2005 Regionals: Scotland - Preview: Championship Section


The 10 best bands in Scotland line up to see who can conquer Rienzi and lay claim to the Scottish title and the European qualification place.

Date: Sunday 13th March
Adjudicators: David Read and Steve Pritchard Jones
Test Piece: Overture to Rienzi - Wagner
Commences: 3.00pm
Draw: 12.00 noon

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

Tony SwainsonBathgate
Conductor: Tony Swainson
4BR Ranking: 143

Last Nine Years:
2004: 9th (A. Duguid)
2003: Winners 1st Section (prom) (A. Duguid)
2002: 7th 1st Section (A. Duguid)
2001: 4th 1st Section (B. Allen)
2000: 5th 1st Section (A. Ramsey)
1999: 5th 1st Section
1998: 5th 1st Section
1997: 2nd 2nd Section (prom)
1996: 3rd 2nd Section

Bathgate will need a pretty decent result here this year if they are to stave off the threat of possible relegation. After making the step up last year they found life a bit more difficult, but they have taken the sensible step of engaging Tony Swainson to direct them here. They were last in the Championship Section back in 1992, so it has taken them a long time to return.  They will be hoping to do enough to make it longer stay than that two year tenure this year.

Duncan BeckleyBon Accord
Duncan Beckley
4BR Ranking: 100

Last Nine Years:
2004: 6th (A. Swainson)
2003: 2nd 1st Section (prom) (A. Swainson)
2002: 10th Championship (rel) (A. Swainson)
2001: 7th Championship (A. Swainson)
2000: Winners 1st Section (prom) (A. Swainson)
1999: Winners 2nd Section (prom)
1998: 10th 1st Section (rel)
1997: 5th 1st Section
1996: 10th Championship (rel)

A fine result last year saw Bon Accord come 6th here under the direction of Tony Swainson. He is elsewhere this year (see above), so the band has taken the step of engaging the talented Duncan Beckley to front their attempt. Another claim for a top six place will be the least of their ambitions, and they could be a band to look out for. Their best result in the Championship Section in the last twenty years or so was when they came 2nd in 1983, so time for another good one.

John HinckleyBo'ness & Carriden
Conductor: John Hinckley
4BR Ranking: 79

Last Nine Years:
2004: 8th (I. McElligott)
2003: 4th  (I. Davey)
2002: 8th (A. Swainson)
2001: 2nd 1st Section (prom) (A. Swainson)
2000: 8th (rel) (S. Sykes)
1999: 8th
1998: 4th
1997: 7th
1996: 7th

Another band who have taken the step of changing the man at the helm this year, and the band have brought in the experienced John Hinckley to front their attempt at gaining a qualification place. They have been a little up and down of late here with a couple of 8th places to go with the excellent 4th place of 2003. Mr Hinckley will get them well prepared for sure and a top six place may be on the cards, whilst the last of their Championship Section wins came here in 1995. 

Ray FarrKingdom Brass
Ray Farr
4BR Ranking:  34

Last Nine Years:
2004: 5th (D. Hirst)
2003: 7th (A. Duncan)
2002: 4th (A. Morrison)
2001: 4th (T. Wyss)
2000: 2nd 1st Section (prom) (T. Wyss)
(Kingdom Brass formed from amalgamation of Cowdenbeath and Kelty & Blairadam in 1999)

Kingdom has taken the bold initiative of engaging Ray Farr for this contest (the fifth new MD to front them in as many years here), and he will bring with him a 100% record of achievement on this piece, after winning the North of England Regional Championships with Reg Vardy.  Interesting to see what he will do with the turns though, and whether or not the band can better last year's well deserved 5th place.

Steve BastableKirkintilloch
Conductor: Steve Bastable
4BR Ranking: 13

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

This could be one of the more interesting performances of all the Regional contests. Steve Bastable is one of the most musical MDs around and he could well bring something special to Kirky this year as they strive to barge their way back to the title they last won in 2002 by ousting the two current heavyweight contenders of the Co-op and Whitburn. The combination has worked spectatulary well in recent times, so can they claim their 5th Scottish title? Interetsing indeed.

Craig ANDERSONNewmilns and Galston
C. Anderson
4BR Ranking: 108

Last Nine Years:
2004: 2nd First Section (C. Anderson) (prom)
2003: Winners 2nd section (C. Anderson) (prom)
2002: 9th (C. Anderson)
2001: 10th 1st Section (rel) (N. Eggo)
2000: 7th 1st Section (J. Smith)
1999: 10th Championship (rel)
1998: 7th Championship
1997: 2nd 1st Section (prom)
1996: 6th 1st Section

One of the real rising stars of the Scottish banding scene, Newmilns has shot up like a rocket from the depths of the Second Section under the very talented Craig Anderson. Last year they made it to Harrogate where they came11th, so can they make the big leap up in class and make a mark here this year? It is a lot to ask of them, but they won't be short of confidence.

Newtongrange Silver
Allan RamseyAllan Ramsay
4BR Ranking: 51

Last Nine Years:
2004: Winners First Section (K. Wilkinson) (prom)
2003: 9th  (B. Hurdley) (rel)
2002: 3rd (R. Farr)
2001: 6th (R. Farr)
2000: 5th (D. Hirst)
1999: 6th
1998: 3rd
1997: 5th
1996: 4th 

Newtongrange make a swift return to the Championship Section after a quick sojourn to the First Section where they proved far too strong for the opposition and went on to Harrogate to claim 4th place at the Lower Section Finals. Allan Ramsey takes over at the helm this year, and he has the happy knack of making the most out of the raw material he has in front of him. They last won the Championship here in 1991, and if that may be just beyond them this year, they will be confident of making a real impression on the prize list.   

