4BarsRest logo



news desk

articles & features


results archive


classified ads

your comments

go shopping




2003 All England Masters Championship

The Bands:

Corn Exchange
Sunday 25th May

Starts at 12.00 noon

21 bands line up for the 15th All England Masters, and the contest now attracts the best bands from all over perfidious Albion. We have been looking at their records here to see how they have done since 1989, so you can see what bands like the going and what bands don’t.

Nigel TakenAveley and Newham

4BR Ranking: 27
Conductor: Nigel Taken
Principal Cornet: Bob Osbourne
Principal Euphonium: Russell Davies
Soprano: Andrew Bannister
Solo Horn: Trevor Foster
Flugel: Dave Thomas
Solo Trombone: Paul Yarrow

Appearances: 11th time this year
Debut: 1989
Best Result: 9th in 2000 and 2002
Worst Result: 20th in 1997

Overall Record:
1989 – 14th
1990 – 13th
1991 – 17th
1992 – 19th
1993 – 1996 Did Not Compete
1997 – 20th
1998 – 10th (4th, 13th, 14th)
1999 – 17th (16th, 16th, 18th)
2000 – 9th (11th, 3rd, 13th)
2001 – 19th (20th, 16th, 20th)
2002 – 9th (5th, 10th, 16th)

Last Year: 9th place off number 17 draw

Conductors: We don’t know who took the band in 1989 and 1990, but Nigel Taken took the helm in 1991. Stephen Shimwell had the baton in 1992 and Melvin White took them in 1997. From 1998 Nigel Taken has been the man in charge.

Masters Facts: From 1989 to 1992 the band competed under the single name of Newham. The best they have done is 9th place – last year being one of the two times they have done it, but they have also come last in 1997 and last but one in 1992. Since the new system of judging came into being they have been placed as high as 3rd in 2000 by William Relton but only the once have two of the judges on the day thought them good enough for a top ten place and that was last year. 2002 saw them score 31 points, 27 behind the winners.

Current Form: Will be looking for a return to good form after a disappointing Regional Championship when they came 3rd and out of the qualification spots, and a Grand Shield return of 16th. 2003 hasn’t been a great year so far and we think Cambridge may be another test of character.

Steve SykesBesses O’ the Barn

4BR Ranking: 25
Conductor: Steve Sykes
Principal Cornet: Merete Vollan
Principal Euphonium: Natsumi Inaba
Soprano: Eilidh Snell
Solo Horn: Aidan Smith
Flugel: Caron Connelly
Solo Trombone: Mark Ayres

Appearances: 12th time
Debut: 1989
Best Result: 7th 1999
Worst Result: 19th 1993

Overall Record:
1989 – 10th
1990 – 11th
1991 – 16th
1992 - DNC
1993 – 19th
1994 & 1995 DNC
1996 – 12th
1997 – 15th
1998 – 17th (14th, 14th, 16th)
1999 – 7th (10th, 13th, 3rd)
2000 – 11th (12th, 9th, 11th)
2001 – 10th (9th, 8th, 15th)
2002 – 11th (13th, 3rd, 19th)

Last Year: 11th off number 9 draw

Conductors: Roy Newsome took the band at the first Masters back in 1989 before Alex Evans took over the following year. Paul Hindmarsh then took them in 1991 and 1993. On their return back to the contest in 1996 Derek Broadbent took the band for three years to 1998 before Gareth Pritchard headed their challenge in 1999, 2000 and 2001. Lynda Nicholson became the first woman to conduct here when she took the band last year, but Steve Sykes takes over for this years attempt.

Masters Facts: Best position of 7th came under Gareth Pritchard in 1999, when James Scott placed them 3rd and the other judges 10th and 13th. Last year David Read gave them a podium place but the others had them as low as 13th and 19th and they ended up with 35 points, 31 behind the winners. Since 1998 at least one judge has put them in the top ten although they only have the one overall top ten finish to their credit in their eleven attempts so far.

Current Form: After the fine achievements of last year 2003 has started with a bit of a drop in form as they could only manage 8th place at the Regional Championships and with the loss of some players and possible loss of Lynda Nicholson (for this contest anyway) this could prove a difficult test for a young but talented outfit. Steve Sykes has been given the job and he will do well to improve on last years effort.

Ian McElligottBrighouse and Rastrick

4BR Ranking: 6
Conductor: Ian McElligott
Principal Cornet: Alan Morrison
Principal Euphonium: Steven Miles
Soprano: Alan Hobbins
Solo Horn: Melvyn Bathgate
Flugel: Stephen Rogers
Solo Trombone: James Stockdale

Appearances: 12th time
Debut: 1992
Best Result: Winners in 1993, 1998 and 2001.
Worst Result: 11th 1992

Overall Record:
1989 – 1991 DNC
1992 – 11th
1993 – 1st
1994 – 4th
1995 – 3rd
1996 – 5th
1997 – 5th
1998 – 1st (3rd, 2nd, 2nd)
1999 – 2nd (1st, 3rd, 2nd)
2000 – 3rd (6th, 6th, 4th)
2001 – 1st (3rd, 3rd, 2nd)
2002 – 8th (14th, 7th, 9th)

Last Year: 8th off number 3 draw

Conductors: Allan Withington was the man who headed the Brighouse challenge from 1992 to 2001, and a fine record he had here too. Peter Bassano had one attempt last year before handing over the baton to Ian McElligott for 2003.

