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2003 North of England Regional Qualifying Championships

First Section
Sunday 16th March
Starts: 9.30am

Adjudicator: Colin Hardy

Test Piece: Passacaglia on a Theme of Brahms - Arthur Butterworth

The First Section should prove to be an interesting contest for Colin Hardy to enjoy and should test the bands here to the full. How many will come through unscathed will be another matter as this is a test piece that will take casualties.

Still, plenty of decent outfits and with just Pride Valley coming up from the Second Section to replace the two bands promoted it is very much the same line up as last year as no band has come down from the top section. How that will pan out then will be interesting, but what the bands need to do here is to perform well come the National Finals. No North of England band has won the National and it is about time some silverware made it’s way back to some of these bandrooms. In fact the best position has been a couple of 7th places and an 8th last year. Not too great eh?

Aunt Bessies EY Brass
Tim Oldroyd

Last Year: 9th
Last Seven Years:
2002: 9th
2001: 3rd
2000: 9th Championship (rel)
1999: 9th Championship
1998: 5th 1st Section (prom)
1997: N/K
1996: N/K

Aunt Bessie’s fell away last year when they came 9th here under the baton of M. Davison and have turned to Tim Oldroyd who directed Lanbaurgh to victory last year in the 2nd Section. They were promoted to the Championship in 1999 but last just the two years and returned in 2001 when they put in a solid show to come 3rd. Could well feature again.

Barrow Shipyard
J. Durrant

Last Year: 4th (as BAE Marine Systems)
Last Seven Years:
2002: 4th
2001: 8th
2000: 7th Championship (rel)
1999: 10th Championship
1998: 6th Championship
1997: 2nd (prom)
1996: 3rd

The talented John Durrant takes the reins at Barrow for their assault this year after they came 4th last year under the direction Derek Broadbent. They fell from the Championship Section after coming 7th in 2000 and put in a solid enough showing to come 8th in 2001. They improved rapidly on that last year and they will surely be looking for a further leap up the table and a possible qualification spot.

Boldon Colliery

Last Year: 5th
Last Seven Years:
2002: 5th
2001: 7th
2000: 2nd
1999: N/K
1998: 2nd
1997: N/K
1996: N/K

Bolden were 4th Section National Champions as far back as 1984 under G. Rowell and since then they have had a few good years mixed wit the bad. They came runners up here in 1998 when they went on to come 15th at the Nationals and repeated that qualification again in 2000 when they went on to come 17th at Harrogate. Since then they have dropped away slightly and came 5th in 2001 and 7th last year when they were directed by Chris Bentham. At the moment we don’t know who will be taking the band, so we will have to wait and see.

Easington Colliery
D. Dye

Last Year: 6th
Last Seven Years:
2002: 6th
2001: 9th
2000: 7th
1999: 7th Championship (rel)
1998: 8th Championship
1997: N/K
1996: N/K

The experienced David Dye will direct Easington, a band that we remember used to be regular contenders for the top prizes in the Championship Section and were competing at London in 1986. They have flitted back and forth since then but the last time they were in the top section was 1999when they were relegated after coming 7th. The last three years they have struggled a touch here as well although they came 6th last time out. A top six place should be on the cards if they play to form.

J. Iveson

Last Year: 10th
Last Seven Years:
2002: 10th
2001: DNC
2000: DNC
1999: 4th
1998: 3rd
1997: 4th
1996: N/K

The well known brass musician and composer John Iveson directs Flookburgh who are making their second consecutive appearance after a couple of years away from the contest stage. They came 10th last year, but that was a decent result seeing that it was the first year back and if they have strengthened the ranks further in the past 12 months they should be looking for a slightly higher placing come results time. Not quite as good as the three years before their break but they should be capable of taking a few scalps.

BHK (UK) Ltd. Horden
W. Beddell

Last Year: 7th
Last Seven Years:
2002: 7th
2001: 4th 2nd Section (prom)
2000: 4th 2nd Section
1999: 4th 2nd Section
1998: 9th 2nd Section
1997: 3rd 3rd Section (prom)
1996: 4th 3rd Section

Horden are a band that seems to be heading in the right direction and seem to doing it in a solid fashion. Some bands rise like Icarus only to fall back to earth with a bump but Horden’s rise has been well measured. They came 4th in the 3rd Section back in 1996 but were promoted the following year whilst they had three consecutive 4th places in the 2nd Section before being promoted again. 7th last year was OK but if they continue their form they should find themselves well within the top six.

J. Woodward

Last Year: 8th
Last Seven Years:
2002: 8th
2001: 5th
2000: 5th
1999: 3rd
1998: DNC
1997: N/K
1996: N/K

Since 1999 when they came 3rd Kirbymoorside have fallen away somewhat and after two 5th places in 2000 and 2001 they came 8th last year. They will be wanting to improve on that for sure but it is difficult to see them doing it. They were also third here back in 1995 so they can play well here. Is their luck due to change?

