2005 Spring Festival - Grand Shield - Band by band analysis


We cast our eye over the 22 bands on show this Saturday in Blackpool. Plenty of talented players, determined MDs and lots and lots of pure unbridled ambition to get to Birmingham.

Empress Ballroom: 11.00am
Test Piece: Masquerade - Philip Wilby
Adjudicators: Not known at present

Nigel TakenAveley & Newham
Nigel Taken

4BR Ranking: 33

Principal Cornet: Cliff Pask
Solo Euphonium: Russell Davies
Solo Horn: Trevor Foster
Soprano: Andrew Bannister
Flugel: Dave Lewis
Solo Trombone: Selina Leleu

The Last 11 years:
2004: 15th (N. Taken)
2003: 16th (N. Taken)
2002: 4th (N. Taken)
2001: 5th (N. Taken)
2000: DNC
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: DNC
1996: DNC
1995: DNC
1994: 13th (as Aveley) (M. White)
1993: DNC

Form Guide:
The Londoners come to Blackpool in great form having taken the Yeovil Entertainment title, winning the entertainment prize in Skegness and having qualified for a crack at the National title having finished runners up at the Regionals in March.

The past couple of years here hasn't been the best for them and they will be looking for this years form to mirror that of 2001/2002 when they came in the frame and nearly made it to Birmingham. If they are on top form they could well feature highly once more, but they will have to put the entertainment off until after the results.    

Ashton Under Lyne
Philip Chalk

4BR Ranking: 95

Principal Cornet: Mark Rodgers
Soprano Cornet: Phil Ramsden
Solo Horn: Gary Ashworth
Solo Euphonium: Bob Gee
Solo Trombone: Dave Priestley

Last 11 years: 
2004: 4th Senior Cup (prom) (P. Chalk)
2003: 10th (J. Maines)
2002: 16th Grand Shield (rel) (J. Maines)
2001: 7th Grand Shield (M. Evans)
2000: 5th Grand Shield (M. Evans)

The band didn't take part at these contests before 2000

Form Guide:
What a difference a year makes.  2004 saw the band pull out of the Regionals after losing a handful of players, but Philip Chalk has rebuilt the band and they have had some impressive contest performances along the way. 

Fourth place in the Senior Cup last year saw promotion, a fourth on 'Dances and Arias' at Pontins, qualification for Harrogate and victory in early April at the Tameside Open leaves the band in great heart.  Ex Black Dyke, BHK and Hepworth man, Mark Rodgers leads the band for this years challenge from the top man seat and ex Fairey man Philip Chailk will be looking to make his debut with the baton at Birmingham come September.

gwyn evansBeaumaris
Gwyn Evans

4BR Ranking: 35

Principal Cornet: Paul Hughes
Solo Euphonium: Aled Williams
Solo Horn: Nia Wyn
Soprano: Arwel Williams
Flugel: Gwyn Evans
Solo Trombone: Peter Jones

Last 11 years:
2004: 11th (M. Hansen)
2003: 6th (G. Evans)
2002: 12th (G. Evans)
2001: 2nd Senior Cup (prom) (G. Evans)

Did not compete in the contests before 2001

Form Guide:
The North Wales band will go to Blackpool having missed out qualifying for London after coming fifth at the Welsh Regional Championships. 

Plenty of talent around the stand though they will not be conducted this time around by the Norwegian Morten E. Hansen. They have a decent record here and came 6th in 2003. They have shown many times that they can perform at the highest level with distinction, but they may have to really pull something out of the hat if they are to make it to the British Open in September.

Mike FowlesBT
Mike Fowles

4BR Ranking: 34

Principal Cornet: Peter Shaw
Solo Euphonium: Jamie Meredith
Solo Horn: Helen Varley
Soprano: Renate Saele
Flugel: Becky Cunliffe
Solo Trombone: Phil Shatliff

Last 11 years:
2004: 3rd Senior Cup (prom) (M. Fowles)
2003: 15th Grand Shield (rel) (M. Fowles)
2002: 11th (M. Fowles)
2001: 12th (M. Fowles)
2000: 23rd British Open (rel) (P. Bailey)
1999: 16th British Open (P. Bailey)
1998: 2nd (prom) 9th British Open (G. O'Connor)
1997: 8th (A. Lawton)
1996: DNC
1995: 20th (J. Maines)
1994: 4th (J. Maines)
1993: 16th (J. Maines)

Form Guide:
Michael Fowles once again directs the BT challenge, and they will approach the contest here in good heart and form. 

