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


Thirteen bands take to the stage here to try and master a brass band classic in the form of the VW Variations. It could be hard, but someone will find favour with Malcolm Brownbill for sure.

Date: Sunday 20th March
Adjudicator: Malcolm Brownbill
Test Piece: Variations for Brass Band Vaughan Williams
Commences: 10.30
Draw:  09.30

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

Betteshanger Welfare
Conductor: D. Burridge

Last Nine Years:
2004:  6th (D. Burridge)
2003: 14th (D. Burridge)
2002: 16th 1st Section (K. Dennison) (rel)
2001: 8th (K. Dennison)
2000: 13th (G. Harvey)
1999: 11th
1998: 8th
1997: N/K
1996: 3rd

After a tough year in 2003 where the band found it hard going in this section and came 14th, they really sprang into life 12 months ago and pushed themselves into the top six with a hard working performance here. If they can show that type of commitment once more they could well feature again.  

Christer AbergBrighton and Hove City Brass
Conductor: C. Aberg

Last Nine Years:
2004: 13th (E. Flood)
2003: 3rd (E. Flood)
2002: 7th (E. Flood)
2001: 8th (E. Flood)
2000: 11th 1st Section (E. Flood) (rel)
1999: 12th 1st Section
1998: 12th 1st Section
1997: Winners
1996: 10th 3rd Section (prom)

Estelle Flood mades her last appearance with the band before moving away last year and it wasn't the ending to her fine story that they would have wanted when they came 13th. A new chapter begins this year then, and one of the busiest bands around will be looking to secure another top 10 place for their efforts at least.

John MorahanCapital Concert Brass
Conductor: J. Morahan

Last Four Years:
2004: 7th (D. Muir)
2003: 11th (D. Muir)
2002: 14th 1st Section (E. Campbell) (rel)
2001: DNC

Capital Concert are starting to look like they are moving back in the right direction here, after finding it hard work in 2003 when they could only manage 11th place here. They turned that around to come just outside the top six, and with a new MD at the helm they will be keen to try and break into the prizes at least this time around.

Colin PortCawston
Conductor: C. Swaep

Last Nine Years:
2004: 12th (C. Sweap)
2003: 4th (G. Barber)
2002: 9th (C. Swaep)
2001: 10th (A. Broadbent)
2000: 3rd (A. Broadbent)
1999: 11th
1998: 5th 3rd Section (prom)
1997: N/K
1996: 3rd 3rd Section

Cawston will surely be looking for a return to form here this year, after falling away to come 12th here 12 months ago. That would have been a real disappointment for them, but they have beena bit up and down of late, coming as high as 3rd in 2000 and as low as 12th last time out. What will Mr Brownbill reward them for this year's efforts then?

Crystal Palace
Conductor: M. Gray

Last Nine Years:
2004: 4th (M. Gray)
2003: 7th (M. Gray)
2002: 12th (M. Gray)
2001: 13th (M. Gray)
2000: 9th (M. Gray)
1999: 3rd
1998: 3rd 3rd Section (prom)
1997: 5th 3rd Section
1996: 4th 3rd Section

Crystal Place are another band who have made a marked improvement over the last couple of years in particular, and 12 months ago they further proved that with a fine 4th place. If they continue to perform like that then they could well be in line for a podium place and a possible qualifiation slot at the very least.

S. EarleyEast London Brass
Conductor: S. Earley

Last Nine Years:
2004: 8th (S. Earley)
2003: 7th in Third Section (prom) (S. Early)
2002: 3rd (A. Caldon)
Prior to this they competed as Waltham Forest Co-op Band.

East London Brass have had a pretty meteoric start to their contesting life at these Championships, after coming 3rd in 2001 and 7th in 2003 when they gained promotion. 12 months ago they showed that they were not out of their depth here either and put in a solid account to come home in 8th place. A band  on the up it seems, they could well feature in the top six come results time if they are still producing that kind of form.

Epping Forest
M. Easener

Last Nine Years:
2004: 16th First Section (M. Easener) (rel)
2003: 13th (M. Easener)
2002: 12th
2001: 10th
2000: 14th
1999: 6th 2nd Section (prom)
1998: 4th 2nd Section
1997: 4th 2nd Section
1996: 9th 2nd Section

Epping have been falling away from the pace in recent years here, and 12 months ago they could only secure 16th spot and a trip through the relegation trap door ensued. Sometimes though, that cannot be a bad thing, and if they have regrouped and rebuilt then 2005 could well see the start of a return to better times. We hope so.

Fulbourn and Teversham RBL
P. Mott

Last NineYears:
2004: 8th Third Section (P. Mott) (prom)
2003: 2nd (P. Mott)
2002: 10th 4th Section (P. Mott) (prom)
2001: 2nd 4th Section (P. Mott)
2000: 9th 4th Section (P. Mott)
1999: 31st 4th Section
1998: 12th 4th Section
1997: N/K
1996: DNC

The upward rise of Fulbourn and Teversham continues it seems, although the band could only manage 8th place in the Third Section last year. That was enough though to gain promotion, and it will therefore be interesting to see if they can make the jump up a section with comfort, or will it be a bit of a struggle as they try to lay down some solid foundations here. 