Nick ChildsScottish Co-op
Dr. Nicholas Childs
4BR Ranking: 6 

Last NineYears:
2004: Winners (N. Childs)
2003: Winners (N. Childs)
2002: 7th (D. King)
2001: Winners (N. Childs)
2000: Winners (H. Snell)
1999: 3rd
1998: Winners
1997: Winners
1996: Winners

The 16 times winners of this title come here this year looking to make it a hat trick of wins and repeating the feat of 1996 - 1998. Nicholas Childs fronts the band yet again, and he has an enviable record of success here with the band. Seven times in the past ten years Scottish Co-op have come out on top here, and if they play to the form they showed on more than a few occasions last year they could very well make it title number 17.

Raymond TennantUnison Kinneil
Raymond Tennant
4BR Ranking: 28

Last Nine Years:
2004: 4th (A. Ramsey)
2003: 3rd (A. Ramsay)
2002: 5th (E. Dunlea)
2001: 8th (J. Hinckley)
2000: 2nd (A. Hutchison)
1999: Winners 1st Section
1998: 9th (rel)
1997: 8th
1996: 2nd 1st Section (prom)

Unison Kinneil has already got 4 Scottish titles to its name and in the last couple of years they have pushed the favourites very hard to try and make it number 5. Raymond Tennant takes over the helm this year and he will be looking to guide them back into the top six and a possible qualification place at least. They may find it hard to break the stranglehold of the big three though.

Andrew DuncanWhitburn
Andrew Duncan
4BR Ranking: 8

Last Nine Years:
2004: 2nd (A. Duncan)
2003: 6th  (P. McCann)
2002: 2nd (P. McCann)
2001: 2nd (P. McCann)
2000: 3rd (P. McCann)
1999: Winners
1998: 2nd
1997: 2nd
1996: 2nd

It is now six years since Whitburn won the last of their 13 Scottish Regional titles, and for them, that is six years too many. Like their rivals they have had a very good 2004 and are now perhaps the strongest band North of the border. They have been a bit of a bridesmaid here in recent times, but could this be the year when they get the nod and become the bride of Rienzi? 

Past Qualifiers:

2004: Scottish Co-op, Whitburn
2003: Scottish Co-op, Kirkintilloch
2002: Kirkintilloch, Whitburn
2001: CWS (Glasgow), Whitburn
2000: CWS (Glasgow), Unison Kinneil
1999: Whitburn, Kirkintilloch
1998: CWS (Glasgow), Whitburn, Kirkintilloch*
1997: CWS (Glasgow)*, Whitburn, Kirkintilloch
1996: CWS (Glasgow), Whitburn
1995: Bo'ness and Carriden, Newtongrange
1994: CWS (Glasgow), Newtongrange
1993: Whitburn, CWS (Glasgow)
1992: Whitburn, CWS (Glasgow)
1991: Newtongrange, Whitburn, Bo'ness and Carriden, CWS (Glasgow)*
1990: Kirkintilloch, Whitburn, CWS (Glasgow)
1989: CWS (Glasgow), Whitburn

*Pre Qualified

How Scottish bands did in London:

2004: 8th, 17th
2003: 8th, 9th
2002: 10th, 14th
2001: 8th, 10th
2000: 6th, 18th
1999: 9th, 11th
1998: 7th, 12th, 13th
1997: 4th, 11th, 16th
1996: 1st, 17th
1995: 13th, 15th
1994: 6th, 13th
1993: 6th, 8th
1992: 4th, 11th
1991: 4th, 10th, 12th 19th
1990: 1st, 5th, 19th
1989: 3rd, 10th

4BR Prediction

It is now quite a while since Scotland sent down more than the two bands to try and wrestle the famous old trophy back over the border (1998 in fact) and since Scottish Co-op last won the title itself in 1996 the bands (like their rugby team at Twickenham) haven't really travelled too well down to Kensington.

That could very well change this year as there are at least three bands here who on their day can just about chase anyone close for a major title. Getting there is one thing thoug - playing well enough when you are there is quite another. 

Still there is quality here - real quality and the battle to gain those two qualification places will be as hard fought as any old clan battle of yesteryear.

Scottish Co-op are going for a hat trick of wins here and under Nicholas Childs they do up their game a great deal. That should ensure once more that they will be the band to beat, although this time they could well be pressed all the way by Whitburn who are now player for player, perhaps the best band in Scotland. Those two should therefore secure the places on offer, although Kirkintilloch could well spoil the party and come away with a qualification place or even the title itself. It will be between these three we think.

Behind them it should also be an interesting fight with the likes of Unison Kinneil, Newtongrange, Kingdom Brass and Newmilns the ones to look out for. We'll plumb for them not quite in that order but you never know.

1. Scottish Co-op 
2. Whitburn 
3. Kikintilloch 
4. Newtongrange 
5. Kingdom Brass
6. Unison Kinneil 

Dark Horse: Newmilns and Galston


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