2005 Regionals: London & Southern Counties - Preview: First Section


Eighteen bands are due to line up here for a stand up turn on a bit of Comedy, but which of them will tickle the fancy of David Read?

Date: Saturday 19th March
Adjudicator: David Read
Test Piece: Comedy Overture John Ireland
Commences: after Section Three
Draw: 14.00

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

Alder Valley Brass
Conductor: B. Gentry

Last Nine Years:
2004: 12th (L. Sale)
2003: 7th (D. Barringer)
2002: 4th (D. Barringer)
2001: 9th (D. Marshall)
2000: 11th Championship (N/K) (rel)
1999: 11th Championship
1998: Winners (prom)
1997: 5th
1996: 7th

Alder Valley will be looking to reverse a bit of a trend here this year, as they have fallen off the qualification pace since coming 4th here in 2002. A new face at the helm is the third new conductor in as many years, but can Mr Gentry get the band back to contending ways?

graham sheldonBecontree Brass
G. Sheldon

Last NineYears:
2004: Winners Second Section  (G. Sheldon) (prom)
2003: 8th (J. Morahan)
2002: 2nd (W. Rumford)
2001: 2nd 3rd Section (W. Rumford) (prom)
2000: 4th 3rd Section (W. Rumford)
1999: 12th 3rd Section
1998: 2nd 4th Section
1997: 2nd 4th Section
1996: 2nd 4th Section

Last year's Second Section Champions also gained promotion on the strength of that victory, and they showed that they could well be a force here by coming 5th at the National Finals in Harrogate, where they really did put in a fine performance. If the mood is with them, they could very well feature in the prize list here as well, as they are certainly a band on the up and up.   

Frank RentonBedford Town
 Frank Renton

Last Nine Years:
2004: 8th (G. Bennett) (rel)
2003: 9th (G. Bennett)
2002: 9th (G. Bennett)
2001: 8th (J. Berryman)
2000: Winners 1st Section (J. Berryman) (prom)
1999: 12th (rel)
1998: 5th 1st Section (prom)
1997: 7th 1st Section
1996: 2nd 1st Section

Bedford put in decent performance last year in the Championship section but were relegated with their 8th place.  They were consistent if nothing else in the Championship section but can they now show they are too good for the First with none other than Frank Renton at the helm?

P. FensomBroseley Brass
Conductor: P. Fensom

Last Nine Years:
2004: 6th (P. Fensom)
2003: 2nd in Second Section (prom) (P. Fensom)
2002: 3rd (P. Fensom)
2001: 6th (P. Fensom)
2000: 5th 3rd Section (P. Fensom) (prom)
1999: 8th 3rd Section
1998: 2nd 3rd Section
1997: N/K
1996: 6th (rel)

The experienced Paul Fensom continues to work his magic with the bands he works with in the region, and Broseley have certainly befitted from his direction in the last couple of years. Promotion following their runners-up place in the Second Section in 2003 saw them come a fine 6th last year, and they may well be looking to go at lest a few places better this time around. Should be in with a shout at least.  

David HirstChichester City
Conductor: David Hirst

Last Nine Years:
2004: 13th (J. Williams)
2003: 9th (J. Williams)
2002: 3rd (J. Williams)
2001: 14th (J. Williams)
2000: 2nd 2nd Section (J. Williams) (prom)
1999: 5th 2nd Section
1998: 7th 3rd Section (prom)
1997: 2nd 3rd Section
1996: 3rd 4th Section (prom)

Chichester will be looking to reverse the results of the past few years when they dropped away from a podium place in 2002 to come 13th last year. They have taken the option of bringing in one of the best band trainers in the business this time in the shape of David Hirst and we think that should prove beneficial, although a return to the 3rd place of 2003 may be a touch ambitious.  

Russell GrayCity of Cambridge
Conductor: R. Gray

Last Nine Years:
2004: 9th (R. Hull)
2003: 15th (R. Hull)
2002: 8th (R. Hull)
2001: 11th (P. Hudson)
2000: Winners 2nd Section (P. Hudson) (prom)
1999: DNC
1998: 12th (rel)
1997: N/K
1996: 9th

City of Cambridge upped their form last year when threatened by relegation they pushed up the prize list to come 9th. That may not sound too spectacular, but engaging the talents of Russell Gray certainly shows confidence and the recent North West title winner with Leyland will surely bring a touch of class to their attempt this year.

