2005 Regionals: Midlands - Preview: Second Section


Fourteen bands line up to tackle the difficult variations placed in their path by Vaughan Williams. Can they master it, and who will get the nod from Malcolm Brownbill for Harrogate?

Date: Saturday 12th March
Adjudicator: Malcolm Brownbill
Test Piece: Variations for Brass Band Vaughan Williams
Commences: 11.00
Split Draw:  10.00 & 12 .00

No photo? Please send a JPEG to: stating the conductors name, your band, your region and section.

K. M. BirchAudley Brass
Conductor: K. M. Birch

Last Eight Years:
2004: 11th (K. Birch)
2003: 3rd in Third Section (prom) (K. Birch)
2002: 12th (K. Birch)
2001: 3rd (K. Birch)
2000: 9th (N/K)
1999: Winners 4th Section (prom)
1998: 4th 4th Section
1997: 9th 4th Section

Having achieved promotion in 2003, Audley finished eleventh last year out of a field of seventeen which was very respectable. A further leap up this time around would see the band to continue to move in the right direction though and further confirm that they are a band heading in the right direction.

T. WilsonCarlton Brass
Conductor: T. Wilson

Last Eight Years:
2004: 13th (T. Wilson)
2003: 2nd in Third Section (prom) (T. Wilson)
2002: 2nd (T.Wilson)
2001: Winners 4th Section (prom) (T. Wilson)
2000: 5th 4th Section (N/K)
1999: 21st 4th Section
1998: DNC
1997: DNC

Promoted in 2003, Carlton Brass had the unenviable number one draw in this section last year and thirteenth place was their reward.  They will be looking to improve on that position this year and hoping that their official pulls them a good draw out of the bag this time. 2005 has started with success at Butlins so confidence will be high that they can continue their push towards the First Section.

Adam RutterDarley Dale
Conductor: A. Rutter

Last Eight Years:
2004: 9th (J. Davies)
2003: 2nd (S. Groarke)
2002: 16th 1st Section (rel) (
2001: 11th 1st Section (S. Shimwell)
2000: 14th 1st Section
1999: 10th 1st Section
1998: 15th 1st Section
1997: 8th 1st Section

The lovely Sarah Groake took charge of Darley Dale's challenge for the title back in 2003 when they came 2nd. This year the band are led by the rather less flattering Adam Rutter [nice photo] and will be hoping for an improvement from last year's disappointing 9th place.

P. CollinsForesters Brass 2000
Conductor: P. Collins

Last Eight Years:
2004: 12th (P.Collins)
2003: 4th (L. Baker)
2002: 7th (D.Blakeson)
2001: Winners 3rd Section (D. Blakeson)
2000: 3rd 4th Section (N/K)
1999: 11th 4th Section
1998: DNC
1997: DNC

Having just missed out on a podium position in 2003, the band finished twelfth last year.  They will of course be looking to repeat the form of 2003 and put on a good show here.  Having won the Third Section in 2001, they have continued to make good progress and won't want to finish mid table as per last year for sure.

Conductor: C. Groom

Last Eight Years:
2004: 5th (C. Groom)
2003: 12th (C. Groom)
2002: 8th (C.Groom)
2001: 3rd (C. Groom)
2000: 14th (N/K)
1999: 9th
1998: 11th
1997: 8th

Predicting where Harborough could finish this time around is like doing the pools coupon.  They have had a mixed bag of results here in recent times and showed great form last year coming fifth.  They will want consistency here for sure and another good result.  Prior to last year, they came twelfth in 2003 and eighth in 2002.  Will they be Jekyll or Hyde?  We will wait and see.

Hopkins Solicitors Blidworth
Conductor: G. Hawley

Last Eight Years:
2004: 6th (G.Hawley)
2003: 9th (G. Hawley)
2002: 10th (M.Wardle)
2001: 5th (K. Wardle)
2000: 12th (N/K)
1999: 8th
1998: 18th 1st Section (rel)
1997: 17th 1st Section

A band that is going in the right direction and has been consistent here of late.  Ninth place in 2003 was followed by sixth last year so what price a higher finish this time around? Third place at the recent Butlins contest indicates that they are a band in form.  They will be disappointed if they are not in the mix come the announcement of the results.

Moulton 77 Brass
Conductor: H. Gibbs

Last Eight Years:
2004: 16th (I. Rainer)
2003: 13th (I. Rainer)
2002: 12th (I. Rainer)
2001: 12th (D.Goswell)
2000: 10th (N/K)
1999: Winners
1998: 9th
1997: 10th

Since being placed tenth in 2000, Moulton's results here have been on the slide somewhat.  Twice placed in twelfth place, they came thirteenth in 2003 and sixteenth last year. New MD Howard Gibbs and the band will be looking for a good show on Variations here to buck that trend of results in recent years and stave off a possible relegation threat.

Conductor: D. Thomas

Last Eight Years:
2004: 10th (D. Thomas)
2003: 11th (D. Thomas)
2002: 9th (D. Thomas)
2001: 8th (D. Thomas)
2000: 2nd 3rd Section (prom) (N/K)
1999: 4th 4th Section (prom)
1998: 2nd 4th Section
1997: Winners 4th Section

The Welsh sounding English band have found it tough going in recent years in this section and will be looking for a change in fortune.  Last years tenth place was an improvement but only by one place and they will be hoping to get themselves higher this time around.  Eighth or above would be their best show here, so lets see what happens.  

