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2003 London and Southern Counties Regional Qualifying Championships

Second Section
Saturday March 15th
Starts after Section 3

Adjudicator: Alan Morrison

Test Piece: Celestial Prospect - Wilfred Heaton

Alan Morrison has the task of separating 17 bands here and he will certainly earn his fee as there seems to be a whole raft of ensembles who are more than capable of winning the top prize here. It could well come down to who makes the most of a fine set work and there is plenty of music in it to enjoy.

London bands haven’t done too well at the Finals of late and can only boast a 7th and an 8th place in the past five years. The last band to win was Fairlop in 1995 but before that we think you have to go back to 1988 and Regent Brass. It would be nice if a third band could do it at Dundee.

Of the bands that are here one has come down from the 1st Section and three come up from the 3rd to make it a fair old fight for the top prizes. It should make for interesting listening.

BAE Systems Brass
K. Woodger

Last Year: 10th
Last Seven Years:
2002: 10th
2001: 9th
2000: 6th 3rd Section (prom)
1999: 2nd 3rd Section
1998: 4th 3rd Section
1997: N/K
1996: 11th 3rd Section

BAE were promoted up from the 3rd Section in 2000 and since then they have held onto a low midfield position coming 9th in 2001 and 10th last year. They will be hoping that they can therefore push for a top six place. They may have to to settle for something a bit lower though.

Becontree Brass
J. Morahan

Last Year: 2nd
Last Seven Years:
2002: 2nd
2001: 2nd 3rd Section (prom)
2000: 4th 3rd Section
1999: 12th 3rd Section
1998: 2nd 4th Section
1997: 2nd 4th Section
1996: 2nd 4th Section

Becontree seem to be a band moving towards better things and have made their way up from competing in the 4th Section in 2000. They were runners up in the 3rd Section in 2001 when they went on to the Finals and came 11th under William Rumford whilst they repeated that last year in this section when they went onto Torquay and came 13th under this years MD, John Morahan. We think they will be up there again come results time and another long distance trip may have to be booked.

Betteshanger Welfare
D. Burridge

Last Year: 16th 1st Section (rel)
Last Seven Years:
2002: 16th 1st Section (rel)
2001: 8th
2000: 13th
1999: 11th
1998: 8th
1997: N/K
1996: 3rd

Betteshanger were directed by the very experienced Kenneth Dennison last year but even he couldn’t manage to stop the band coming bottom of the lie in the 1st Section and being relegated. They now move to D. Burridge and after a long stay in the 1st Section they will be keen to ensure they get back there as soon as possible. Maybe not this year though.

Brighton Silver
E. Flood
Last Year: 7th
Last Seven Years:
2002: 7th
2001: 8th
2000: 11th 1st Section (rel)
1999: 12th 1st Section
1998: 12th 1st Section
1997: Winners
1996: 10th 3rd Section (prom)

Brighton were winners here in 1997 and were promoted up to the 1st Section. They struggled a bit though and came 12th twice and 11th in 2000 to be relegated back here. Since then they have come 8th and then 7th. They are going the right way then and under one of the rare women MD’s in the banding world we think a top six place may be within their reach.

Broseley Brass
P. Fensom

Last Year: 3rd
Last Seven Years:
2002: 3rd
2001: 6th
2000: 5th 3rd Section (prom)
1999: 8th 3rd Section
1998: 2nd 3rd Section
1997: N/K
1996: 6th (rel)

Paul Fensom is the very experienced MD of Broseley and he knows a thing or two about winning here over the years – including a championship victory in 1994. Broseley seem to being doing well under his direction as well and third place last year was an excellent result. They were promoted up from the 3rd Section in 2000 and since then they have been coming closer to a qualification spot. Could 2003 be the year?

Cantium Brass
J. Gould

Last Year: 6th
Last Seven Years:
2002: 6th
2001: Winners 3rd Section
2000: 2nd 3rd Section
1999: 6th 3rd Section
1998: DNC
1997: DNC
1996: DNC

We think Cantium made their debut in 1999 – we couldn’t find a mention of them before then and they seem to have done well in a short space of time. They were winners of the 3rd Section here in 2001 when they went on to come 7th at the Nationals under John Gould and in their first year in the 2nd Section last year they came 6th. That should give them the confidence to do well again and we think a push for the top three may be the result.

