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2003 North West Regional Qualifying Championships

Second Section
Starts 1.30pm approx
Opera House

David Horsfield

Test Piece: Celestial Prospect - Wilfred Heaton

The Second Section is something of a mystery zone at many a Regional Contest – bands not quite good enough to make it in the First Section, and a bit too good for the Third and Fourth. It makes sometimes for a rather uneventful competition. Not this time here we think.

There is a tremendous test piece (one that Yorkshire bands found difficult enough) and which calls on the bands and MD’s to call on traditional virtues of good quality band sound, balance and precision. Added to that the magic ingredient called “making it sound musical” and you have a pretty difficult test. David Horsfield is the man in the box, and he knows a thing or two about the traditional things in banding life - so those who think it is a piece that can be blown into submission will have to think again.

13 decent bands here as well with two strong contenders up from the Third Section to add spice to proceedings. The North West has done well at National level over the past few years as well with Oldham and Ashton going on from here to take the big prize. Last years representatives came 4th and 6th so whoever qualifies will be strong contenders come Dundee. Lets hope they enjoy the experience of getting there on a super test piece.

BMP Europe Goodshaw
C. Duxbury

Last Year: 11th
Last Seven Years:
2002: 11th
2001: 14th
2000: 8th
1999: 9th
1998: 8th
1997: DNC
1996: 11th

Goodshaw won the 3rd Section in 1995 and since then they have more than held their own in the higher section, without ever really challenging for the top prizes. They fell away a bit in 2001 when they came 14th, but came back to their true form in 2002 and came 11th. Another improvement may well be on the cards.

P. Christian

Last Year: 6th
Last Seven Years:
2002: 6th
2001: 4th
2000: 7th
1999: 6th 1st Section (rel)
1998: 10th 1st Section
1997: 3rd 2nd Section (prom)
1996: 5th 2nd Section

Peter Christian, the ex baritone player with both Black Dyke and Williams Fairey has directed Bollington for the past couple of years here and the band have proven to be good solid contenders. Not quite hitting the form for a return to the First Section, the past three years have seen then in or around the top six. More of the same possibly?

P. Goodwin

Last Year: 10th
Last Seven Years:
2002: 10th
2001: 9th
2000: 9th
1999: 3rd 3rd Section (prom)
1998: 6th 3rd Section
1997: 10th 2nd Section (rel)
1996: 9th 2nd Section

Phil Goodwin, the bass player at Black Dyke directs Delph again and they will be hoping to jump a few places up the prize list this year after three years in which they have been in the top 10. They were promoted from the 3rd Section in 1999 so perhaps the time has come for them to push on and get into the top six. Wait and see.

C. Andrews

Last Year: 7th
Last Seven Years:
2002: 7th
2001: 9th 1st Section (rel)
2000: 8th 1st Section
1999: 4th (prom)
1998: 5th
1997: 5th
1996: 3rd 3rd Section (prom)

Since 1996, Eagley have seen action in three different sections here, gaining promotion from the 3rd in 1996, and then further promotion to the 1st in 2000. They have since returned, but they will be looking to move back towards the higher levels this year. 7th last time out wasn’t bad and with a new MD they will be keen to see if they can claim a top 6 at least.

E. Chappell

Last Year: DNC
Last Seven Years:
2002: DNC
2001: DNC
2000: 6th 1st Section (rel)
1999: 9th 1st Section
1998: 2nd (prom)
1997: 4th
1996: 9th 1st Section (rel)

Don’t know really what to tell you about Flixton – we couldn’t find out much information about them for the last past two years, but they were relegated from the 1st Section after 2000. Perhaps they have been biding their time waiting for this very moment!

Haslingden and Helmshore
D. Holland

Last Year: 3rd
Last Seven Years:
2002: 3rd
2001: 5th 3rd Section (prom)
2000: 3rd 3rd Section
1999: 6th 4th Section (prom)
1998: 2nd 4th Section
1997: 9th 4th Section
1996: DNC

A band on the rise if past results are anything to go by. They were in the 4th Section in 1998, but have since gained two promotions and last year they gained a podium place. That was an excellent result and they will be keen for a repeat this time around. Whether they can against strong opposition is the question The answer awaits.

Lancashire Life Morecambe
A. Warriner

Last Year: 2nd
Last Seven Years:
2002: 2nd
2001: 2nd 3rd Section (prom)
2000: 11th (rel)
1999: 12th
1998: 12th
1997: 8th
1996: 10th 1st Section (prom)

Andrew Warriner has done excellent work with Morecambe over the past few years and last year they were runners up and went on to Torquay where they came a fine 6th place. They will be trying to ensure that the result wasn’t a flash in the pan, so we think they will be well rehearsed and ready to go.

Manx Concert Brass
I. Clague MBE

Last Year: 9th
Last Seven Years:
2002: 9th
2001: Winners 3rd Section (prom)
2000: 4th 3rd Section
1999: Winners 3rd Section
1998: 16th 3rd Section
1997: 3rd 3rd Section
1996: Winners 4th Section
A band that makes the trip over the North Sea very successfully as the results prove. Three times winners here since 1996 they were promoted in 2002 and made a solid mark by coming 9th. More of the same may be on the cards but with their track record a stronger challenge could well materialize.

Old Hall Brass
N. Parkinson

Last Year: 5th
Last Seven Years:
2002: 5th
2001: 8th
2000: Winners 3rd Section (prom)
1999: Winners 4th Section (prom)
1998: 8th 4th Section
1997: Winners 4th Section
1996: DNC

Another band really likes contesting here. Three wins in the past six years show that they are a good quality band and since they were promoted from the 3rd Section they have shown they are a band on the up. 8th in 2001 and 5th last year – could there be a further improvement this time?