Relegated from the Grand Shield in 2003, they bounced straight back with a fine performance last year in the Senior Cup when they put in a firm performance to come 3rd.  5th place at the Regionals in March was evidence of the bands consistent form and they showed enough quality in Skegness as well to perhaps indictae that their time has come for a return to the Open stage. 

Jim CantBesses o' th' Barn
Jim Cant

4BR Ranking: 48

Principal Cornet: Tim Hynd
Principal Euphonium: Dan Hunt
Soprano Cornet: Simon Gray
Solo Trombone: Paul Coupe
Solo horn: Linda Oen
Flugel horn: Lizie Sawyer

Last 11 years:
2004: 14th (S.Sykes)
2003: 12th in British Open (rel) (S. Sykes)
2002: 2nd Grand Shield (prom); 13th British Open (Lynda Nicholson)
2001: 11th Grand Shield (G. Pritchard)
2000: 3rd Grand Shield (G. Pritchard)
1999: 21st British Open (rel) (G. Pritchard)
1998: 17th (D. Broadbent)
1997: 16th (D. Broadbent)
1996: 13th (D. Broadbent)
1995: 9th (A. Briggs)
1994: 20th (P. Andrews)
1993: 19th (T. Halliwell)

Form Guide:
Besses are going through tough times at the moment and will be looking to put on a good show here. Tenth place at the Scottish Open was followed by a disappointing low placing at the Regionals where they came 9th.  A morale boosting 3rd at the recent Tameside Open was just what the doctor ordered and they will be looking to continue that form here.

Jim Cant is one of the best motivators around and a man who can get the best out of his resources. There is talent here around the stand, but it would be a major coup if they can make it into the prize frame this year.

Brian GrantCarlton Main Frickley Colliery
Brian Grant

4BR Ranking: 27

Principal Cornet: Kirsty Abbotts
Principal Euphonium: Ciaran Young
Soprano Cornet: Claire Taylor
Solo Trombone: Darryl Jackson
Solo horn: Kate Eggleshaw
Flugel horn: Bridgett Scott

Last 11 years:
2004: 18th British Open (B. Grant) (rel)
2003: Winners (18th at Open) (W.Rushworth)  
2002: 19th (W. Rushworth) (rel)
2001: 17th (J. Hinckley)
2000: 9th (J. Hinckley)
1999: Winners (14th at Open) (John Hinckley)
1998: DNC
1997: 17th (J. Hinckley)
1996: 14th (J. Davies)
1995: 9th (J. Davies)
1994: 14th (J. Davies)
1993: DNC

Form Guide:
Relegated from last years British Open, Carlton Main will be looking to bounce straight back and appear again at Birmingham in September. 

The band finished a lowly 9th last November at the Brass in Concert contest and came 8th at the Regional Championships in March at Bradford, where they could count themselves more than a little unlucky. They do have have plenty of experience around the stand and some stand out players who would grace the stage in Birmingham if they can repeat their victories of 1999 and 2003. 

John HudsonCwmaman Institute Silver (Tower Colliery)
John Hudson

4BR Ranking: 23

Principal Cornet: Tim Malpas
Principal Euphonium: Gareth Maidment
Soprano Cornet: Steve Barnsley
Solo Trombone: Steve Howells
Solo horn: Gareth Davies
Flugel horn: Rhian Hills

Last 11 years:
2004: 16th (J. Hudson)
2003: 17th (J. Hudson)
2002: Winners (5th at Open) (J. Hudson)
2001: 3rd Senior Cup (prom) (G. O'Connor)
2000: 19th (rel)
1999: 11th

Did not compete before 1999

Cwmaman like Carlton Main lost their place at the British Open last year - a although they did perform very well off yet anotehr early draw, but have since been bouyed by the qualification for London and after a fine show at the Yeovil Entertainment contest in February 

A few positional changes has aided the band, and to have local lad and ex BAYV soprano Steve Barnsley to top their cornet section off, they will approach this contest with high hopes of repeating their historic 2002 victory or at least claiming a qualification place back to Birmingham.

