: Warwick University
1999: Whaley Bridge
1998: RJB Brass
1997: Kirkby Colliery
1996: Whaley Bridge
1995: Whaley Bridge
1994: Glossop Old

Winning Conductors:

2002: J. Fletcher
2001: D. Blakeson
2000: C. McDonald
1999:A. Wycherley
1998: G. Hawley
1997: A. Dennis
1996: K. Mackintosh
1995: K. Mackintosh
1994: J. Cant

Test Pieces:

2002: St. Austell Suite – K. Downie
2001: Sinfonietta – J. Horovitz
2000: Narnia Suite – G. Burgon
1999: Main Street – E. Ball
1998: Three Saints’ – G. Richards
1997: Tintagel – D. Wright
1996: Divertimento – B. Kelly
1995: A Snowden Fantasy – T.J. Powell
1994: Chorale and Toccata – S. Bulla
1993: The Shipbuilders – P. Yorke
1992: Suite for Brass – M. Arnold


2002: R. Sparkes
2001: D. Horsfield
2000: B. Thompson
1999: N/K
1998: R. Roe
1997: G. Whitham
1996: R. Roe
1995: J. Berryman
1994: I. Craddock

Past Qualifiers:

2002: Raunds Temperance, Carlton Brass, Arrow Valley
2001: Brass 2000, Raunds Temperance
2000: Warwick University, Porthywaen
1999: Whaley Bridge, Chapel en le Frith
1998: RJB Brass, Charnwood
1997: Kirkby Colliery, Chapel en le Frith
1996: Whaley Bridge, Derwent Brass, Kirkby Colliery
1995: Whaley Bridge, Croft Silver, Derwent Brass
1994: Glossop Old, Bedworth Brass, South Notts Hussars

Midlands Bands at the Finals:

2002: 5th, 7th, 8th
2001: 3rd, 13th
2000: 8th, 9th
1999: 12th, 16th
1998: 11th, 12th

Last Years Result:

1. Raunds Temperance – J. Fletcher 184pts
2. Calton Brass – T. Wilson 183pts
3. Arrow Valley – A. Culshaw 182pts
4. West Mercia Constabulary – H. Gibbs 181pts
5. Shirland Welfare Training – M. Smith 179pts
6. Syston – R. Boulter 178pts
7. Foresters Brass 2000 – D. Blakeson 177pts
8. City of Birmingham – W. Belshaw 176pts
9. Market Rasen (Rhoades) – J. Hall 175pts
10. Malvern Hills – D. Grant 174pts
11. Alcester Victoria – N. Kift 173pts
12. Audley Brass – K. Birch 172pts
13. Daventry Brass – P. Northey 171pts
14. Dronfield CMW – K. Mackintosh 170pts
15. Whitwell Brass – K. Vernon 169pts
16. Ratby Co-op Mid Band – G. Newman 168pts
17. Ilkeston Brass – D. Jones 167pts
18. Matlock – K. Short 166pts
19. Rushden Windmill – R. Graves 165pts

4BR Prediction:

Another close run contest, but a couple of bands stand out for us and should fight it out for the top six places and the trip to Dundee.

We plumb for a top two of Carlton Brass and West Mercia Constabulary with Shirland and City of Birmingham close behind. Audley we think may come in the prizes and Leicester Co-op and WEM Jubilee could be the others to make a mark.

1. Carlton Brass
2. West Mercia Constabulary
3. Shirland Miners Welfare
4. City of Birmingham
5. Audley Brass
6. Leicester Co-operative

Dark Horse: WEM Jubilee

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