Capital Concert Brass
D. Muir

Last Year: 14th 1st Section (rel)
Last Seven Years:
2002: 14th 1st Section (rel)
2001: DNC

The band made their debut in 2002 although we understand they were due to compete in 2001 but didn’t. 14th place may not have shock the foundations but it showed they could play a bit at least. They were relegated though and theymay have found their true level here. D. Muir directs having taken over from E. Campbell from last year. Possible top six.

Castleton Brass
D. Aves

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

Another band we think has done well in a short space of time. We think the band made it’s debut here in 2001 (again we couldn’t find them in the records before then) and they came 7th. Last year though they really made a mark and won the 3rd Section in some style. That led them to Torquay where they came 9th under David Aves. They are cold be the dark horses this time.

C. Swaep

Last Year: 9th
Last Seven Years:
2002: 9th
2001: 10th
2000: 3rd
1999: 11th
1998: 5th 3rd Section (prom)
1997: N/K
1996: 3rd 3rd Section

Cawston have a bit of an up and down record here over the past few years, including a fine 3rd spot in 2000 under A. Broadbent. However, that has been sandwiched between 11th in 1999 and 10th and 9th in the last two years. They will be hoping that the small improvement they made last year will continue and they may settle for a midfield place or just around the top six.

Crystal Palace
M. Gray

Last Year: 12th
Last Seven Years:
2002: 12th
2001: 13th
2000: 9th
1999: 3rd
1998: 3rd 3rd Section (prom)
1997: 5th 3rd Section
1996: 4th 3rd Section

A name that resonates with the history of brass banding in the UK, Crystal Palace have fallen away somewhat from 1999 when they came 3rd here under M. Gray. 13th in 2001 and 12th last year means that they will have to get a good result to ensure they don’t fall through the relegation trap door. It could be hard for them.

Epsom and Ewell Silver
M. Winter

Last Year: DNC
Last Seven Years:
2002: DNC
2001: 11th
2000: 7th
1999: 10th
1998: 14th 1st Section (rel)
1997: N/K
1996: 7th

Epsom didn’t compete here last year and the year away may have been the break they needed to come back stronger and mount a serious challenge. They have hovered around the top 10 or so since being relegated back here in 1999 and they were 7th here in 2000 under D. Richards. They would be more than happy with that this time as well.

Grimsdyke Brass
K. Ransom

Last Year: DIS
Last Seven Years:
2002: DIS
2001: 7th
2000: 6th
1999: 9th
1998: 16th 1st Section (rel)
1997: N/K
1996: 5th

Grimsdyke were disqualified here last year so they will been keen to return and put the record straight this year. Why they were thrown out we don’t know, but that’s all in the past now and they will be looking forward to mounting a strong challenge. They have been around the fringes here in the last few years and we think they could do the same this time as well.

Horsham Borough
G. Bacon

Last Year: 4th
Last Seven Years:
2002: 4th
2001: 3rd 3rd Section
2000: 7th 3rd Section
1999: N/K
1998: 10th
1997: N/K
1996: 4th

Horsham came 4th last year under the direction of L. Baron and that was a fine return after they were promoted from the 3rd Section in 2001. They will be confident then upping that just a touch further and claiming one of the two qualification spots on offer. They could come close.

St. Albans City
S. Garman

Last Year: 5th 3rd Section (prom)
Last Seven Years:
2002: 5th 3rd Section (prom)
2001: 8th 3rd Section
2000: 13th 4th Section (prom)
1999: 3rd 4th Section
1998: 8th 4th Section
1997: N/K
1996: 10th 4th Section

St. Albans are one of the bands to be promoted up from the 3rd Section and they move up a section on the back of them do OK rather than spectacularly well. They were 5th in the lower section last time out under William Rumford so it will be interesting to see how they do this time.