East Yorkshire Motor Services
John Gillam

4BR Ranking: 53

Principal Cornet: Mark Sidwell
Solo Euphonium: Liz Grosvenor
Solo Horn: Miles Davison
Soprano: Graham Drury
Flugel: Kathy Newiss
Solo Trombone: Mark Unsworth

Last 11 years:
2004: 18th (G. Pritchard)
2003: 9th (G. Pritchard)
2002: Winners Senior Cup (prom) (G. Pritchard)
2001: DNC
2000: 14th (G. O'Connor)
1999: DNC
1998: N/K (J. Roberts)
1997: 6th (A. Snell)

Did not compete in these contests before 1997.

Form Guide:
A band that hasn't been at its best in the contesting arena over the past year.  They came 18th here last year, and finished in 12th place at the All-England Masters.  Sadly, they struggled at the Royal Albert Hall last October and were below par at the Regionals this time out finishing 6th, and missing out on what was becoming an annual away day trip to the capital.

With some experienced heads around the stands they are a band more than capable of doing well, but they will have to recover their form quickly if they are not to have a repeat performance of 12 months ago. John Gillam, the ex Black Dyke Bb tuba is the man charged with giving them a big helping hand.

Ian McElligottFishburn
Ian McElligott

4BR Ranking: 31

Principal Cornet: John Gill
Solo Euphonium: Jeff Bell
Solo Horn: Steve Harding
Soprano: Malcolm Usher
Flugel: Patrick Garner
Solo Trombone: Malcolm Gill

Last 11 years:
2004: 10th (I. McElligott)
2003: 4th (G. O'Connor)
2002: 6th (G. O'Connor)
2001: 10th (I. Robinson)
2000: DNC
1999: 14th (I. Robinson)
1998: DNC
1997: 19th (I. Robinson)
1996: 10th (I. Robinson)
1995: DNC
1994: DNC
1993: DNC

Form Guide:
A band that is definitely going in the right direction, even if they have been having a bit of bad luck of late. 

Fishburn narrowly missed out on qualification for the Nationals with a fine interpreation under Ian McElligott in Darlington where they came 4th.  10th last year here is something that they will want to improve on and it wouldn't be a huge surprise if they were to feature in the prizes, and they may well join Reg Vardy at the Open in September. Ian McElligott directs once more, so an interesting interpreatation may well be on the cards. Ones to watch out for though. 

Philip HarperFlowers
Philip Harper

4BR Ranking: 19

Principal Cornet: Chris Howley
Solo Euphonium: Andy Hicks
Solo Horn: Richard Knight
Soprano: Spencer O'Leary
Flugel: Julia Telling
Solo Trombone: Andrew Norman

Last 11 years:
2004: 9th (P. Harper)
2003: 7th (P. Harper)
2002: 3rd (P. Harper)
2001: 21st British Open (rel)
2000: 19th British Open (R. Evans)
1999: 19th British Open (B. Hurdley)
1998: Winners (prom); 14th British Open (B. Hurdley)
1997: 10th (B. Hurdley)
1996: 9th (P. Bailey)
1995: DNC
1994: 17th (D. Williams)
1993: DNC

Form Guide:
So often one of the favourites here, Flowers tend to end up as one of the bridesmaids rather than the bride or groom.

9th here last year, reflected not the best year contesting wise, and 4th place at Yeovil this year was followed by the disappointment of not qualifying at the West of England Championships where they came 3rd. Chris Howley takes over the principal cornet chair from Kevin Robbins and Philip Harper and the band will be hoping they are in the mix come results time. If they hit form and gain inspiration then they should feature, but if they have an off day it could well be another year of missed opportunities.