Masters Facts: The bands three wins have come on “English Heritage” in 1993, “Dances and Arias” in 1998 and “Contest Music” in 2001. Since the new system of adjudication has come in they have only been placed 1st by one judge (David Read) when they came 2nd overall in 1999. Although they have won the contest twice since 1998, come runners up and third, no other individual judge has put them top. Last year they appeared under Peter Bassano and although they gave a fine account of themselves they could only manage 8th place with a total of 30 points and had to be content with their lowest placing at the contest since 1992 and their debut.

Current Form: Winners at Bradford with a stromer of a show and then a short notice brave attempt at the European. That 4th place was an excellent achievement given the time they had to prepare two very difficult test pieces and although they under performed on the set work they showed their class on their own choice selection. You get the feeling that the combination of Ian McElligott and the boys for West Riddings may prove prosperous once more here.

William RushworthCarlton Main Frickley Colliery

4BR Ranking: 16
Conductor: William Rushworth
Principal Cornet: Kirsty Abbotts
Principal Euphonium: Ian Wright
Soprano: Gary Bates
Solo Horn: Jane Walker
Flugel: Bridget Scott
Solo Trombone: Richard Walker

Appearances: 3rd time
Debut: 2000
Best Result: 3rd in 2001
Worst Result: 5th in 2000

Overall Record:
1989 – 1999 - DNC
2000 – 5th (8th, 8th, 5th)
2001 – 3rd (2nd, 4th, 10th)
2002 – DNC

Last Year: Did not compete

Conductors: John Hinckley took the band in both 2000 and 2001 before handing over the responsibility this year to William Rushworth.

Masters Facts: Only a short record of achievement at Cambridge so far for the famous old band that has gone through the mill more than a few times in recent years. The record though is excellent with a best of 3rd place in 2001 when they were given a 2nd and a 4th place by two of the three judges on the day. That showed that they could handle the pressure here and followed on from a great debut when under John Hinckley they came 5th in 2000.

Current Form: A real renaissance since William Rushworth took over the helm last year. They had to drop and touch the bottom first of all, but since they dropped out of the Open they have shown real character and a huge amount of talent and commitment to put in good shows at Spennymoor, then Bradford where they came a solid 10th before a huge victory at the Grand Shield. Confidence will be sky high and they could well prove to be a real dark horse. Maybe not quite as high as before but a real chance for a top six place if they play to form.

Ray FarrEver Ready

4BR Ranking: 18
Conductor: Ray Farr
Principal Cornet: Brian Tait
Principal Euphonium: Paul Robinson
Soprano: Les Palmer
Solo Horn: Andrew Hall
Flugel: Joanne Winspear
Solo Trombone: Chris Bentham

Appearances: 13th time
Debut: 1989
Best Result: 7th 2001
Worst Result: 20th 1995

Overall Record:
1989 – 9th
1990 – 12th
1991 – 9th
1992 – 18th
1993 – 17th
1994 – 13th
1995 – 20th
1996 & 1997 DNC
1998 – 8th (15th, 6th, 8th)
1999 – 18th (17th, 20th, 17th)
2000 – 16th (15th, 10th, 20th)
2001 – 7th (8th, 9th, 6th)
2002 – 13th (10th, 14th, 14th)

Last Year: 13th off number 13 draw

Conductors: We don’t know who directed Ever Ready here in 1989 and 1990, but Stephen Tighe took the baton in 1991. Hugh Megarrell took over in 1992 before Stan Lippeat had a go in 1993 and Mark Bentham tried in 1994 and 1995. On their return in 1998 Stephen Roberts took the helm for two years before Bryan Hurdley directed their show in 2000. Bryan Grant tried with the band in 2001 before Ray Farr took over last year.

Masters Facts: Not the greatest record here for Ever Ready, but solid enough. They have a best of 7th in 2001 on “Pageantry” when all three judges put them in the top ten, but they also have a few poor results as well – including last place in 1995 on “Paganini Variations”. Last year they came 13th with two of the judges agreeing on their placing and they scored an overall total of 38 points, 34 behind the winners.

Current Form: Pretty good by all accounts. They didn’t win the local contest in the North East at the start of the year, but they returned to form to win the Regional title once more under the baton of Russell Gray. They have plenty of good players around the stand and Ray Farr has been in tremendous form with the baton of late. May not feature in the prizes but a top ten place may be on the cards.