Pride Valley
B. Morton

Last Year: 5th 2nd Section (prom)
Last Seven Years:
2002: 5th 2nd Section (prom)
2001: 3rd 2nd Section
2000: 3rd 2nd Section
1999: N/K
1998: N/K
1997: N/K
1996: N/K

After the nonsense of a couple of years ago Pride Valley gained promotion to this section after coming 5th last year in the 2nd Section. The very experienced Bob Morton is at the helm once more and he took Gateshead to the title here last year so he knows exactly what it takes to win in this section. Whether Pride Valley can do that is another matter as they could only manage 5th in the lower section a twelve month ago. If they beat a couple of bands and hold their own we think it could be a decent return.

Westoe (STHCT)
J. Smith

Last Year: 3rd
Last Seven Years:
2002: 3rd
2001: Winners 2nd Section (prom)
2000: 2nd 2nd Section
1999: 3rd 3rd Section (prom)
1998: Winners 4th Section
1997: N/K
1996: N/K

Westoe (the STHCT stands for South Tyneside Healthcare Trust) did very well indeed here last year and came 3rd and just missed out on third consecutive trip to the National Finals by a point. They are certainly a band on the up though and since winning the 4th Section in 1998 they have shot up the sections. That 4th section win led them to come 13th at the Finals, whilst their runners up spot in 2000 saw them not compete. They came 11th in 2001 in Preston. They should be one of the bands to watch out for here though and could well feature highly.

Past Winners:

2002: Gateshead Brass
2001: Harrogate
2000: Cottingham
1999: Gregg’s Bakery
1998: Cottingham
1997: Skipton
1996: East Yorkshire Brass
1995: EYMS
1994: Easington Colliery
1993: Flimby Saxhorn
1992: Northumbria Police

Winning Conductors:

2002: R. Morton
2001: D. Lancaster
2000: R. Grantham
1999: J. Shepherd
1998: R. Grantham
1997: H. Lorriman
1996: R. Tait
1995: R. Childs
1994: R. Curran
1993: I. Porthouse
1992: R. Curran

Test Pieces:

2002: Royal Parks – G. Lloyd
2001: The Undaunted – E. Ball
2000: Music for the Common Man – K. Downie
1999: Kenilworth – A. Bliss
1998: Purcell Variations – K. Downie
1997: Ballet for Band – J. Horovitz
1996: Spectrum – G. Vinter
1995: Land of the Long White Cloud – P. Sparke
1994: Maoriana – A. Butterworth
1993: The Forest of Dean – D. Bourgeois
1992: Celebration – E. Gregson


2002: R. Roe
2001: M. Brownbill
2000: B. Thompson
1999: N/K
1998: G. Richards
1997: B. Thompson
1996: N/K
1995: D. Wilby

Past Qualifiers:

2002: Gateshead Brass, Harrogate
2001: Harrogate, Broughton’s Brass
2000: Cottingham, Boldon
1999: Gregg’s Bakery, Rowntree
1998: Cottingham, Boldon Colliery
1997: Skipton, Vickers Barrow
1996: East Yorkshire Brass, Skipton
1995: EYMS, Boldon Colliery

North of England Bands at the Finals:

2002: 8th, 18th
2001: 15th, 16th
2000: 12th, 17th
1999: 7th, 16th
1998: 7th, 15th

Last Years Result:

1. Gateshead Brass – R. Morton 189pts
2. Harrogate – D. Lancaster 188pts
3. Westoe STHCT – J. Smith 187pts
4. BAE Systems Marine – D. Broadbent 185pts
5. Bolden Colliery – C. Bentham 183pts
6. Easington Colliery – D. Dye 181pts
7. Horden Colliery – J. Beddell 179pts
8. Kirbymoorside Town – J. Woodward 178pts
9. Aunt Bessie’s EYB – M. Davison 177pts
10. Flookburgh – J. Iveson 176pts
11. Spennymoor Town – P. Cutler 175pts

4BR Prediction:

A difficult one to predict but there are a couple of bands that stand out as going in the right direction and this could be the year for them to make a bid for promotion to the top section as well as a trip to Dundee. That’s why we have gone for Westoe who seem to heading right there, Barrow who are on the upward swing and Easington to battle it out. After that we can see Aunt Bessies, Horden and Aunt Bessies making up the top six with Kirbymoorside more than capable of making a mark.

1. Westoe (STHCT)
2. Barrow Shipyard
3. Easington
4. Aunt Bessies
5. Horden
6. Pride Valley

Dark Horse: Kirbymoorside

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