M. WhiteClacton on Sea Co-operative
Conductor: M. White

Last Nine Years:
2004: 3rd (M. White)
2003: 10th in Championship Section (rel) (M. White)
2002: 8th (M. White)
2001: 9th (M. White)
2000: 4th (N/K)
1999: 6th
1998: 4th
1997: 4th
1996: 4th

Melvin White will be looking to capture yet another London title with Clacton, (he has 20 to his name) and after coming 3rd here last year you feel he may well be confident of doing it with a band that was playing in the Championship Section just two years ago. What price then for a double for Mr White on the weekend?  

Gordon DaviesDenham Hendon Brass
Conductor: G. Davies

Last Nine Years:
2004: 15th (G. Davies)
2003: 6th (G. Davies)
2002: 15th (P. Cox)
2001: 11th Championship (D. Richards) (rel)
2000: 10th Championship (N/K)
1999: 8th (prom)
1998: 4th
1997: 3rd
1996: 8th Championship (rel)

Denham Hendon took a year to find their feet in the First Section in 2002 when they came 15th, but in 2004  they improved on that greatly when they jumped up the prize table to come 6th. Last year though it was back to the bad old days when they 15th once more, so they may well need a good result here to stave off the threat of a possible relegation. Wait and see.

G. Green

Last Nine Years:
2004: 17th (G. Green)
2003: 8th (G. Green)
2002: 6th (G. Green)
2001: 6th (G. Green)
2000: 9th (G. Green)
1999: 2nd 2nd Section (prom)
1998: 5th 2nd Section
1997: N/K
1996: 7th 2nd Section

Egham has been putting solid performances here over the years but last year they fell way off the pace to come 17th. Whatever the reason for that result, they will surely be coming back to get back into the top 10 at least. Another poor return and they could well face a possible relegation scare.

Fairlop Brass
Conductor: K. Jordan

Last Nine Years:
2004:11th (K. Jordan)
2003: 13th (K. Jordan)
2002: 7th (K. Jordan)
2001: 12th (K. Jordan)
2000: 6th (K. Jordan)
1999: 10th
1998: 2nd 2nd Section (prom)
1997: 2nd 2nd Section
1996: 12th 2nd Section

Fairlop have had something of a unpredictable series of results here over the past few years. Since gaining promotion from the Second Section in 1998 they have had one poor year followed by one good one and last year they continued that series - although only by two places, so they will be looking this year to buck that historical trend and possibly come in the top 10 at least.  

Hatfields of Colchester
Conductor: TBA

Last Nine Years:
2004: 10th (B. Reader)
2003: 11th (B. Reader)
2002: 12th Championship (T. Davey) (rel)
2001: 7th (P. Fensom) (prom)
2000: 3rd (R. Howard)
1999: 6th
1998: 10th Championship (rel)
1997: N/K
1996: Winners 1st Section

Hatfields have found life in the First Section a little hard in the past two years after being relegated from the Championship Section in 2002. They just made the one place up from 2003 last year, so they will be looking to continue upwards this time out for sure. Not quite ready for a repeat of 1996, but you never know? 

Haverhill Silver
Conductor: M. Ager

Last Nine Years:
2004: 7th (M. Ager)
2003: 10th (M. Ager)
2002: DNC
2001: DNC
2000: 8th (C. Shipp)
1999: Winners
1998: 7th
1997: N/K
1996: 2nd 2nd Section (prom)

After two years away from the contest, Haverhill returned in 2003 to claim 10th place, and they went three places last time out when they put in a fine performance to come 7th. If they can up that form once more here this time around they could be looking at a top six place at least and a possible podium finish.  

Matthews Norfolk Brass

Last Nine Years
2004: DNC
2003: DNC
2002: Winners 1st Section (prom)
2001: 10th (rel)
2000: 7th
1999: 9th
1998: 8th
1997: 4th 1st Section (prom)
1996: 4th 1st Section

Will Matthews Norfolk Brass be there is the question perhaps most pertinent here, as for the past two years the band has not made it to the starting line. If they are, then much will depend on what players they have in the ranks. We wish them well whatever happens.

Richard WardRegent Brass
R. Ward

Last Nine Years:
2004: 11th Championship Section (R. Ward) (rel)
2003: 5th (G. Wyatt)
2002: 10th (G. Wyatt)
2001: 5th (P. Littlemore)
2000: 8th Championship Section (P. Littlemore)
1999: 2nd 1st Section (P. Littlemore) (prom)
1998: 2nd 1st Section (N.Taken)
1997: 7th Championship (P.Fensom) (rel)
1996: 12th (P.Fensom)

A bit of a disappointment last year, as Regent fell off the pace from the good form they showed in 2003 in the Championship Section to come 11th and get relegated. They will therefore be keen to show that they belong back in the top level of banding here and so a big effort for a podium place at least should be on the cards.

stuart garmanSt. Albans City
S. Garman

Last Nine Years:
2004: 2nd Second Section (S. Garman) (prom)
2003: 9th (S. Garman)
2002: 5th 3rd Section (W. Rumford) (prom)
2001: 8th 3rd Section (W. Rumford)
2000: 13th 4th Section (W. Rumford) (prom)
1999: 3rd 4th Section
1998: 8th 4th Section
1997: N/K
1996: 10th 4th Section

St. Albans really upped the ante here last year to show that they were real contenders, and they certainly proved that by coming runners up. That was a fine effort and led them to Harrogate where they came 15th. That would have been a great experience and would have benefitted them greatly, so can they make it a repeat performance this year? 