Philip HarperFlowers

4BR Ranking: 19
Conductor: Philip Harper
Principal Cornet: Kevin Robbins
Principal Euphonium: Mark Hadlington
Soprano: Chris Howley
Solo Horn: Richard Knight
Flugel: Julia Telling
Solo Trombone: Andrew Norman

Appearances: 10th time
Debut: 1994
Best Result: 5th 2001 and 2002
Worst Result: 20th 1998

Overall Record:
1989 – 1993 – DNC
1994 – 16th
1995 – 19th
1996 – 18th
1997 – 8th
1998 – 20th (19th, 19th, 20th)
1999 – 8th (9th, 5th, 12th)
2000 – 8th (3rd, 13th, 19th)
2001 – 5th (13th, 2nd, 4th)
2002 – 5th (7th, 5th, 6th)

Last Year: 5th from number 15 draw

Conductors: David Williams took the band on their 1994 debut, before David Stowell took over in 1995. David Williams returned for 1996, before Philip Bailey took over for 1997. Yet another change in 1998 saw Nigel Seaman have a go and then Bryan Hurdley took over in 1999. David Barringer was the sixth MD in 2000 before Philip Harper became the first man to do a “double” by taking the band in consecutive years in 2001 and 2002. He makes it a hat trick this time.

Masters Facts: A tale of two halves as the football pundits may say. Up to 1998 they had just the one top ten place to show for their efforts here, but since they came last but one then they have put in a real series of fine performances that have caught the ears of the judges here. Two 8th places were followed by two consecutive 5th places in the last two years when they have been places as high as 2nd but as low as 13th. Last year they scored highly from all three judges and gained an overall score of 18 points and a comfortable and well deserved 5th place.

Current Form: Unlucky? Winners at Yeovil, but only second place at Torquay where they didn’t play to their form and were a touch fortunate possibly to gain a ticket to London. The Grand Shield though saw them put in a stonker of a show on “Tallis Variations” and Julia Telling on flugel won the best soloist award, but they found themselves out of the prizes in 7th place. They will therefore be determined to show that they can once again mix it with the best here. They are due a bit of luck.

Russell GrayFodens Richardson

4BR Ranking: 2
Conductor: Russell Gray
Principal Cornet: Mark Wilkinson
Principal Euphonium: Glyn Williams
Soprano: Alan Wycherley
Solo Horn: Leah Williams
Flugel: Helen Fox
Solo Trombone: John Barber

Appearances: 14th time
Debut: 1990
Best Result: Winners in 1990, 1991, 1994, 1995 and 2002
Worst Result: 12th 2000

Overall Record:

1989 – DNC
1990 – 1st
1991 – 1st
1992 – 5th
1993 – 3rd
1994 – 1st
1995 – 1st
1996 – 2nd
1997 – 6th
1998 – 6th (9th, 5th, 5th)
1999 – 5th (4th, 7th, 9th)
2000 – 12th (9th, 12th, 14th)
2001 – 4th (5th, 6th, 5th)
2002 – 1st (2nd, 1st, 1st)

Last Year: Winners off number 11 draw

Conductors: Howard Snell was the man at the helm from 1990 to 1996 before Philip McCann had a one year fling in 1997. Nicholas Childs oversaw the attempts of 1998, 1999 and 2000, before Richard Evans directed their effort in 2001. Russell Gray made a winning debut with the band last year.

Masters Facts: The five wins have come on “Blitz”, “Harmony Music”, “Montage” , “Paganini Variations” and last year on “Atlantic”. It is a superb record and the “Paganini” win was gained with an unprecedented 199 points – the highest ever at the contest. Russell Gray is only the fifth MD after Messr’s Snell, McCann, Childs and Richard Evans to take Fodens here and emulated Snell in winning with the band on his debut. 2000 saw the only time the band has come out of the top six here when they fell to their worse placing of 12th, but 2001 saw them recover to 4th and then there was the superb win a twelve month ago when two out of the three judges had them tops.

Current Form: Russell Gray has something of a Midas touch with Fodens and 2003 saw him retain the Regional Championships in Blackpool. If they win here again it will be one heck of a “Double”. The talent is there in abundance around the stand, but holding on to the title will be very hard indeed. History is on their side though, as one each other occasion they have won they have gone on to hold onto their crown. More of the same?

James CantGlossop Old

4BR Ranking: 43
Conductor: James Cant
Principal Cornet: Janet Lewis
Principal Euphonium: Peter Bond
Soprano: Mandy Crowther
Solo Horn: Stuart Wilkinson
Flugel: Steve Roberts
Solo Trombone: Gary Burgess

Appearances: Debut
Debut: 2003
Best Result: Debut
Worst Result: Debut

Overall Record: Debut

Last Year: N/A
Conductors: Debut this year for both band and MD

Masters Facts: It is the debut for the band from the Midlands Area, so not a lot we can add here at the moment.