Glossop Old
Jon Davies

4BR Ranking: 84

Principal Cornet: Dave Richardson
Solo Euphonium: Pete Bowd
Solo Horn: Stuart Wilkinson
Soprano: Mandy Crowther
Flugel: Steve Roberts
Solo Trombone: N/K

Last 11 years:
2004: 17th (J. Cant)
2003: 8th (J. Cant)
2002: 18th British Open (rel) (J. Cant)
2001: 20th British Open (G. Pritchard)
2000: 2nd (prom) 14th British Open (J. Berryman)
1999: 5th (J. Cant)
1998: DNC

The band didn't compete at the contests before 1999

Form Guide:
Having returned to the Grand Shield last year, Glossop Old found life tough going on 'Les Preludes'.  Recent contesting form saw them compete at the Tameside Open coming in 6th, having missed the Regionals due to performing 'Brassed Off' at a local theatre.

Jon Davies, the star tuba player is at the helm this year and he will be using all his knowledge and know how on 'Masquerade' to cajole a performance that could see them make a return to Birmingham after 2 years absence. The quality is still there around the stands, but can they up their game to really make a mark. It could be tough against this class of opposition.

Mark BenthamHepworth (Persimmon Homes)
Mark Bentham

4BR Ranking: 15

Principal Cornet: Robert Westacott
Soprano Cornet: Mark Smedley
Flugel: Catherine Booth
Solo Horn: Chris Parnell
Solo Euphonium: Brenden Wheeler
Solo Trombone: Yvonne Embury

Last 11 years:
2004: 6th (M Bentham)
2003: 3rd in Senior Cup (prom) (M. Bentham)
2002: 7th in Senior Cup (M. Bentham)
2001: 19th (K. Bolton)
2000: DNC
1999: 17th Grand Shield (rel) (N. Law)
1998: DNC
1997: DNC
1996: DNC
1995: DNC
1994: 20th Grand Shield (N. Law)
1993: DNC

Form Guide:
Arguably the most improved contesting band of the past couple of years.  Under the direction of Mark Bentham, Hepworth continues to go from strength to strength and go to Blackpool as the reigning Scottish Open champions. 

The band narrowly missed out on qualifying for London in March coming 5th at Bradford after giving a top quality performance of 'Rienzi'. With the experienced Rob Westacott as principal cornet and the BBC Radio 2 Young Brass Soloist of the Year, Brenden Wheeler in the principal euphonium seat, it wouldn't be a major surprise if Hepworth book themselves a place at the British Open. On paper they are one of the bands to beat - but on paper is one thing...

John HinckleyInnovate Skelmanthorpe
John Hinckley

4BR Ranking: 69

Principal Cornet: Ralph Little
Solo Euphonium: Mark Parfit
Solo Horn: Phil Garlick
Soprano: Robert Jagger
Flugel: Clare Daws]
Solo Trombone: James Garlick

Last 11 years:
2004: 8th (K. Wadsworth)
2003: 13th (K. Wadsworth)
2002: 10th (K. Wadsworth)
2001: 4th Senior Cup (prom) (K. Wadsworth)

The band didn't compete at the contest before 2001.

Form Guide:
John Hinckley has taken over the helm at Skelmanthorpe from Kevin Wadsworth and the band will be looking for a change in fortune. 

The band didn't have the best of times at Bradford in the Regional Championships and could only manage12th place and they finished 7th at Pontins last October.  They have shown in the past though that they can more than hold their own and have quality players dotted around the stands. The MD is a clever manipulator of complex scores, but you feel they will have to play above themselves if they are to book a place at the Open this time around.  

Nicholas ChildsMount Charles
Dr Nicholas J Childs

4BR Ranking: 18

Principal Cornet: Ian Thomas
Solo Euphonium: Tormod Flaten
Solo Horn: Sarah Robins
Soprano: Jon Small
Flugel: Tim Whitehead
Solo Trombone: Colin Barrett

Last 11 years:
2004: 7th (B. Hurdley)
2003: 3rd (B. Hurdley)
2002: 9th (B. Hurdley)
2001: 14th (B. Hurdley)
2000: 8th (R. Evans)
The band didn't compete at the contest before 2000.

Form Guide:
Mount Charles will make the long journey north hoping to emulate their youth bands recent success at the National Youth Championships. 

With Bryan Hurdley now down under in Australia, the Cornish band have engaged Black Dyke's Nicholas Childs for their assault on 'Masquerade', and with his recent contest record (the Europeans included just last week) and with the added bonus of the Norwegian Tormod Flaten on euphonium, they will be looking to finally book their place at the Open. On their day they will be ones that will surely feature, but they should have featured at the Regionals, and they ended up coming 4th, so nothing can be taken for granted.

