2005 Regionals: Wales - Preview: Fourth Section


A great turn out of bands here show that there is still plenty of life in Section Four banding in Wales. But can they get to grips with a bit of Scottish trickery?

Date: Sunday 13th March
Adjudicator: Alan Morrison
Test Piece: Divertimento Bryan Kelly
Commences: 11.00
Draw: 10.00

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

A. Williams

Last Nine Years:
2004: 10th (A. Williams)

Nice to see Abergynolwyn return once more to Swansea to compete after they made their debut here lat year when they came 10th. We hope they come back even stronger this time and that they can mount a challenge to the top six places at least. 

Aberystwyth Youth
A. Phillips

Last Nine Years:
2004: DNC
2003: 4th (A. Phillips)
2002: DNC
2001: DNC
2000: 4th (A. Phillips)
1999: 4th
1998: N/K 4th Section
1997: 15th 3rd Section (rel)
1996: N/K
Also nice to report that Aberystwyth Youth are returning this year after missing out on playing 12 months ago. Let's hope it will herald the first of many more appearances here for them in the future. 

Crosskeys Silver
K. Bowden

Last Nine Years:
2004: DNC
2003: 7th (K. Bowden) (rel)
2002: DNC
2001: 5th
2000: 2nd 4th Section (prom)
1999: 6th 4th Section
1998: 2nd 4th Section
1997: DNC
1996: N/K

The same goes for Crosskeys, who have been strong contenders in many sections, including the Championship over the years. They last won a title here back in 1981 under the baton of Nigel Weeks who is now working his brand of magic out in New Zealand. Lets hope those days return once more.  

Crwbin Enzo Construction
A. Jones

Last Nine Years:
2004: 13th (A. Jones)
2003: 13th (J. Jones)
2002: 12th (J. Jones)
2001: 11th (J. Jones)
2000: DNC
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: DNC
1996: DNC

The construction band from Crwbin come back once more to Swansea hoping to improve on a series of results that haven't been the greatest over the past few years. That said, they make the effort and out in a brave show each year, so a little bit of luck may be due to come their way this year come results time. 

Dyffryn Nantlle
S. Massey

Last Nine Years: Debut

A fantastic reappearance for the band from North Wales that last played at this contest over 40 years ago. That is a real boost for Welsh banding and we hope it heralds the first of many appearances here. Good luck to them.

Goodwick Brass
G. Lane

Last Nine Years:
2004: 2nd (D. Wheeler)
2003: 9th (D. Wheeler)
2002: 8th (D. Wheeler)
2001: 7th (D. Wheeler)
2000: DNC
1999: 15th
1998: DNC
1997: DNC
1996: DNC

Goodwick have really improved over the past few years since returning to the contest in 2001. Runners up last year meant a trip to Harrogate where they came a well-merited 4th and were perhaps a touch unlucky not to have come a bit higher. Should be favourites to at least make it back this year as well.  

Gwaun Cae Gurwen
R. Williams

Last Nine Years:
2004: 6th (R. Williams)
2003: 10th (R. Williams)
2002: 10th (R. Williams)
2001: 10th 3rd Section (rel) (T. Charlton)
2000: 7th 3rd Section (T. Charlton)
1999: 12th 3rd Section
1998: 10th 2nd Section (rel)
1997: 8th 2nd Section
1996: 11th 2nd Section

One of the real famous old names in Welsh banding, Gwaun have been making a bit of a comeback in recent years and came 6th here last year after a couple of 10th places the years before. Wouldn't be nice if they can show a further boost and gain a qualification place this time around. 

D. Davies

Last Nine Years:
2004: 5th (D. Davies)

Holywell return once more this year after they put in a fine performance to come 5th last year. Hopefully they will return stronger and more experienced and looking for podium place at least. 

A. Davies

Last Nine Years:
2004: 12th (A. Davies)
2003: DNC
2002: DNC
2001: DNC
2000: DNC
1999: 14th
1998: N/K
1997: N/K
1996: N/K

The band from near Merthyr Tydfil came to the contest last year and were placed 12th. Former Parc and Dare cornet player Alan Davies is working hard here to re-establish Llwydcoed back on the banding map in Wales, and we wish him well both here and in the future.  

Newport Borough
M. Davies

Last Nine Years:
2004: DNC
2003: DNC
2002: DNC
2001: 6th in Second Section (rel) (A. Williams)
2000: 7th in Second Section (L. Baglin)
1999: 6th in Second Section
1998: 4th in Second Section
1997: 4th in Second Section
1996: 10th in Second Section

Another band making a welcome return to the contest after a period of three years away, Newport have in the meantime been relegated down to the Fourth Section. This will give the band a new start and we hope, the confidence to make an impression.  