Current Form: Glossop came 7th at the Midland Regional Championships in March and then went on to come 8th at the Grand Shield. Solid enough, but they will have to up their game if they are to make a mark here on their debut. Plenty of god quality players around the stand and a very experienced and level headed MD in charge. A midfield placing may be the best they can hope for.

John HinckleyJAG Mount Charles

4BR Ranking: 22
Conductor: John Hinckley
Principal Cornet: Ian Thomas
Principal Euphonium: Shaun Thomas
Soprano: Jon Small
Solo Horn: Sarah Robins
Flugel: Tim Whitehead
Solo Trombone: Helen Thomas

Appearances: 3rd time
Debut: 2001
Best Result: 14th 2002
Worst Result: 17th in 2001

Overall Record:
1989 – 2000 – DNC
2001 – 17th (16th, 19th, 13th)
2002 – 14th (12th, 19th, 10th)

Last Year: 14th off number 14 draw

Conductors: Bryan Hurdley headed the first two attempts in 2001 and 2002, before handing over the baton to John Hinckley for this year’s assault.

Masters Facts: The third appearance here for the band from deepest Cornwall and they will be hoping to continue the trend of the last two years when they have more than held their own. 17th first time out was OK but they improved that to 14th last year when they suffered a little by getting a lowly 19th place off David Read. That gave them an overall total of 41 points and a midfield placing. The best placing has been a 10th off James Scott last year.

Current Form: Not bad. Second place at Yeovil under Richard Evans was a pretty good start to the year, but at Torquay they didn’t play brilliantly off the number 1 spot and came 5th and failed to reach London again. The Grand Shield saw Bryan Hurdley return and they came 3rd to just miss out on a trip to Birmingham, so until the very end of the year and Spennymoor this is the biggest contest they have to look forward to. On their day they can shine, but we think it may be a place around the top ten at best this time around.

David LeaJaguar (Coventry)

4BR Ranking: 52
Conductor: David Lea
Principal Cornet: Bob Baggott
Principal Euphonium: Robert Hunt
Soprano: Clive Parnell
Solo Horn: Lynette Wild
Flugel: Andrew Bates
Solo Trombone: Kevin Lea

Appearances: 3rd time
Debut: 2001
Best Result: 17th in 2001
Worst Result: 19th in 2002

Overall Record:
1989 – 2000 – DNC
2001 – 17th (21st, 20th 21st)
2002 – 19th (20th, 17th, 17th)

Last Year: 19th off number 4 draw

Conductors: Dave Lea continues at the helm for the third successive year.

Masters Facts: Not the greatest of records in their short history here for Jaguar and they must hope to better the two last places and two last but one placings from the judges that have come their way so far.

Current Form: Since they changed their name from Rolls Royce to Jaguar things have been coming up roses for the band from the Midlands. Pontins last year started the ball rolling and even though they came 9th at the Midlands Regional Championships, they returned to form in fine style at Blackpool to come second to Rothwell Temperance in the Senior Cup. Confidence will be high then and with fine players in all the positions around the stand, including Rob Hunt on euphonium who won the best soloist prize at Blackpool they will be looking to push higher up the prize board this time around.

Garry CuttLeyland

4BR Ranking: 9
Conductor: Garry Cutt
Principal Cornet: Leon Renilson
Principal Euphonium: Bill Miller
Soprano: Brian Heyes
Solo Horn: Donna Lewis
Flugel: Lucy Murphy
Solo Trombone: Neil Samuel

Appearances: 15th time
Debut: 1989
Best Result: Winners 1989 and 1992
Worst Result: 13th 2001

Overall Record:
1989 – 1st
1990 – 2nd
1991 – 3rd
1992 - 1st
1993 – 5th
1994 – 6th
1995 – 2nd
1996 – 3rd
1997 – 4th
1998 - 3rd (7th, 3rd, 3rd)
1999 – 12th (15th, 6th, 14th)
2000 – 10th (5th, 7th, 16th)
2001 – 13th (6th, 14th, 18th)
2002 – 7th (4th, 15th, 8th)

Last Year: 7th off number 10 draw

Conductors: Richard Evans oversaw the bands appearances at the contest from 1989 to 1999, before Frank Renton had a go in 2000. Garry Cutt was at the helm in 2001 and James Gourlay had the baton last year. Garry Cutt returns for a second bite in 2003.

Masters Facts: The only band to have played at every Masters contest, Leyland have won on “Cloudcatcher Fells” and “ Cambridge Variations”. Richard Evans directed from 1989 to 1999 and only in his last year when they came 12th did they come out of the top six. Between 1989 and 1997 under the old points system they never scored less than 190 points in any year. Garry Cutt is only the third conductor to take the band here, whilst the band themselves have competed under four different names – Leyland DAF, BNFL, JJB Sports and finally Leyland. A few lean years between 1999 and 2001 were reversed somewhat last time out when they came 7th with an overall score of 27 points. Eric Crees had them as high as 4th but David Read’s 15th place just cost them a place in the top six.

