2005 Regionals: Wales - Preview: Championship Section


Ten of the best bands in the Principality line up to do battle on an old Welsh Male Voice favourite. But can anyone topple Buy As You View?

Date: Sunday 13th March
Adjudicator: William Relton
Test Piece: Overture to Rienzi - Wagner
Commences: After 4th Section
Draw: 13.00

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

Alun WilliamsAbergavenny Borough
Alun Williams
4BR Ranking: 150

Last Nine Years:
2004: 8th First Section (prom) (P. Harper)
2003: 2nd (L. Price)
2002: Winners (D. Childs)
2001: 6th (B. Howard)
2000: 7th (B. Howard)
1999: 4th
1998: 6th
1997: 8th
1996: Winners

A return to the top section of this contest for the first time since 1987 for Abergavenny, although they return this year after the disaster of coming joint last 12 months ago in the First Section. That really was an off day and one they will not want to repeat this time around. It could be difficult though for them this year to make a real mark against a high class field.   

morten hansenBeaumaris
Morten E Hansen
4BR Ranking: 38

Last Nine Years:
2004: 4th (M. Hansen)
2003: 6th (G. Evans)
2002: 2nd (G. Evans)
2001: Winners 1st Section (G. Evans)
2000: 10th (rel) (G. Evans)
1999: 6th
1998: 7th
1997: Winners 1st Section
1996: 5th 1st Section

A second outing for the combination of the Norwegian and the North Walians this year as they make the long trip south to Swansea. They will be confident of doing well though and a repeat of the result of 2002 is in no way beyond them. Last year they went on to come 11th at the Albert Hall, so a return trip may well be on the cards.  

bryan hurdleyBTM
Bryan Hurdley
4BR Ranking:  27

Last Nine Years:
2004: 5th (D. Stowell)
2003: 4th (D. Stowell)
2002: 6th (D. Stowell)
2001: 7th (G. Pritchard)
2000: 4th (G. Pritchard)
1999: DNC
1998: 2nd
1997: 4th
1996: 3rd

BTM missed out last year on a trip to the Finals, and they will be keen to make it back to London for the first time since 1998. They have been there or thereabouts in recent times, and with a maturing band and the experienced Bryan Hurdley at the helm this year they could very well fancy their chances. 

Burry Port Town
Michael Thorne
4BR Ranking: 45

Last Nine Years:
2004: 8th (D. Evans)
2003: 3rd (D. Evans)
2002: 5th (P. Bailey)
2001: 8th (M. Thorne)
2000: 7th (M. Thorne)
1999: Winners 1st Section
1998: 3rd 1st Section
1997: 2nd 1st Section
1996: Winners 2nd Section

A bit of a disappointment last year for the band from West Wales who qualified for the Finals in London in 2003.  They have been a little hit or miss of late, but they have enough quality about them to make it back to Kensington once more if things go to plan under their MD, the talented Michael Thorne.  

bob childsBuy As You View 
Dr. Robert Childs
4BR Ranking: 2

Last Nine Years:
2004: Winners (R. Childs)
2003: Winners (R. Childs)
2002: Winners (R. Childs)
2001: 4th (R. Childs)
2000: Winners (J. Wise)
1999: 3rd
1998: Winners
1997: 2nd
1996: 5th

It is difficult to envisage anything other than a record equalling fourth consecutive win for the BAYV Band this year. They have been on excellent form here for the past three years and seem to have a stranglehold on the contest. Short priced odds to retain the trophy once more, but their have come a bit of a cropper once or twice before, so they will certainly not be complacent. 

john hudsonCwmaman Institute Tower Colliery
John Hudson
4BR Ranking: 24

Last Nine Years:
2004: 3rd (J. Hudson)
2003: 7th (J. Hudson)
2002: 4th (J. Hudson)
2001: 5th (J. Hudson)
2000: 6th (J. Hudson)
1999: 5th
1998: 4th
1997: 5th
1996: 7th

There has been a real resurgence about Cwmaman in recent months and they will come to this contest on a real high. 3rd place last year was the kickstart to a series of good performances, and they will be looking for at least a repeat of that and another trip to London where they came 18th last year.

alan gibbsThomas Coaches Mid Rhondda
A. Gibbs
4BR Ranking: 59

Last Nine Years:
2004: 7th (A. Gibbs)
2003: 8th (A. Gibbs)
2002: 2nd 1st Section (prom) (A. Gibbs)
2001: 9th (rel) (N. Seaman)
2000: 9th (N. Seaman)
1999: 8th
1998: Winners 1st Section
1997: 4th 1st Section
1996: 2nd 1st Section

The hardworking Thomas Coaches have settled nicely into the top section in the past couple of years after their promotion in 2002 and have hovered around the top six on their last two appearances. Could well do the same again but they will be looking for at least another couple of places up the prize list.  