Horsham Borough
Conductor: G. Bacon

Last Nine Years:
2004: 10th (G. Bacon)
2003: 5th (G. Bacon)
2002: 4th (L. Barron)
2001: 3rd 3rd Section (L. Barron)
2000: 7th 3rd Section (L. Barron)
1999: N/K
1998: 10th
1997: N/K
1996: 4th

Horsham just dropped a place last year to come 5th, and so they will be looking to push once more for a qualification place at the contest. They could well be one of the favourites as late last year at the SCABA contest they came 6th in the First Section against some pretty good bands. A good omen perhaps?

roger burkeSandhurst Silver
R. Burke

Last Nine Years:
2004: Winners Third Section (R. Burke) (prom)
2003: 3rd (R. Burke)
2002: Winners 4th Section (R. Burke) (prom)
2001: Winners 4th Section (R. Burke)
2000: 16th 4th Section (R. Burke)
1999: 24th 4th Section
1998: 28th 4th Section
1997: N/K
1996: 16th 4th Section

What a fantastic record Roger Burke and his band have here in the past couple of years, and you get the feeling they haven't stopped yet. They took the Third Section title here 12 months ago and went on to produce a fine performance in Harrogate where they came 7th, so we think they could more tha make a mark this time around again. Ones to listen out for.

R. Nunnery

Last Nine Years:
2004: 14th First Section (R. Nunnery) (rel)
2003: Withdrew
2002: 10th
2001: Winners 2nd Section (prom)
2000: 4th 2nd Section
1999: 13th (rel)
1998: 15th
1997: N/K
1996: 6th

We hope Tilbury return in decent form this year, as they have a talented MD in Rob Nunnery at the helm and in the none too distant past they were strong contenders at this contest. The step up to the First Section though was a big one for them and they certainly found it hard to cope, so will they feel more at home here and start to put in some prize winning performances once more?

Ware Brass
Conductor: K. Durbin

Last Nine Years:
2004: 5th (K. Durbin)
2003: Winners of Third Section (prom) (K. Durbin)
2002: 4th 4th Section (K. Durbin) (prom)
2001: 3rd 4th Section (K. Durbin)
2000: 18th 4th Section (K. Durbin)
1999: 16th (rel)
1998: DNC
1997: N/K
1996: 9th

The 2003 Third Section Champions certainly showed that they could more than hold their own here last year as they came 5th here. That may well be a sign that they could be up there again and they should be in the top six once more.  

Chris ColeYiewsley and West Drayton
Conductor: C. Cole

Last Nine Years:
2004: 3rd (C. Cole)
2003: 12th (C. Cole)
2002: 2nd 3rd Section (C. Cole) (prom)
2001: 7th 4th Section (C. Cole) (prom)
2000: 15th 4th Section (C. Cole)
1999: 5th 4th Section
1998: DNC
1997: DNC
1996: DNC

Yiewsley came to the contest last year in need of a good result to ensure they didn't get dragged into a relegation scare, and they certainly showed plenty of character and a great amount of skill by coming 3rd and just missing out on a trip to Harrogate. What will this year bring then? 

Past Qualifiers:

2004: Becontree Brass, St Albans City
2003: Wantage Silver, Broseley Brass, Brighton Silver
2002: Northfleet Brass, Becontree Brass
2001: Tilbury, Stonesfield Silver
2000: City of Cambridge, Chichester City
1999: Thames, Egham Band
1998: Welwyn Garden, Fairlop Brass
1997: Brighton Silver, Fairlop Brass
1996: Hanwell, Haverhill Silver
1995: Soham Comrades, Hatfields of Colchester

London bands at the Finals:

2004: 5th, 15th
2003: 9th, 10th, 13th
2002: 11th, 13th
2001: 10th, 14th
2000: 8th, 16th
1999: 14th, 17th
1998: 7th, 12th

4BR Prediction:

A real difficult one to predict here, whatwith any number of the 13 band field more than capable of putting in a prize winning performance at least.

Malcolm Brownbill may well have his work cut out on this one, although with such a severe test as this, only the very best bands here can and will feature.

With that in mind, we have therefore opted for a top three battle between Ware Brass, Crystal Palace and Sandhurst for us, and any one of them could well be declared champions come results time. Still, we will stick with the order we have written them out as.

Behind them it could well be up for grabs, but we have looked long and hard into our crystal ball and come up with East London Brass, Brighton and Capital Concert Brass to fill the reamining top six places with Yiewsley and West Drayton as a very strong dark horse.

1. Ware Brass
2. Crystal Palace
3. Sandhurst
4. East London Brass
5. Brighton and Hove
6. Capitlal Concert Brass

Dark Horses: Yiewsley and West Drayton


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