Current Form: Not bad. The big test for the band came at Blackpool and the Regional Championships where they performed very well but came 4th behind the big two of Fodens and Faireys as well as Haydock. That gave them another chance to make the trip to London, but they will have to up their form to push for a top six place here this year and get into the prize list for the first time since 1998. They may just do it.

Brian GrantRansome

4BR Ranking: 17
Conductor: Brian Grant
Principal Cornet: David Pearce
Principal Euphonium: Rob Woods
Soprano: David Bird
Solo Horn: George Thackrey
Flugel: Della Pearce
Solo Trombone: Chris Jeans

Appearances: 6th time
Debut: 1998
Best Result: 8th 2001
Worst Result: 17th 2000

Overall Record:
1989 – 1997 – DNC
1998 – 12th (1st, 20th, 17th)
1999 – 13th (11th, 12th, 13th)
2000 – 17th (18th, 15th, 15th)
2001 – 8th (4th, 12th, 8th)
2002 – 10th (9th, 8th, 15th)

Last Year: 10th off number 8 draw

Conductors: Brian Grant was the man in charge when the band made their debut in 1998 and followed it the next year as well. Derek Broadbent directed the band in 2000 before Russell Gray was on the podium in 2001. Peter Parkes had a go last year before Brian Grant returns for a third time this year.

Masters Facts: Just the one single figure place for Ransome since they made their debut here in 1998. That was the year when they were given top spot by Geoffrey Brand but 20th and 17th by Eric Crees and William Relton. Since then it has been a tale of midfield places, although they did manage 8th place overall in 2001 when they gained a 4th place from one of the judges on the day. Last year they came 10th with an overall score of 32 points under Peter Parkes, but that did include two top ten places from the judges.

Current Form: Up and down. The up came at the Regional Championships where they came second behind Desford to book a place at the Royal Albert Hall, but the down was certainly in Blackpool at the Grand Shield when they came 21st and last on “Tallis Variations”. What that did to the confidence is anyone’s guess but we think you will see and hear a very determined band and MD on the stage in Cambridge. A top ten place could be on the cards, but with the luck of late going up and down like a yo–yo it could something completely different.

Melvin WhiteRedbridge

4BR Ranking: 36
Conductor: Melvin White
Principal Cornet: Ralph Brill
Principal Euphonium: Lisa James
Soprano: Cliff Pask
Solo Horn: Ruth Miller
Flugel: Alan Roberts
Solo Trombone: Suzanne Cordiner

Appearances: 10th time
Debut: 1990
Best Result: 8th in 1993 and 1994
Worst Result: 19th in 1997

Overall Record:
1989 –DNC
1990 – 15th
1991 – 15th
1992 – 12th
1993 – 8th
1994 – 8th
1995 – 14th
1996 – 11th
1997 – 19th
1998 - 18th (10th, 15th, 19th)
1999 – 2002 - DNC

Last Year: DNC

Conductors: John Clark took the band here from 1990 to 1995 before Geoff Wilson took over the baton from 1996 to 1998. Melvin White becomes their third conductor here this year.

Masters Facts: Redbridge return to the Masters after a four-year break. They made their debut here in 1990 and had two best performances in 1993 and 1994 on “English Heritage” and “Montage” when they came 8th on both occasions. They dropped away a little after that and made their last outing here in 1998 on “Dances and Arias” when they came 18th, although Geoffrey Brand had them as high as 10th on the day.

Current Form: Very good. 4th place at Yeovil was followed by the band retaining their Regional Championship title at Stevenage against the best bands in the London Area. They followed that with 4th place at Blackpool at the Senior Cup just a couple of weeks ago and so next year they will be a step closer the British Open. High hopes then, but this is contesting at a higher level and they may well have to be content with a midfield placing at best.

David RobertsRothwell Temperance

4BR Ranking: 26
Conductor: David Roberts
Principal Cornet: Thomas Hutchinson
Principal Euphonium: Chris Larde
Soprano: Paul Argyle
Solo Horn: Les McCormack
Flugel: John Ward
Solo Trombone: Stephen Heyes

Appearances: 3rd time
Debut: 2001
Best Result: 11th
Worst Result: 12th in 2002

Overall Record:
1989 – 2000 – DNC
2001 – 11th (12th, 5th, 16th)
2002 – 12th (17th, 12th, 7th)

Last Year: 12th off number 13 draw
Conductors: David Roberts makes it three in a row with Rothwell in 2003.