Dave LeaJaguar (Coventry)
David Lea

4BR Ranking: 62

Principal Cornet: Bob Baggott
Solo Euphonium: Rob Hunt
Solo Horn: Lynette Wild
Soprano: Darren Lea
Flugel: Andrew Bates
Solo Trombone: Kevin Lea

Last 11 years:
2004: 12th (D. Lea)
2003: 2nd in Senior Cup (prom) (D. Lea)
2002: 10th
2001: 16th Grand Shield (rel)
2000: 16th British Open (rel)
1999: 2nd Grand Shield (prom) 22nd British Open
1998: N/K
1997: DNC
1996: 18th Grand Shield

Form Guide:
The admirable Dave Lea will be coming to Blackpool in confident mood after finishing 3rd at the Regionals this year just narrowly missing out behind Desford and Woolley Pritchard Sovereign Brass for a trip to Kensington.

They will therefore be delighted of they can get a similar result here as well.  Blackpool brought them success in the Senior Cup in 2003 and last year they put in a solid account on the difficult 'Les Preludes' in coming 12th. The piece may just suit their strengths as well, so a top 10 place may be the least of their ambitions.

John BerrymanKibworth
John Berryman

4BR Ranking: 66

Principal Cornet: Carol Smith
Solo Euphonium: Simon Rotchell
Solo Horn: Nathan Waterman
Soprano: Bob Stradling
Flugel: Guido Damore
Solo Trombone: John Hopkins

Last 11 years:
2004: 4th (J. Berryman)
2003: 11th (J. Berryman)
2002: 8th (J. Berryman)
2001: 6th Senior Cup (prom) (J. Berryman)
2000: 17th (J. Berryman)

The band didn't compete at the contest before 2000.

Form Guide:
Kibworth missed out by the skin of its teeth qualifying for the British Open last year when they finished in a superb 4th place.

John Berryman will once again have them fired up for this one, and they will come to Blackpool with confidence and more than a little sense of injustice following their performance at the Regional Championships.  On that day they sounded like a band in a different class, but could only manage 3rd place in the First Section. They have punched above their weight here though in the past and don't bet against them doing the same again.

Frank RentonLeyland
Frank Renton

4BR Ranking: 13

Principal Cornet: Mark Jones
Principal Euphonium: Steve Miles
Soprano Cornet: Ian Twiss
Solo Trombone: Nicholas Hudson
Solo horn: Daniel Powell
Flugel horn: Janet Lewis

Last 11 years:
2004: 13th (G. Cutt)
2003: 14th in British Open (rel) (P. Bassano)
2002: 11th (G. Cutt)
2001: 9th (B. Grant)
2000: 10th (H. Snell)
1999: 8th (R. Evans)
1998: 6th (R. Evans)
1997: 8th (R. Evans)
1996: 3rd (R. Evans)
1995: 19th (R. Evans)
1994: Winners (R. Evans)
1993: 5th (R. Evans)

Form Guide:
The dreaded number one draw all but killed off the 2004 favourites at this contest last year, when Garry Cutt had to battle through rain and over zealous door keepers to make it to the stage. 

Confidence will be high though after they retained its North West Regional title in March with a splendid performance under Russell Gray.  Frank Renton takes the helmthis year on a piece he knows very well indeed, and they will have a further boost to their chances with the appearance on solo euphonium of New Zealand bound Steve Miles ex of Brighouse and Rastrick. If they play to the form of Blackpool just a couple of months ago, a place at the Open could well be for the taking.

Ian PorthousePennine Brass
Ian Porthouse

4BR Ranking: 63

Principal Cornet: JJ Lees
Soprano Cornet: Mark Wears
Flugel: N/K
Solo Horn: Laura Lea
Solo Euphonium: Mike Fox
Solo Trombone: Lisa Sarasini

Last 11 years:
2004: 2nd Senior Cup (prom) (I. Porthouse)
2003: Winners Senior Trophy (prom) (I. Porthouse)
2002: 12th (I. Porthouse)

The band didn't compete before 2002.