Oakdale Silver
R. Probyn

Last Nine Years:
2004: DNC
2003: 8th (R. Probyn)
2002: 4th (R. Probyn)
2001: 11th 3rd Section (rel) (R. Probyn)
2000: 11th 3rd Section (R. Probyn)
1999: 11th 3rd Section
1998: 3rd 3rd Section
1997: 13th 3rd Section
1996: 4th 3rd Section

The great stalwart of Welsh banding, Ron Probyn continues to do sterling work with Oakdale and they make a welcome return to the contest this year after missing out for the first time in many a year 12 months ago.  If they can get back to the form that saw them come 4th in 2002 it would be great news for them all. 

Jonathan PippenPontypool Brass
J. Pippen

Last Nine Years:
2004: 9th (M. Jones)
2003: 9th in Third Section (rel) (M. Jones)
2002: 6th (M. Jones)
2001: DNC
2000: 3rd Third Section (A. Williams)
1999: 8th 2nd Section (rel)
1998: 9th 2nd Section
1997: 6th 2nd Section
1996: 7th 2nd Section

The talented trombone virtuoso Jonathan Pippen is now making a mark with Pontypool, and he will be looking to push the band up the prize table quite a bit after a couple of years when they have languished somewhat in the lower reaches. Good luck them.  

Royal Oakeley
J. Jones

Last Nine Years:
2004: DNC
2003: DNC
2002: DNC
2001: Winners Second Section (J. Jones)
2000: Winners Third Section (J. Jones) (prom)
1999: 3rd Third Section (J. Jones)
1998: 10th Third Section (J. Jones)
1997: 2nd Fourth Section (J. Jones) (prom)
1996: Winners Fourth Section (J. Jones)

Nice to report that Royal Oakeley are back in the contesting fray once more after three years away. They have been a very successful band here over the years including 5 Regional title wins from 1993 onwards. Don't know if they will add to that impressive tally this time, but it is great to see them back competing once more. 

Severn Tunnel
A. Ayres

Last Nine Years:
2004: 4th (A. MacDonald)
2003: 6th (R. Griffiths)
2002: 9th (J. Williams)
2001: 9th (A. Fleming)
2000: 5th (J. Williams)
1999: 13th
1998: N/K 4th Section
1997: DNC
1996: N/K

The band that bears the name of the railway tunnel into Wales has been moving in the right direction here in the past few years and has improved from coming 9th in 2002 to 4th last time out. A. Ayres is their fifth MD in as many years here, so lets hope she can carry on the good work of the others and gain a qualification place.  

Upper Rhondda
W. Williams

Last Nine Years: Debut

Those of us with slightly longer memories will remember this band as a brilliant youth ensemble in the late 1970's and early 1980's, when they were Butlins Youth Champions on many an occasion. They come from a real hotbed of brass banding in the Rhondda Valley and are a product of an intensive programme of brass teaching that is going on in the area. 

Past Qualifiers:

2004: Radyr and Morganstown, Goodwick Brass
2003: Harlech, Ogmore Valley
2002: Conway Town, Porthaethwy Menai Bridge
2001: Llanelli and District, Briton Ferry
2000: Beaumaris B, Crosskeys
1999: Harlech, Blaenavon Town
1998: Llanrug, Cross Keys
1997: Glyneath, Royal Oakeley
1996: Royal Oakeley, Newbridge Celynen
1995: Royal Oakeley, Llanelli Town

Welsh bands at the Finals:

2004: 4th, 18th
2003: 6th, 8th
2002: 5th, 7th
2001: 4th, 18th
2000: 1st, 18th
1999: 3rd, 10th
1998: 14th, 16th

4BR Prediction:

This Fourth Section this year is a real boost in the arm for Welsh banding if all the competitors make it to the staring line up. Credit must go the Welsh Regional Committee for encouraging so many new bands back and it is great to see Aberystwyth, Crosskeys, Newport, Oakdale and Royal Oakeley returning back to the contesting fold. In addition there will be the new faces of Dyffryn Nantle and upper Rhondda, whilst Abergynolwyn and Holywell return for a second year in a row. Things are looking a lot healthier here than they were just a couple of years ago.

Who will win then? With a make up of a field like this, it could be anyone's guess, but a couple of bands on past form (and that is all we can go on here) will fancy their chances of making it to Harrogate.

We will stick our necks out then and go for Goodwick and Severn Tunnel to battle it out for the title and the two qualification places, whilst behind them it should be a fair old scrap between the rest, with 4BR for no other reason than good honest guesswork opting for Pontypool Brass, Holywell, Llywdcoed and Crosskeys making up the top six with Dyffryn Nantle as our dark horse.  Good luck to everyone.

1. Goodwick Brass
2. Severn Tunnel
3. Pontypool Brass
4. Holywell
5. Llywdcoed
6. Crosskeys

Dark Horse: Dyffryn Nantle


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