Masters Facts: It seems that the judges don’t really know what to make of Rothwell at this contest so far since they made their debut in 2001. Their first outing saw them have a variety of placings from the three judges, Roy Newsome, James Scott and Geoff Whitham, with the senior judge James Scott placing them as high as 5th and Geoff Whitham placing them as low as 16th, whilst last year they were as high as 7th from James Scott but as low as 17th from Eric Crees. That gave them an overall total of 36 points, comfortable in midfield and just four away from a top ten place.

Current Form: Excellent. The very strong Yorkshire Regional Championships are not a place for faint hearts and Rothwell really showed that they were able to mix it with the heavyweights as they put up a top notch show to come home 4th and beat some real “name” bands. That must have given them a real boost of self belief as they then went onto Blackpool and won the Senior Cup in fine style. They make the trip to Cambridge with high hopes of making a big impression and if they play to form they could well feature highly. Ones to watch out for perhaps?

Philip McCannSellers International

4BR Ranking: 14
Conductor: Philip McCann
Principal Cornet: Darren Stott
Principal Euphonium: Mark Bousie
Soprano: Kay MacKenzie
Solo Horn: Martin Armstrong
Flugel: Natalie Beer
Solo Trombone: Rupert Trippett

Appearances: 14th time
Debut: 1990
Best Result: 4th 1996 and 2002
Worst Result: 21st 1999

Overall Record:
1989 – DNC
1990 – 9th
1991 – 5th
1992 – 6th
1993 – 6th
1994 – 12th
1995 – 5th
1996 – 4th
1997 – 7th
1998 – 11th (20th, 10th, 7th)
1999 – 21st (19th, 19th, 19th)
2000 – 7th (13th, 5th, 7th)
2001 – 15th (14th, 11th, 14th)
2002 – 4th (6th, 6th, 5th)

Last Year: 4th off number 1 draw

Conductors: Philip McCann was at the helm for the first time from 1990 to 1995 before Alan Morrison directed on three occasions between 1996 and 1998. Peter Parkes had one bash in 1999 before Alan Exely had a double go in 2000 and 2001. Mr McCann returned last year and now makes his eighth appearance with the band this year.

Masters Facts: A long and very honourable record of achievement at the Masters over the years for the band that first took part in 1990 under current MD Philip McCann. Two 4th places are the best in 1996 under Alan Morrison and then last year when the founding MD returned. Nine times they have come in the top ten with six of those in the top six itself. They also have the joint record with Rhodian of gaining identical placings from all three judges when they were placed 19th by all three in 1999, only the second time it has ever happened. Last year was a top class return though and they nearly repeated that feat with two sixth places and a fifth to come 4th overall.

Current Form: A bit up and down. The up was at Bradford when they put in a very strong and powerful account on “Prague” to come 3rd and just missed out on a trip to London, whilst the down was certainly in Blackpool (although they were not alone) when they came 10th at the Grand Shield. What will lady luck bring them here then? If they play as well as last year they could well feature highly, but this is a very strong field indeed this year and a repeat would be a real achievement.

SWT Woodfalls

4BR Ranking: 49
Conductor: Wing Commander Rob Wiffin
Principal Cornet: Hugh Cameron
Principal Euphonium: Graham Lawrence
Soprano: Mark Pye
Solo Horn: Trish Chislett
Flugel: Chantel Pye
Solo Trombone: Darren Muir

Appearances: 7th time
Debut: 1997
Best Result: 9th 1999
Worst Result: 20th 2001

Overall Record:
1989 – 1996 DNC
1997 – 13th
1998 – 15th (16th, 16th, 10th)
1999 – 9th (12th, 10th, 6th)
2000 – 18th (20th, 18th, 12th)
2001 – 20th (19th, 21st, 17th)
2002 – 15th (11th, 11th, 20th)

Last Year: 15th off number 6 draw

Conductors: Melvin White in 1997 and 1998, Steve Sykes in 1999, Mike Fowles in 2000, Peter Curtis in 2001 and David Hirst in 2002. Rob Wiffin becomes the sixth man in seven years to head the band at the Masters.

Masters Facts: The band haven’t really made the mark they would have hoped for here since they made their debut in 1998 with a best result of 9th place in 1999 on “Tristan Encounters”. Since then though they have had a couple of lowly outings. The best individual placing they have achieved was 6th from James Scott in 1999, but last year they played to form and picked up two 11th places and a 20th (off James Scott funnily enough) to come home 15th with 42 points.

Current Form: The band started the year with 3rd place at Yeovil before they headed for Torquay to try and retain their West of England Regional title. They couldn’t do that though and came home 4th, whilst they didn’t compete at the Grand Shield contests in Blackpool. May not have the overall strength in depth to make it into the prizes here this year, but a top ten place could be within touching distance if they play to the top f their form.

