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2004 Scottish Regional Championships

Second Section:
14th March

Test Piece: Kaleidoscope – Philip Sparke
Adjudicator: David Read and Alan Morrison

This is Scotland's largest and most active section. It could be close too. It is traditionally a section that progressive bands go straight through without delay and we wouldn't rule out either Lochgelly or St. Ronan's, the two promoted bands, doing that this year. Other than Arbroath's 5th place last year, it's not a section that has produced much in the way of success for Scotland in the Nationals in recent years, but there are a few bands in the line-up this time that may make an impression in Harrogate.

Annan Town
Conductor: D. Shanks

Last Eight Years:
2003: 9th (11) (D. Shanks)
2002: 7th
2001: 9th 1st Section (rel)
2000: 4th 1st Section
1999: 9th 1st Section
1998: 2nd (prom)
1997: 2nd 3rd Section (prom)
1996: 7th 3rd Section

A long journey to Motherwell for the band that are based less than two miles from England. They’ve had a quiet time of it recently but they need to put in a good performance to avoid a return to the Third Section, where they last played in 1997. David Shanks will have them well prepared though and if they can pull off a good one, it might be enough to keep them in the Second Section.

Barrhead Burgh
Conductor: B. Keachie

Last Eight Years:
2003: 3rd (12) (B. Keachie)
2002: 5th in 1st Section (rel)
2001: 7th 1st Section
2000: 8th 1st Section
1999: 2nd (prom)
1998: 8th 1st Section (rel)
1997: 8th 1st Section
1996: 2nd (prom)

Good performances at Fife and the Borders Entertainment contests recently will have boosted the confidence of Barrhead, from the outskirts of Glasgow. They narrowly missed a swift return to the First Section last year, but they are pretty consistent in their contest performances throughout the year. Brian Keachie, the solo cornet player during Kilmarnock’s glory days of the 70’s and 80’s, will have the necessary experience to coax a good performance from them on "Kaleidoscope" and we think they’ll be amongst the contenders this time.

City of Discovery Brass
Conductor: B. Fraser

Last Eight Years:
2003: 9th 1st Section (8) (B. Fraser)
2002: 8th 1st Section
2001: 5th 1st Section
2000: 2nd 2nd Section (prom)
1999: 2nd 3rd Section (prom)
1998: 8th 3rd Section
1997: Winners 4th Section (prom)
1996: DNC

Dundee’s leading band and their conductor Bruce Fraser, who is slightly better known as a composer and arranger, will be hoping to put last year’s performance behind them and put their rapid rise back on track again. They’ll be looking for at least a repeat of their Fife performance this time and if they can improve on that, they will be well on course for promotion again.

Clydebank Burgh
Conductor: A. Friel

Last Eight Years:
2003: 5th (7) (E. Drysdale)
2002: 3rd
2001: Winners 3rd Section (prom)
2000: Winners 4th Section (prom)
1999: 3rd 4th Section
1998: 7th 4th Section
1997: 12th 3rd Section (rel)
1996: 12th (rel)

Clydebank have an illustrious history in this contest, but the last 50 years and especially the last 20 have seen them on a long and gradual slide, but two successive promotions and a couple of consistent performances have seen them re-establish themselves as contenders in the lower sections at least. Trumpet player Alan Friel has a good record as a conductor in the lower sections and we think that between them they may have enough to keep their long-term recovery on course. A possible contender.

Croy Parish Silver
Conductor: C. Bradley

Last Eight Years:
2003: DNC
2002: Winners 2nd Section
2001: 8th 2nd Section
2000: 11th 2nd Section
1999: 5th 2nd Section
1998: 7th 2nd Section
1997: 9th 2nd Section
1996: 7th 2nd Section

After years of trying to get out of the Second Section, Croy finally managed it in 2002, but beset by personnel problems they couldn’t get their team together for the contest last year and made the swiftest of returns as a result. Chris Bradley brings years of quality experience to the band and they now appear to have acquired the necessary personnel. It’s always good to see an established band return to contesting after some troubled times but it remains to be seen if Croy can put it together on the day with their new team. Some potential here, but promotion now might be a bit soon for them.

Dalkeith and Monktonhall Colliery
Conductor: I. Davey

Last Eight Years:
2003: 8th (2) (I. Fleming)
2002: 9th 1st Section (rel)
2001: 8th 1st Section
2000: 6th 1st Section
1999: 8th 1st Section
1998: 10th Championship (rel)
1997: 6th Championship
1996: Winners 1st Section (prom)

Midlothian’s Dalkeith & Monktonhall went to last year’s contest with real expectation but performed poorly on the day and now need a decent result to retain their status. Iain Davey’s introduction should improve things a bit but he will need to pick them up after their last outing in Fife, which was also below par. They’ll be hoping for a place in the prizes, but we wonder if they have the consistency to deliver the goods on the day.