Shirebrook MW Unison
Conductor: M. Wilcockson

Last Eight Years:
2004: 8th (M. Wilcockson)
2003: 17th (M. Wilcockson)
2002: 16th (M. Battersby)
2001: 17th 1st Section (rel) (N/K)
2000: 18th 1st Section (N/K)
1999: 6th (prom)
1998: 5th
1997: 7th

Having been placed in the lower regions of this section in 2002 and 2003, the band bounced back last year coming eighth and will be looking for a similar result this time around.  Mark Wilcockson is bound to have them fired up and a top six place wil be the least of their ambitions for sure. 

Marie SmithShirland Welfare Training
M. Smith

Last Eight Years:
2004: Winners Third Section (M. Smith) (prom)
2003: 8th (M. Smith)
2002: 5th
2001: 2nd 4th Section (prom)
2000: 9th 4th Section
1999: 13th 4th Section
1998: DNC
1997: DNC

Marie Smith and her amazing band of talented youngsters and "older heads" deserve all the success they get, and there is no stopping them at present. Winners here last year in the Third Section, they will surely make a mark here as they have yet again shown fine form of late under their wonder woman MD.

K. J. StewardSnibston & Desford
Conductor: K. J. Steward

Last Eight Years:
2004: 4th (K.Steward)
2003: 8th (K. Steward)
2002: 7th (K. Steward)
2001: 16th (W.Ruston)
2000: 13th 1st Section (rel) (N/K)
1999: DNC
1998: 11th 1st Section
1997: DNC

A band that is knocking on that door for qualification.  Without wanting to give them that kiss of death, good shows in 2002 and 2003 were built upon last year when they came in fourth.  The effort and commitment will be there for sure, and they will be hoping for a little bit of good fortune this time around to send them to Harrogate.

Stamford Brass
G. Wyatt

Last Eight Years:
2004: 2nd Third Section (G. Wyatt) (prom)
2003: 7th (R. Prew)
2002: 14th 2nd Section (rel)
2001: 17th 2nd Section
2000: 17th 2nd Section
1999: 15th 1st Section (rel)
1998: 17th 1st Section
1997: 5th 2nd Section (prom)

Stamford produced a very fine performance here last year when they came runners up in the Third Section and gained them a trip to Harrogate where they came a fine 5th place. They will want to build on that further for sure, and we think they could well push themselves up into the upper reaches of the prize list if they play to top form.

Steve GittinsStourport on Severn
Conductor: S. Gittens

Last Eight Years:
2004: 3rd (D. Maplestone)
2003: 3rd (D. Maplestone)
2002: 13th (D.Maplestone)
2001: 6th 3rd Section (prom) (D. Maplestone)
2000: 8th 3rd Section (N/K)
1999: 3rd 3rd Section
1998: 12th 3rd Section
1997: 11th 3rd Section

Stourport will be looking for another trip to the National Finals in Harrogate come September, but instead of finishing third as they have here the past couple of years, they would be ecstatic to finish even higher.  With a new MD at the helm though,they have a tough act to follow, but don't bet against them.

garry sleathThe Wigston Band
: G. Sleath

Last Eight Years:
2004: 15th First Section (G. Sleath) (rel)
2003: 15th (G. Sleath)
2002: 5th 2nd Section (prom)
2001: 4th 2nd Section
2000: 9th 2nd Section
1999: 16th 2nd Section
1998: 14th 2nd Section
1997: 13th 2nd Section

15th place last year was a repeat of 2003, and so it was no surprise that they found themselves dropping therough the relegation trap door to compete here once more. That two year stay in the higher section though will have been a good experience, so it may work in the bands favour. Relegation sometimes is a good thing, and this could be the case here.

Past Qualifiers:

2004: Hathern, Raunds Temperance, Stourport on Severn
2003: Shirley Band, Darley Dale, Stourport on Severn
2002: Langley, Shirley, Brackley
2001: Towcester, Tintwistle, Harborough
2000: Ibstock Building, Bedworth
1999: Moulton Brass '77, City of Stoke on Trent
1998: Bedworth, Derwent, Shirland Miners
1997: Newstead Welfare, Greasley Old Hall, Derwent Brass
1996: Riddings, Premier Brass (Stamford), Ibstock Building Products
1995: Glossop Old, Unity Brass, Harborough
1994: Darley Dale, Unity Brass, City of Stoke

Midlands Bands at the Finals:

2004: 1st, 17th
2003: 16th, 17th, 18th
2002: 2nd, 3rd, 7th
2001: 3rd, 6th, 9th
2000: 3rd, 6th
1999: 7th, 11th
1998: 2nd, 6th

4BR Prediction:

A close one for us this. Snibston and Desford seem to have run into decent form of late as have Carlton Brass, so we plumb for those tow to take the qualification spots. However, we think it will still be a very close run thing and the likes of Stourport on Severn, who have been very close here in the past few years, Hopkins Solicitors Blidworth, Darley Dale and Shirland Welfare Training could all feature highly. Our dark horses this time are those other promoted bands, Stamford Brass.

1. Snibston/Desford
2. Carlton Brass
3. Stourport on Severn
4. Hopkins Solicitors Blidworth
5. Darley Dale
6. Shirland Welfare Training

Dark Horse: Stamford Brass


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