Form Guide:
Pennine come to the Grand Shield having produced a fine performance on 'Journey into Freedom' in the Senior Cup last year when they came runnes up and booked a promotion place.   

Contesting wise, they have been a bit below par of late coming a rather unlucky 11th at the Regionals in Bradford after a disappointing 19th at Pontins. They do have a very good record here though and the time could be ripe for them to feature once more in the prize list. They were good in Bradford and missed out, so can they shift that form over the Pennines to Blackpool and book a place down the M6 in Birmingham.

Russell GrayRansome
Russell Gray

4BR Ranking: 17

Principal Cornet: Pete Collins
Solo Euphonium: Dave Belshaw
Solo Horn: George Thackrey
Soprano: David Bird
Flugel: Chris North
Solo Trombone: Chris Jeans

Last 11 years:
2004: Winners Senior Cup (prom) (R.Gray)
2003: 21st Grand Shield (rel) (B. Grant)
2002: 5th (P. Parkes)
2001: DNC
2000: 21st British Open (rel) (R. Gray)
1999: 20th British Open (B. Grant)
1998: 11th British Open (S. Wood)
1997: 2nd (prom) 4th British Open (B. Grant)
1996: DNC
1995: 13th (D. Hirst)
1994: 12th (D. Hirst)
1993: 10th (S. Appleton)

Form Guide:
Ransome's will certainly be coming to Blackpool with confidence.  They return to the Grand Shield having secured victory in the Senior Cup last year off the number one draw - a fine effort in anyones book. 

The Masters saw another cracking performance earning them 5th place and they gained 3rd place at Pontins in October and then won at Butlins. They can consider themselves most unfortunate not to be going to London this year after a performance that deserved higher than 6th position, so if they can maintain the run of good form here with Russell Gray at the helm they should do very well indeed.

Melvin WhiteRedbridge
Melvin White

4BR Ranking: 41

Principal Cornet: Ralph Brill
Soprano Cornet: Graham Lewis
Flugel: Alan Roberts
Solo Horn: Ruth Miller
Solo Euphonium: Lisa James

Last 11 years:
2004: 16th (M. White)
2003: 4th in Senior Cup (prom) (M. White)
2002: 5th Senior Trophy (prom) (M. White)
2001: DNC
2000: DNC
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: DNC
1996: DNC
1995: 18th Grand Shield (J. Clark)
1994: 7th Grand Shield (J. Clark)
1993: 15th Grand Shield (J. Clark)

Form Guide:
The Londoners of Redbridge will head to Blackpool in determined mood and with real hopes of booking a place at the British Open.

Four times winners in succession of the London and Southern Counties Regional Championships this year, they are in the best form of their lives and with the experienced and very streetwise Melvin White at the helm, they are a band that cannot be discounted. It's a long time since a London based band was at the Open, but 2004 could well be the year when that changes. If they play to the form they showed at Stevenage and the Master where they came 10th they could well be in the mix.  

David StowellTravelsphere Holidays
David Stowell

4BR Ranking: 22

Principal Cornet: Matt Baker
Principal Euphonium: Robert Woods
Soprano Cornet: Gary Fountain
Solo Trombone: Mike Wallbridge
Solo horn: Simon Smith
Flugel horn: Claire Tomalin

Last 11 years:
2004: 5th (D. Stowell)
2003: 15th in British Open (rel) (1) (P. Parkes)
2002: 17th (B. Grant) (15)
2001: 10th (F. Renton) (1)
2000: 7th (M. White) (6)
1999: 10th (M. White) (23)
1998: 21st (M. White) (1)
1997: 17th (J. Berryman) (12)
1996: 16th (J. Berryman) (5)
1995: 4th (J. Berryman) (8)
1994: 15th (J. Berryman) (12)
1993: 8th (J. Berryman) (N/K)

Form Guide:
Travelsphere Holidays will come to Blackpool with the aim of doing very well.  The past twelve months has seen a 9th place at the Masters and a fine 6th place in London last year beating the likes of Fairey, Leyland and Scottish Co-op along the way. 

Sadly they missed out on qualification for London this year after coming 4th at Burton upon Trent but with David Stowell and a talented set of musicians around the stand, they should do well here and should be up and around the top six once more come results time.


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