Wantage Silver
M. Pegram

Last Year: 8th
Last Seven Years:
2002: 8th
2001: 3rd
2000: 8th
1999: 8th
1998: 11th
1997: N/K
1996: 12th 1st Section (rel)

Wantage have a consistent record here over the past few years with three 8th places since 1999 and a fine 3rd spot in 2001. That was also directed by M. Pegram, so they will be looking for a repeat of that result and not last year when they dropped to 8th. It could be more of the same though we think.

Woking Brass
B. LeTissier

Last Year: 11th
Last Seven Years:
2002: 11th
2001: 5th
2000: 10th
1999: Winners 3rd Section
1998: DNC
1997: N/K
1996: DNC

Woking have a been a bit up and down here since they won the 3rd Section in 1999. That year they went on to the National Finals where they came 8th under John Durrant but since then they have come 11th, 5th and then 10th last time out under G. Wyatt. They may have to work hard to come make it any higher this time around.

Yiewsley and West Drayton
C. Cole

Last Year: 2nd 3rd Section (prom)
Last Seven Years:
2002: 2nd 3rd Section (prom)
2001: 7th 4th Section (prom)
2000: 15th 4th Section
1999: 5th 4th Section
1998: DNC
1997: DNC
1996: DNC

Yiewsley are a band on the right way up and were promoted into the Second Section after coming runners up here last year. They went on to come 13th at the National Finals at Torquay and means that they approach this contest with high hopes of doing well. In 2000 they were coming 15th in the 4th Section and now theyare in the 2nd and rising. A band to look out for.

Past Winners:

2002: Northfleet Brass
2001: Tilbury
2000: City of Cambridge
1999: Thames
1998: Welwyn Garden
1997: Brighton Silver
1996: Hanwell
1995: Soham Comrades
1994: Runnymede Brass
1993: Castle Point
1992: Friday Ad Brass
1991: Woburn Sands

Winning Conductors:

2002: D. Lewis
2001: R. Nunnery
2000: P. Hudson
1999: P. Norley
1998: E. Claxton
1997: E. Flood
1996: M. Pegram
1995: A. Kierl
1994: D. Lancaster
1993: G. Sheldon
1992: N. Simmons
1991: L. Jenkins

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: J. Scott
2001: S. Sykes
2000: L. Landry
1999: N/K
1998: S. Sykes
1997: N/K
1996: G. Richards
1995: N/K

Past Qualifiers:

2002: Northfleet Brass, Becontree Brass
2001: Tilbury, Stonesfield Silver
2000: City of Cambridge, Chichester City
1999: Thames, Egham Band
1998: Welwyn Garden, Fairlop Brass
1997: Brighton Silver, Fairlop Brass
1996: Hanwell, Haverhill Silver
1995: Soham Comrades, Hatfields of Colchester

London bands at the Finals:

2002: 11th, 13th
2001: 10th, 14th
2000: 8th, 16th
1999: 14th, 17th
1998: 7th, 12th

Last Years Result:

1. Northfleet – D. Lewis 186pts
2. Becontree Brass – W. Rumford 184pts
3. Broseley Brass – P. Fensom 183pts
4. Horsham Borough - L. Baron 182pts
5. Stonesfield Silver – T. Brotherhood 181pts
6. Cantium Brass – J. Goold 180pts
7. Brighton Silver – E. Flood 179pts
8. Wantage Silver A – M. Pegram 178pts
9. Cawston – C. Swaep 177pts
10. BAE Systems – K. Woodger 176pts
11. Woking Brass – G. Wyatt 175pts
12. Crystal Palace – M. Gray 170pts
13. Littleport Brass – J. Hammond 169pts

Disqualified: Grimsdyke Brass (Harrow) – K. Ransom

4BR Prediction:

We don’t know if we will be right, but here we go. We think that a couple of bands that did well here last year could be the ones to beat this time around. That’s why we have plumbed for Becontree to top the podium with Broseley in second place and making the trip to Dundee. Behind them we go for a close run foursome of Cantium, Capital, Castleton and Horsham with our dark horses being Grimsdyke.

1. Becontree
2. Broseley
3. Cantium
4. Capital
5. Castleton
6. Horsham

Dark Horses: Grimsdyke




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