Allan WithingtonThe Fairey Band

4BR Ranking: 5
Conductor: Allan Withington
Principal Cornet: Ian Porthouse
Principal Euphonium: Morgan Griffiths
Soprano: Kevin Crockford
Solo Horn: Owen Farr
Flugel: Neil Hewson
Solo Trombone: Kevin Gibbs

Appearances: 14th time
Debut: 1990
Best Result: Winners 1996 and 1997
Worst Result: 11th 1995

Overall Record:
1989 – DNC
1990 – 3rd
1991 – 6th
1992 – 2nd
1993 – 2nd
1994 – 2nd
1995 – 11th
1996 – 1st
1997 – 1st
1998 – 2nd (2nd, 7th, 2nd)
1999 – 3rd (3rd, 2nd, 4th)
2000 – 2nd (2nd, 1st, 2nd)
2001 – 9th (15th, 7th, 3rd)
2002 – 2nd (1st, 2nd, 2nd)

Last Year: 2nd off number 16 draw

Conductors: Peter Parkes headed the band from their debut in 1990 to 1995 before James Gourlay took over. He directed the band here from 1996 to 2000 before Howard Snell had one attempt in 2001 and Frank Renton took over in 2002. Allan Withington becomes the third new face in as many years as he directs the band here in 2003.

Masters Facts: Peter Parkes gained three consecutive runners up places with the band from 1992 – 1994. If he had won he would have been the only man so far to have won all four “Majors” – Open, National, European and Masters. 2000 saw them lose by one place as YBS scored a 1st, 2nd and 1st to their 2nd, 1st and 2nd. 2002 was much of the same as they once more found favour with one of the three wise men in the box, only to be pipped once more – this time by Fodens. James Gourlay is the man who has won here with the band, but with Allan Withington also someone who has tasted success here they will be hoping to make it a third win.

Current Form: A little unknown. The National Champions will be good for sure, but has the uncertainty about their finances had any effect upon their playing ability? They didn’t make the trip to the European and used Steve Bastable instead of Allan Withington to head their challenge on the domestic front at Blackpool where they came second to Fodens. Last year here they were very good indeed, but you get the feeling that the prize money rather than the kudos will mean more to them if they win the title for a third time.

Michael FowlesThoresby Colliery (UK Coal)

4BR Ranking: 53
Conductor: Michael Fowles
Principal Cornet: Mark Walters
Principal Euphonium: David Belshaw
Soprano: Simon Oates
Solo Horn: Christine Gent
Flugel: Matthew Challender
Solo Trombone: Malcolm Portman

Appearances: 4th time
Debut: 1990
Best Result: 13th 1991
Worst Result: 17th in 2002

Overall Record:
1989 – DNC
1990 – 16th
1991 – 13th
1992 – 2001 – DNC
2002 – 17th (15th, 16th, 12th)

Last Year: 17th off number 12 draw

Conductors: Mike Fowles takes over this year due to Stan Lippeatt’s health problems. Stan took Thoresby on all their other appearances at the contest.

Masters Facts: This will be the fourth time the band has competed at the Masters, even though they made their debut under Stan Lippeatt in 1990. Those two early appearances saw them come 16th on “Blitz” and then 13th on “Harmony Music” before they had an extended break before coming back last year. That 17th place was made up of a 12th spot from James Scott but two lower places from Eric Crees and David Read to make a final overall score of 43 points.

Current Form: Uncertain. The unfortunate health problems to the popular Stan Lippeatt has meant that for both this contest and for the recent Grand Shield the band had to bring in two deps. That is unsettling for any band so it would be a little unfair to read too much into their 20th place at the Grand Shield when John Hudson came in at the last moment. Mike Fowles takes the helm this time and will be looking to give the band a boost. 5th place at the Regionals showed they can more than hold their own, but this could be a stern test. A good result and quick return to the conductors stand for the MD is just what is needed.

Major Peter ParkesTravelsphere Holidays

4BR Ranking: 20
Conductor: Major Peter Parkes
Principal Cornet: Matt Baker
Principal Euphonium: Paul Baker
Soprano: Gary Fountain
Solo Horn: Simon Smith
Flugel: Mike Barrett
Solo Trombone: Mike Wallbridge

Appearances: 12th time
Debut: 1992
Best Result: 3rd in 2002
Worst Result: 18th 2001

Overall Record:
1989 – 1991 – DNC
1992 – 14th
1993 – 7th
1994 – 17th
1995 – 4th
1996 – 8th
1997 – 14th
1998 – 7th (5th, 9th, 13th)
1999 – 4th (5th, 4th, 5th)
2000 – 4th (10th, 4th, 3rd)
2001 – 18th (18th, 17th, 19th)
2002 – 3rd (3rd, 4th, 4th)

Last Year: 3rd off number 7 draw

Conductors: John Berryman took the band on their first six attempts here from 1992 to 1997 before Melvin White took over the helm for 1998 to 2000. Frank Renton had one effort in 2001 and Brian Grant was in charge last year.