Gareth PritchardTongwynlais Temperance
Gareth Pritchard
4BR Ranking: 35

Last Nine Years:
2004: 6th (M. White)
2003: 5th (I. Holmes)
2002: 3rd 1st Section (prom) (N. Seaman)
2001: 7th 1st Section (J. Davies)
2000: 2nd 1st Section (A. Morton)
1999: 3rd 1st Section
1998: 9th (rel)
1997: 10th
1996: DNC

Another band heading in the right direction under the talented baton of Bryn James, and ones who have done well here in the past two years.  Tongwynlais will come here full of confidence after some good results of late and will be fancying their chances of making it into the top three and gaining a place at the Finals. However, late news reaches us that Bryn has unfortunately beentaken ill and his place at the helm has been taken at short notice by Gareth Pritchard.

david evansTredegar
David Evans
4BR Ranking: 11

Last Nine Years:
2004: 2nd (R. Gray)
2003: 2nd (T. Wyss)
2002: 3rd (S. Bastable)
2001: Winners (S. Bastable)
2000: 2nd (S. Bastable)
1999: 2nd
1998: 6th
1997: 3rd
1996: Winners

Given their form of the past ten years here, Tredegar should have more than enough about them to yet again claim a place at the Finals in the Albert Hall. They have been going through the changes of late though and David Evans becomes the fourth new MD to take them here in the past four years.  They may find it harder than expected to get back to London this year. 

Graham ShepherdTreherbert and District
G. Sheppard
4BR Ranking: 93

Last Nine Years:
2004: 10th (G. Sheppard)
2003: Winners of First Section (G. Sheppard)
2002: 5th (G. Sheppard)
2001: 2nd (G. Sheppard)
2000: 8th (G. Sheppard)
1999: 5th
1998: 3rd 2nd Section (prom)
1997: 2nd 2nd Section
1996: DNC

Treherbert found it a little bit of a hard work out here last year and will be looking to take a few scalps at least to secure their place in the top section for 2006. Lots of experience around the stands and a clear head in front of them, it could still be a bit of a battle.

Past Qualifiers:

2004: Buy As You View, Tredegar, Cwmaman, Beaumaris
2003: Buy As You View Cory, Tredegar, Burry Port Town
2002: Buy As You View Cory, Seindorf Beaumaris
2001: Tredegar, Point of Ayr, BAYV Cory*
2000: Buy As You View Cory, Tredegar*, Point of Ayr**
1999: Point of Ayr, Tredegar
1998: Cory, BTM
1997: Point of Ayr, Cory
1996: Tredegar, Northop
1995: Tredegar, Northop
1994: Cory, BTM, Tredegar*
1993: BTM, Tredegar
1992: Tredegar, Cory
1991: BTM, Parc and Dare***, Mid Rhondda
1990: Tredegar, BTM
1989: Parc and Dare, BTM

How Welsh Bands did at the Finals:

2004: 4th, 5th, 11th, 18th 
2003: 2nd, 3rd, 18th
2002: 2nd, 17th
2001: 5th, 7th, 15th
2000: 1st, 5th
1999: 3rd, 18th
1998: 6th, 19th
1997: 6th, 8th,
1996: 11th, 16th
1995: 9th, 18th
1994: 5th, 12th, 14th
1993: 2nd, 10th
1992: 8th, 9th
1991: 5th, 22nd
1990: 12th, 17th
1989: 16th, 21st

4BR Prediction:

With nine bands on show, it should appear to be a bit of a walk in the park for the traditional heavyweights of the current banding scene here, BAYV to take yet another title and make it Welsh championship number 24.

We can't see them not doing that, although they may find it a bit harder work than expected, whilst the two other qualification places up for grabs will be very keenly fought over.  

That fight we think will be a real battle between four bands who we think have very little between them at the moment: Beaumaris, Cwmaman, Tredegar and BTM, with Tongwynlais not too far behind either. This will be an intriguing contest within a contest we think as Tredegar are in the rebuilding process, Beaumaris and BTM are maturing very nicely indeed and Cwmaman are on fire at present. 

We think it will therefore come down to who produces the most solid account and with that in mond we think Beaumaris and Cwmaman should take the two qualification places with Tredgar and BTM missing out. Tongwynlais should make up the top six, with Burry Port our dark horse to pssibly make a surprise bid for glory.

2. Beaumaris
3. Cwmaman
4. Tredegar
5. BTM
6. Tongwynlais

Dark Horse: Burry Port


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