Oldham Brass ‘97
E. Campbell

Last Year: DNC
Last Seven Years:
2002: DNC
2001: 7th 1st Section (rel)
2000: Winners 2nd Section (prom)
1999: 2nd 2nd Section
1998: 2nd 3rd Section (prom)
1997: DNC
1996: DNC

A bit of a strange record here in the past few years. Oldham were promoted in 1998 from the 3rd Section and then went on to win the 2nd Section in 2000. However they lasted just the one year in the 1st Section and didn’t compete last year, so what form they bring to Blackpool is a bit of a mystery to us. We’ll see.

Silk Brass AstraZeneca (Macclesfield)
K. Mackintosh

Last Year: 2nd 3rd Section (prom)
Last Seven Years:
2002: 2nd 3rd Section (prom)
2001: 3rd 3rd Section
2000: 10th 3rd Section
1999: 6th 3rd Section
1998: 9th 3rd Section
1997: DNC
1996: DNC

Last year was an excellent one for Silk Brass and they will be keen to show that they have the class and talent to make a mark here as well. Last year they sounded like a band that was a class above the rest in the 3rd Section and they showed that when they went to the Nationals in Torquay. We think they could well show that they are good enough to make a mark here as well and we think they will there or thereabouts come results time.

Skelmersdale Prize
I. Bateson

Last Year: 8th
Last Seven Years:
2002: 8th
2001: 6th
2000: 2nd 3rd Section (prom)
1999: 4th 3rd Section
1998: DNC
1997: DNC
1996: 6th
Skelmersdale came 8th last year, which was a drop of two places from 2001. That wasn’t a bad return but they will be hoping to do better this time around. Should do OK but a top 6 place will be a good effort.

Wire Brass
P. Andrews

Last Year: Winners 3rd Section (prom)
Last Seven Years:
2002: Winners 3rd Section (prom)

The other band we think will do well here, Wire won the 3rd Section here last year and went on to come runners up to Silk Brass in Torquay. On that day both bands sounded a class apart so they should do well here if they can carry on that good form.

Past Winners:

2002: Moston and Beswick
2001: Dobcross Youth
2000: Oldham Brass
1999: United Norwest Co-op Milnrow
1998: Ashton Under Lyne
1997: Haydock Ogden Travel
1996: Berisford Cardway
1995: United Co-op Crewe
1994: Gorton Silver
1993: United Co-op Crewe
1992: Longridge

Winning Conductors:

2002: R. Taylor
2001: T. Griffiths
2000: A. White
1999: I. Brownbill
1998: M. Evans
1997: J. Maines
1996: H. Megarell
1995: R. Sparkes
1994: D. Evans
1993: R. Sparkes
1992: G. Clough

Test Pieces:

2002: Symphony for Brass – V. Ewald
2001: The Moor of Venice – W. Alwyn
2000: The Sword, Jewel and Mirror – P. Harper
1999: Symphonic Suite – L. Lucas
1998: Culloden Moor – G. Wood
1997: New Buckingham Suite – A. Jackman
1996: Hollywood – G. Richards
1995: Rococo Variations – A. Street
1994: A Salford Sinfonietta – D. Barry
1993: Oceans – G. Richards
1992: Dimensions -


2002: R. Roe
2001: A. Hope
2000: D. Wilby
1999: B. Buckley
1998: A. Hope
1997: D. Wilby
1996: G. Richards
1995: N/K

Past Qualifiers:

2002: Moston and Beswick, Lancashire Life Morecambe
2001: Dobcross Youth, Poulton le Fylde
2000: Oldham Brass, Pemberton Old Wigan
1999: United Norwest Co-op Milnrow, Oldham Brass ‘97
1998: Ashton Under Lyne, Flixton
1997: Haydock Travel, Tyldesley
1996: Berisford Cardway, Mossley
1995: United Co-op Crewe, Moston and Beswick

North West bands at the Finals:

2002: 4th, 6th
2001: 7th, 13th
2000: 1st, 5th
1999: 2nd, 9th
1998: 1st, 11th

Last Years Result:

1. Moston and Beswick - R. Taylor 188pts
2. Lancashire Life Morecambe – A. Warriner 186pts
3. Haslingden and Helmshore – D. Holland 185pts
4. Poulton le Fylde – G. Clough 183pts
5. Old Hall Brass – N. Parkinson 182pts
6. Bollington – P. Christian 181pts
7. Eagley – N. Sheppard 179pts
8. Skelmersdale Prize – G. Martin 178pts
9. Manx Concert Brass – I. Clague MBE 177pts
10. Delph – P. Goodwin 175pts
11. BMP Europe Goodshaw – A. Widdop 174pts
12. Walkden – D. Ashworth 172pts
13. Hoover (Bolton) – S. Talbot 171pts
14. Whitworth Vale and Healey – C. Myers 170pts

4BR Prediction:

Although there seems to be lots of bands capable of winning this contest on paper in reality we think there are just three who could be the ones in with a real shout. Two of those are the bands who have come up from the Third Section and after listening to both Silk Brass and Wire Brass in the past few months we think they will the ones to beat and shold be good enough to take the top two places.

Lancashire Life Morecambe have done well here and should do so again, whilst the other places we think will be taken by the bands who a twelve month ago were challenging for honours.

We will most probably get them all wrong, but somehow we think our luck with the tea leaves will hold strong. Fingers crossed of course.

1. Silk Brass
2. Wire Brass
3. Lancashire Life Morecambe
4. Haslingden and Helmshore
5. Old Hall
6. Bollington

Dark Horses: Delph

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