Masters Facts: A fine record over the years for the band that has competed under a variety of names since their debut in 1992. Then they were Rigid Containers, who then became GUS who then became Travelsphere Holidays, but every incarnation has enjoyed themselves here. They came 4th in 1995 on “Paganini Variations” under John Berryman and then came 4th again in both 1999 and 2000 on “Tristan Encounters” and “Contest Music”. They had a blip in 2001 but returned to the Corn Exchange under Brian Grant last year to come 3rd and gain three consistent low placings from all three judges. Seven top ten places in eleven attempts – four of which were in the top six shows that they can really make a mark here. 2003 may see more of the same.

Current Form: Uncertain. The band came a very lowly 11th place at the Midlands Regional Championships, which was a surprise to nearly everyone who was actually there. They were drawn first on and every band has an off day, but this was some bad day at the office. Since then the recent signings have had time to bed in and we think they will travel to Cambridge with confidence and high hopes of doing well. Plenty of quality around the stands should see them challenge strongly and with their track record don’t be surprised if they once more come in the prizes. They will be hoping not to draw number one though.

Dr. David KingYorkshire Building Society

4BR Ranking: 3
Conductor: Dr. David King
Principal Cornet: Stuart Lingard
Principal Euphonium: Michael Howley
Soprano: Peter Roberts
Solo Horn: Sheona White
Flugel: Iwan Williams
Solo Trombone: Simon Cowen

Appearances: 10th time
Debut: 1994
Best Result: Winners 1999 and 2000
Worst Result: 6th 1995, 1996 and 2002

Overall Record:
1989 – 1993 – DNC
1994 – 3rd
1995 – 6th
1996 – 6th
1997 – 3rd
1998 – 4th (13th, 1st, 1st)
1999 – 1st (2nd, 1st, 1st)
2000 – 1st (1st, 2nd, 1st)
2001 – 2nd (7th, 1st, 1st)
2002 – 6th (8th, 9th, 3rd)

Last Year: 6th off number 18 draw

Conductors: David King leads the band for the tenth consecutive time.

Masters Facts: Plenty of firsts but just the two wins for the European Champions since they made their debut at Cambridge in 1994. They came close to victory in the old days of points scoring – two third places in 1994 and 1997, but it was the new separate scoring method that has seen them both win and lose here. 1998 was perhaps the oddest occasion when they scored two 1st’s and a 13th from Geoffrey Brand to miss out, but they also suffered more of the same in 2001 when Roy Newsome was the one out of three who didn’t put them top of the pile. His 7th place robbed the band of a hat trick of wins. Last year didn’t see the band on top form as they dropped to 6th and it was the first time since 1997 that at least one judge hadn’t thought them the best on the day.

Current Form: Excellent. If you are only as good as your last result, then YBS are very good indeed. After the huge disappointment of Bradford and the Yorkshire Regional Championships where they came 6th and missed out on a trip to Kensington they regrouped and put in two stunning shows in Bergen to retain their European title. If they can carry that through to here then they cold well be the band to beat.

David EvansYorkshire Imperial Urquhart Travel

4BR Ranking: 21
Conductor: David Evans
Principal Cornet: Robert Westacott
Principal Euphonium: Adam Rutter
Soprano: Richard Hanson
Solo Horn: Wendy Orr
Flugel: Sian Carradus
Solo Trombone: Nick Hudson

Appearances: 12th time
Debut: 1989
Best Result: 4th 1989
Worst Result: 16th 1996 and 1998

Overall Record:
1989 – 4th
1990 – DNC
1991 – 12th
1992 – DNC
1993 – 14th
1994 – 14th
1995 – 13th
1996 – 16th
1997 – 11th
1998 – 16th (11th, 17th, 15th)
1999 – DNC
2000 – 14th (16th, 21st, 6th)
2001 – 6th (1st, 10th, 9th)
2002 – 16th (18th, 13th, 11th)

Last Year: 16th off number 2 draw

Conductors: James Scott led the band on their debut in 1989 whilst David Hirst took over the baton in 1991. They returned under Alan Exley in 1993 and he fronted the band until 1996. James Scott returned in 1997 before David Evans made his debut in 1998. Thomas Wyss directed the band in 2000, before David Evans returned in 2001.

Masters Facts: Came 4th at the inaugural contest conducted by James Scott and have never bettered it since in 10 attempts. 2001 saw Roy Newsome award them 1st place individually but 10th and 9th from the other judges meant they came 6th overall. David Evans is the 6th different MD to take the band at the contest in their 12 attempts and he will be looking to improve the fortunes from last year where they came 16th and were a bit off the pace.

Current Form: 9th place at the Yorkshire Regional Championships was not really a fair reflection for us of a very good and very musical performance from the band. They have plenty of talent around the stand (just look at the principal players) and this should hold them in good stead. If they get a good draw and play to form they could well be the dark horses for this one.

© 4BarsRest

back to top

Corn Exchange, Cambridge

print a bandroom copy


  copyright & disclaimer

Fax: 01495 791085 E-Mail: