2005 Regionals: Wales - Preview: Second Section


The composer had a bit of a Welsh sounding name, but can the bands here make any sense of what he actually wrote and win a place at Harrogate?

Date: Saturday 12th March
Adjudicator: William Relton
Test Piece: Variations for Brass Band – Vaughan Williams
Commences: After Section Three
Draw:  12.30

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

Blaenavon Town
M. Jones

Last Nine Years:
2004: 10th (G. Edwards)
2003: 4th (B. Davies)
2002: Winners 3rd Section (prom) (B. Davies)
2001: 4th 3rd Section (B. Davies)
2000: 6th 3rd Section (B. Davies)
1999: 2nd 4th Section (prom)
1998: N/K 4th Section
1997: DNC
1996: N/K

The band from the World Heritage Site have fallen away a little in the past two years and after winning the Third Section in 2002 and showing quite well the following year, they fell back to 10th last time out. They will be hoping for something better this time around or relegation may be a threat.  

Briton Ferry
C. Jenkins

Last Nine Years:
2004: 8th (M. Faro)
2003: 3rd (M. Faro)
2002: 2nd 3rd Section (prom) (M. Faro)
2001: 2nd 4th Section (prom) (M. Faro)
2000: 7th (M. Faro)
1999: 7th
1998: N/K 4th Section
1997: N/K 4th Section
1996: N/K 4th Section

A new man at the helm this year for Briton Ferry, and he will have a pretty hard act to follow, as with the exception of last year's 8th place, they have been a high achiever here in Swansea. It will be interesting to see how they go then under a new baton.  

Michael HANNANConway Town
M. Hannan

Last Nine Years:
2004: 5th (K. Jones)
2003: 2nd in Third Section (prom) (K. Jones)
2002: Winners 4th Section (prom) (K. Jones)
2001: 6th 4th Section (K. Jones)
2000: DNC
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: DNC
1996: DNC

Michael Hannan from the YBS Concert Band takes the helm this year with  Conway and they will be looking to show that they can really make a mark here after coming 5th last time out. It will be interesting to see how they get on under this talented young stickman.  

Gavin SaynorDeiniolen
G. Saynor

Last Nine Years:
2004: 4th (W. Williams)
2003: 5th (R. Wyatt)
2002: 9th 1st Section (rel) (J. Cant)
2001: 9th (E. Landon)
2000: 4th (R. Wyatt)
1999: 4th in 2nd Section (prom)
1998: 2nd
1997: Winners 3rd Section (prom)
1996: Winners

Gavin Saynor is a very talented musician and we think some of that magic he shows with the tuba will certainly rub off with Deiniolen this year.  They have had a few ups and downs in the past few yeas in Swansea but they seem to be moving back in the right direction.

Lyndon PriceLewis Merthyr
L. Price

Last Nine Years:
2004: 9th (B. Buckley)
2003: 7th (L. Harries)
2002: 4th (L. Harries)
2001: DNC
2000: DNC
1999: DNC
1998: 8th Championship (rel)
1997: 7th
1996: 4th 1st Section (prom)

The likeable Lyndon Price is a fine musician and heads the band that are now thankfully back on the track to recovery after a few years when they didn't compete here. The last time they had their name engraved on a trophy here was in 1984 when they were the Champions in the top section. Can 21 years later, a first prize come their way again?  

RAF St. Athan Voluntary
A. Bourne

Last Nine Years:
2004: 3rd (A. Bourne)
2003: 6th (A. Bourne)
2002: 11th 1st Section (rel) (A. Bourne)
2001: 5th (prom) (A. Bourne)
2000: 4th (A. Bourne)
1999: Winners
1998: 8th
1997: 9th
1996: 5th

Alan Bourne continues to do excellent work with the lads and lasses from the RAF camp. Last year in particular they just missed out on a trip to Harrogate, and they will therefore be keen to ensure that they go at least one place better this time around and repeat their win of 1999 here. 

Rhyl Silver
M. Owen

Last Nine Years:
2004: 6th First Section (rel) (G. Westwood)
2003: 9th (N. Birch)
2002: 2nd 2nd Section (prom) (L. Lawrie)
2001: 3rd (L. Lawrie)
2000: 2nd (L. Lawrie)
1999: Winners 3rd Section (prom)
1998: 5th
1997: 9th
1996: 2nd

Rhyl Silver find themselves back in the Second Section after two years when they found life a little tough in the First Section and fell back through the relegation trap door.  A new man at the helm and an injection of confidence and they could start to  make a mark here once more.

stephen tigheRoyal Buckley
Stephen Tighe

Last Nine Years:
2004: 2nd Third Section (G. Thomas) (prom)
2003: 5th (D. Roberts)
2002: 4th (D. Roberts)
2001: DNC
2000: 5th 2nd Section (rel) (G. Thomas)
1999: 9th
1998: 6th
1997: 6th
1996: 3rd

Stephen Tighe takes over the helm at Royal Buckley this year rather at the last moment and the band will be keen to show that they van more than make a mark in the higher section after gaining promotion. That runners up spot last year led to them going to Harrogate where they came11th, so they will be keen for a repeat trip.  

Ynyshir Stack of Tiles
A. MacDonald

Last Nine Years:
2004: 6th (A. Gibbs)
2003: 3rd in Third Section (prom) (A. Gibbs)
2002: 3rd (A. Gibbs)
2001: 7th (A. Gibbs)
2000: 9th (B. Williams)
1999: 2nd
1998: 11th
1997: 10th
1996: 6th

Another band with a new man at the helm this year for this contest, and he will be looking to carry on the good work and the foundations placed by the experienced Alan Gibbs.  6th place on their first year back in the section last year was solid enough, but they will be looking to try and push for a qualification place at least.

Past Qualifiers:

2004: Lalnrug, Markham
2003: Llanrug, Penclawdd
2002: Penclawdd, Rhyl
2001: Royal Oakley, Ammanford Town
2000: Rogerstone, Rhyl
1999: RAF St. Athans, Pontardulais Town
1998: Pontardulais, Deiniolen
1997: Rhos, Treherbert and District
1996: Burry Port, Rhos
1995: Burry Port, Rhos

Welsh bands at the Finals:

2004: 4th, 16th
2003: 12th, 14th
2002: 10th, 17th
2001: 1st, 16th
2000: 13th, 14th
1999: 5th, 12th
1998: 5th, 10th

4BR Prediction:

Only a small field this year to tackle the very difficult set work of ‘Variations for Brass Band' – and you get the feeling that it could be hard work for these nine competitors too.

It will take a very competent band (and MD) to overcome the musical traps laid out in this one, but having a look at those who are at the helm, there is a good deal of experience and common sense on show. That doesn't really tell us much about who is going to win though does it, and we think this could be the most openly contested competition of the whole weekend.

Saying that though, we have to give our opinion to whom we think will win and gain one of the qualification place sup for grabs, and we have therefore gone for Deiniolen to come away with the top prize, followed by RAF St. Athan in second place and Conway Town pushing them hard in third. The rest could well be up for grabs but we opt for a top six of Briton Ferry, Royal Buckley, and Rhyl with our dark horse being Lewis Merthyr.

1. Deiniolen
2. RAF St. Athan
3. Conway Town
4. Briton Ferry
5. Royal Buckley
6. Rhyl

Dark Horses: Lewis Merthyr


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