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2003 North of England Regional Qualifying Championships

Third Section
Saturday 15th March
Starts: 12.00 noon

Adjudicator: Stan Lippeatt

Test Piece: Northern Landscapes - Peter Graham

The experienced Stan Lippeatt has the task of separating out the bands in the 3rd Section and he will enjoy the task for sure with a good hard set work that stretches the band to the full and plenty of chance to judge on the basic qualities needed to succeed.

The bands in this section have also found it hard work I recent years at the Nationals with last years representatives doing not too well in coming 16th and 18th and just two 4th places to boast about in the last five years. Hopefully that will change in Dundee but having a look at the record books doesn’t make for comfortable reading and we think you have to go back to 1957 and Ellington’s victory for the last time a band from the North East was triumphant. We may be wrong, but that isn’t a great record is it?

Still there are some very decent bands here and they will warm to the task of trying to impress Stan Lippeatt. It should make for an enjoyable contest.

Bearpark and Esh

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

Bearpark came 6th last year under the direction of D. Oxlee but we don’t know at present who will be taking the band to the contest this time around. The band did win the 4th Section here in 1999 when they went to come 9th at the Nationals under A. Hall, whilst they were runners up again in 2001 when they went to Preston and came 8th under ex Fishburn MD Ian Robinson. Thatled to them being promoted and so 6th place was a solid achievement on their debut. More of the same may be on the cards.

Carlisle St. Stephens

Last Year: 8th 2nd Section (rel)
Last Seven Years:
2002: 8th 2nd Section (rel)
2001: 9th 2nd Section
2000: 9th 1st Section (rel)
1999: N/K
1998: DNC
1997: 3rd 2nd Section
1996: Winners 2nd Section

A real famous brass band name from the past – the band were National Champions in 1927 and 1929 but the past few years they have been losing a bit of ground and have dropped from the first section through the second and now back here. No news as yet either on who will be taking the band, but they have tasted success here in 1996 when they were 2nd Section champions. Hopefully the poor form is now behind the and they can start on the long road to recovery.

M. Condron

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

Dearham have worked hard to get out of the bottom section and did that in 2001 after two years in which they put in a strong challenge for the title here. They were 7th last year under J. Ireland but they now have a change of MD and they will be taken by M. Condron. If they carry on their recent form here they could well by looking at a top six finish at least.

Ellington Colliery
D. Wright

Last Year: 2nd
Last Seven Years:
2002: 2nd
2001: 5th
2000: 6th
1999: N/K
1998: 7th
1997: N/K
1996: N/K

Last years runners up should be one of the bands to beat this time around again as looking at their recent record here they have been getting better and better. They were 6th in 2000 and then came 5th in 2001. Last year saw more of the same and they went on to come 16th at the National Finals in Torquay under their MD Dennis Wright. Another away day trip beckons and a repeat of their 1957 triumph maybe?

Hetton Silver
K. Wheatley

Last Year: Winners 4th Section (prom)
Last Seven Years:
2002: Winners 4th Section (prom)
2001: DNC
2000: 6th (rel)
1999: N/K
1998: 11th 2nd Section (rel)
1997: N/K
1996: N/K

Hetton were fine winners of the 4th Section last year under Ken Wheatley and they went on to come 16th at the National Finals themselves. That also meant promotion and the start of a journey hopefully back up through the sections. They were playing in the 2nd Section in 1998 but dropped down a couple of divisions before they stopped the rot and started on the way back up. Should be OK and could well take more than a few scalps.

Murton Colliery
J. Cook

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

Murton have a strange looking record here over the past few years – they either seem to come 4th or 8th! They were winners of the 4th Section in 1997 and since then have put in some decent shows but have yet to make it to the top three. This year they have taken the bold step and gone for a youthful MD –but a very talented one at that in the shape of Joseph Cook, the virtuoso Eb tuba player of Black Dyke and who is in University here. Reports state the band is playing well and so we could be seeing the start of something exciting. A qualification place could well be theirs for the taking.