Ian McElligottStaines Brass
Conductor: Ian McElligott

Last Nine Years:
2004: Winners (I. McElligott)
2003: 11th in Championship Section (rel) (I. McElligott)
2002: 11th (M. White)
2001: 2nd 1st Section (M. White) (prom)
2000: 2nd 1st Section (E. Campbell)
1999: 13th (rel)
1998: DNC
1997: N/K
1996: 2nd

Staines return as the reigning champions here, and they should be one of the favourites to at least win another qualification place or even the title once more. That victory 12 months ago led them to come 3rd at Harrogate and if they can reproduce that form again under Ian McElligott they should be there or thereabouts come results time.  

Terry BrotherhoodStonesfield Silver
Conductor: T. Brotherhood

Last NineYears:
2004: 4th (T. Brotherhood)
2003: 12th (T. Brotherhood)
2002: 5th 2nd Section (T. Brotherhood) (prom)
2001: 2nd 2nd Section (T. Brotherhood)
2000: Winners 3rd Section (T. Brotherhood) (prom)
1999: 5th 3rd Section
1998: Winners 4th Section (prom)
1997: 5th 4th Section
1996: 20th 3rd Section (rel)

Stonesfield put in a very fine performance here last year to come 4th and only just miss out on a place at the Harrogate Finals. They are a band on the up though by the looks of it, and if they can reproduce that type of form once more they could well be in with a chance of making a trip up north in September.   

M. PegramWantage Silver
Conductor: M. Pegram

Last Nine Years:
2004: 8th (M. Pegram)
2003: Winners of Second Section (prom) (M. Pegram)
2002: 8th (M. Pegram)
2001: 3rd (M. Pegram)
2000: 8th (R. White)
1999: 8th
1998: 11th
1997: N/K
1996: 12th 1st Section (rel)

The winners of the Second Section in 2003 put in a very fine effort here last year when they came 8th - their first time back since 1996. They also seem to be a band moving in the right direction, so another good result and a possible climb up the results table may well be their ambition as they take to the stage.  

Past Qualifiers:

2004: Staines Brass, Northfleet Brass, Clacton On Sea Co-operative
2003: Friary Guildford, Zone One Brass
2002: Matthews Norfolk Brass*, Welwyn Garden City
2001: Alliance Brass, Staines Brass
2000: Bedford Town, Staines
1999: Haverhill, Regent Brass
1998: Alder Valley Brass, Regent Brass
1997: City of Oxford, Ipswich Co-op
1996: Hatfields of Colchester, Bedford Town
1995: City of Cambridge, City of Oxford

*Didn't take place at Finals replaced by Alder Valley

London Bands at the Finals:

2004: 3rd, 16th, 8th
2003: 5th, 15th
2002: 14th, 16th
2001: 2nd, 14th
2000: 7th, 14th
1999: 10th, 13th
1998: 9th, 16th

4BR Prediction:

This has the makings of a decent contest doesn't it? 18 bands on paper, and not much to tell them apart, a good old test piece to challenge them and an experienced and wise old head in the box to try and seperate them out.

Oner or two though do stand out from the rest (on paper that is) and it may well be a question of experience here to see who gains the qualifciation places on offer.

That is why we have gone for Melvin White and Clacton to top the table, as when it comes down to experience you can't argue with 20 regional titles can you? Last year's winners, Staines surprised many on the day here, but showed at the finals that they were a very good band indeed, and we will think they should once more show that class and gain at least a qualification place. The final podium place we think could well go to a band that wants to bounce back to the top, and so we opt for a hungry Regent Brass.

The final top six places we think will go to Stonesfield, who did so well here last time out, Broseley under the very experienced eye of Paul Fensom and City of Cambridge, who should be chock full of confidence under Russell Gray. Our dark horse is Becontree Brass.

1. Clacton on Sea
2. Staines
3. Regent Brass
4. Stonesfield
5. Broseley
6. City of Cambridge

Dark Horse: Becontree


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