Kilmarnock Concert Brass
Conductor: A. Keachie

Last Eight Years:
2003: 7th (1) (A. Keachie)
2002: 6th
2001: 3rd
2000: 3rd
1999: 7th 1st Section (rel)
1998: 9th 1st Section
1997: Winners (prom)
1996: Winners 3rd Section (prom)

Kilmarnock’s rise through the sections in the 70’s culminated with their only Scottish Championship win in 1979 under Andrew Keachie, the band’s founder. They were pretty good in the 80’s too but the last 15 years have seen them struggle to keep a hold of the best players they’ve had. They appear to have settled at this level though and we would expect them to stay right where they are. Their last contest at Whitburn was unexceptional and we’ll give them only an outside chance of a prize.

Conductor: R. Tennant

Last Eight Years:
2003: Winners 3rd Section (G. Lindsay) (prom)
2002: Winners 4th Section (prom)
2001: 12th 3rd Section (rel)
2000: 7th 3rd Section
1999: 5th 3rd Section
1998: 3rd 3rd Section
1997: 6th 3rd Section
1996: 4th 3rd Section

Another former Scottish Champion Band, the last winner from Fife in 1973, Lochgelly have their show back on the road again after a few difficult years that saw them languish a long way from their former glory. They put in a nervy performance at the finals in Dundee last year, but a good show at the Borders Entertainment contest will give them encouragement. So will Raymond Tennant, their conductor this year, who has a good record of success at all levels of Scottish banding. An undoubted contender, but they’ll need to keep building to make an impact at a higher level than this, should they succeed on Saturday.

Renfrew Burgh
Conductor: E. Drysdale

Last Eight Years:
2003: 4th (3) (C. Keenan)
2002: 5th
2001: 4th
2000: 5th
1999: 10th
1998: Winners 3rd Section (prom)
1997: 8th 3rd Section
1996: 5th 3rd Section

Few bands can claim to be as consistent as Renfrew over the last four years, with only 4th and 5th places keeping them safe in the Second Section. Euan Drysdale will bring some fresh ideas to them that may just give them the push they need to move on to better things. They appear to be on the right track though and we think they will keep their fine record going, with an outside chance of a trip to Harrogate.

Selkirk Silver
Conductor: TBA

Last Eight Years:
2003: 12th (5) (Colin Kemp)
2002: 4th
2001: 6th
2000: 7th
1999: 3rd
1998: 5th
1997: 5th
1996: 4th

The Borders band will have been disappointed with last year’s performance when they came last in this contest, but more of the same will see them facing the drop. The Borders Entertainment contest gave them an opportunity to pick themselves up a bit and continued improvement from then will give them a good chance of survival. Promotion is a bit of a long shot though.

Shotts St. Patrick’s
Conductor: S. Kerwin

Last Eight Years:
2003: 10th (10) (S. Kerwin)
2002: Winners 3rd Section (prom)
2001: 6th 3rd Section
2000: 5th 3rd Section
1999: 10th 3rd Section
1998: 10th (rel)
1997: 12th
1996: 6th

Simon Kerwin’s Lanarkshire band has been very active since he took over there and he has them moving in the right direction. They recently celebrated their 125th anniversary and they’ll be hoping to add some silverware to complement the celebrations. Shotts have a very committed core and they have added a few players recently to get them to full strength. We give them an outside chance of a prize but further promotion may be another year away yet.

St. Ronan's Silver
Conductor: D. McLeod

Last Eight Years:
2003: 2nd 3rd Section (prom) (D. McLeod)
2002: 4th 3rd Section
2001: 9th 3rd Section
2000: 4th 3rd Section
1999: Winners 4th Section
1998: 5th 4th Section
1997: 4th 4th Section
1996: 7th 4th Section

One of the most progressive and well organised bands in the country, St. Ronan’s, from Innerleithen in the Borders, have a good blend of youth and experience. With former CWS Flugel soloist David McLeod conducting, they will have an intelligent reading of the score too. They were disappointed with their performance in Dundee last year although there was much to commend it, but they bounced back with a great performance in the Borders Entertainment contest. There are some very good soloists in the band too and we think they have the potential to do well this year. A definite contender.

Results archive:
Full results of previous year's contests together with a results summary can be found in our results archive.

Past Qualifiers:

2003: Newmilns & Galston, Arbroath Instrumental
2002: Croy Parish, Kirkintilloch Kelvin Brass
2001: Livingstone Brass, Tayport Instrumental
2000: Johnstone Silver, City of Discovery Brass
1999: Bon Accord Silver, Barrhead Burgh
1998: Tayport Instrumental, Annan Town
1997: Kilmarnock Concert Brass, Bathgate
1996: Longannet Colliery, Barrhead Burgh
1995: Tullis Russell Mills, Dalkeith and Monktonhall

Scottish bands at the Finals:

2003: 5th, 11th
2002: 8th, 16th
2001: 8th, 15th
2000: 4th, 9th
1999: 3rd, 10th
1998: 13th, 16th

4BR Prediction:

Barrhead are the ones with the higher section experience and we’ve gone for them to return to the 1st section with the title. St. Ronan’s are the band on the way up, that we think are most likely to succeed and we’re nominating them for the trip to Harrogate. Don’t be surprised if we get this one completely wrong though. The judges will have a tough job with the 2nd section this year.

1. Barrhead Burgh
2. St. Ronan’s Silver
3. Lochgelly
4. Renfrew Burgh
5. Clydebank Burgh
6. Croy

Dark Horses: City of Discovery

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