Stape Silver
M. Breckon

Last Year: 3rd 4th Section (prom)
Last Seven Years:
2002: 3rd 4th Section (prom)
2001: 4th 4th Section
2000: 6th 4th Section
1999: N/K
1998: 10th
1997: 4th 4th Section (prom)
1996: 4th 4th Section

Stape come up from the 4th Section after gaining promotion on the back of three years solid achievement in the division. It’s taken them a while but under the direction of M. Breckon who has directed things for a good few years they have steadily improved and well deserved their promotion. It is a big step though but we think they should more than hold their own.

Swinton and District Excelsior
R. Rutter

Last Year: 9th
Last Seven Years:
2002: 9th
2001: Winners 4th Section (prom)
2000: 5th 4th Section
1999: N/K
1998: DNC
1997: N/K
1996: N/K

Swinton were 4th Section champions here in 2001 and they went on to come 15th at the National Finals under their MD Robin Rutter. That of course meant promotion up a section and they just about held their own in coming 9th last year. They will need something a bit better this time out but we think they may have the capabilities to do just that.

Wansbeck’s Ashington
N. Steadman

Last Year: 5th
Last Seven Years:
2002: 5th
2001: 6th
2000: DNC
1999: N/K
1998: 6th 2nd Section
1997: N/K
1996: N/K

Another band that seems to be taking steps in the right direction, Wansbeck came 6th here in 200 and then improved that by a place last year to come 5th under MD N. Steadman. If that improvement continues then they could find themselves moving towards a podium place.

Past Winners:

2002: Houghton Brass
2001: Ferryhill Town
2000: Felling
1999: Langbaurgh
1998: Yarm and District
1997: Barrow Concert
1996: Cottingham
1995: GT Group Peterlee
1994: Flookburgh
1993: Bearpark and Esh Colliery
1992: Flookburgh

Winning Conductors:

2002: T. Gibson
2001: S. Robson
2000: B. Broadbent
1999: T. Oldroyd
1998: T. Oldroyd
1997: M. Davison
1996: R. Grantham
1995: T. Maddison
1994: A. Lewis
1993: D. Young
1992: A. Lewis

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: D. Horsfield
2001: M. Brownbill
2000: G. Cutt
1999: N/K
1998: G. Richards
1997: S. Swancott
1996: N/K
1995: M. Brownbill

Past Qualifiers:

2002: Houghton Brass, Ellington Colliery
2001: Ferryhill Town, Langbaurgh
2000: Felling, Westoe (STHCT)
1999: Langbaurgh, South Milford Brass
1998: Yarm and District, Vaux Samson Band
1997: Barrow Concert, Yarm and District
1996: Cottingham, Harrogate
1995: GT Group Peterlee, Greggs Bakery

North of England bands at the Finals:

2002: 16th, 18th
2001: 4th, 16th
2000: 12th, 13th
1999: 4th, 13th
1998: 7th, 8th

Last Years Result:

1. Houghton Brass – T. Gibson 181pts
2. Ellington Colliery – D. Wright 179pts
3. Lanchester – G. Tindall 178pts
4. Murton Colliery – J. Cook 177pts
5. Wansbeck’s Ashington Colliery – N. Steadman 176pts
6. Bearpark and Esh – D. Oxlee 175pts
7. Dearham – J. Ireland 174pts
8. Barrow Concert – J. Kendall 173pts
9. Swinton and District Excelsior – R. Rutter 171pts
10. Billingham Silver – V. Evans 170pts

4BR Prediction:

It is always notoriously hard t predict things in the lower sections (and with our record it would be near impossible some would say) but we think we have a clear idea of who will do well hear.

We’ve therefore gone for last year’s runners up who we think will be the band to beat whilst we think Murton may well grab the second qualification spot on offer. After that we think it’s going to be a real fight between Wansbeck, Dearham, Bearpark and Esh and Hetton for the final podium place with Stape as our dark horses.

1. Ellington Colliery
2. Murton Colliery
3. Wansbeck’s Ashington
4. Dearham
5. Bearpark and Esh
6. Hetton

Dark Horses: Stape


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