2006 London and Southern Counties Regional Championships - Championship Section


The top bands south of the Watford Gap line up to get to grips with Jules Verne's magical story and try to impress Colin Hardy.

Sunday 19th March
Adjudicator: Colin Hardy
Test Piece: Journey to the Centre of the Earth Peter Graham
Commences: 2.30pm
Draw: 1.30pm

No photo? Please send a JPEG to: 
general@4barsrest.com stating the conductors name, your band, your region and section. 

John ClarkAlliance Brass
John Clark
4BR Ranking:80

Last Ten Years:
2005: 3rd (J. Clark)
2004: 2nd (J. Clark)
2003: 2nd (P. Parkes)
2002: 5th (B. Ellin)
2001: Winners 1st Section

Where as a couple of years ago, Alliance were seen as something of a surprise package, that is certainly not the case now, as they have qualified as runners up here in two of the past three years. They missed out here last year when they came 3rd, but John Clarke is a fine MD who has strong views and opinions about the music he has to conduct. (Check out their performance at the Grand Shield weekend last year). If he likes this one and his been able to get his band together in plenty of time to put the work in they could well push for a qualification place once again.   

Nigel TakenAveley and Newham
Nigel Taken
4BR Ranking:45

Last Ten Years:
2005: 2nd (N. Taken)
2004: 3rd (N. Taken)
2003: 3rd (N. Taken)
2002: 2nd (N. Taken)
2001: Winners (N. Taken)
2000: Winners (N. Taken)
1999: 3rd
1998: Winners
1997: 2nd
1996: 6th

Aveley and Newham certainly have the ability to do well here (and at other contests around the county for that matter), but they haven't always really played to form of late. 6th place at Yeovil was a case in point, but when they do click they can walk away with prizes against the very best bands around. Last year they reached the Royal Albert Hall only to sound lack luster and fail to convince, but they have a fine record here over the years, although they will be keen to put their name back on the winners trophy for the first time since 2001.   

Clacton on Sea Co-operative
Rob Wiffen
4BR Ranking:outside top 200 

Last Ten Years:
2005: 2nd in First Section (prom) (M. White)
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

Nice to see Rob Wiffen back conducting at the Regional Championships and this fine musician should bring a real touch of class to a Clacton on Sea Band that has been making excellent progress in contesting terms in the past coupe of years. Last year they came runners up here in the First Section and that led to Harrogate and a slightly unlucky 12th under Melvin White's direction. If they have continued to make progress they could be in with a top six shout without doubt.   

Keith MaxwellFriary Guildford Brass
Keith Maxwell
4BR Ranking:186

Last Ten Years:

2005: 8th (K. Maxwell)
2004: 4th (K. Maxwell)
2003: Winners of First Section (prom) (K. Maxwell)
2002: 5th (K. Maxwell)
2001: 13th (K. Maxwell)
2000: 5th (K. Maxwell)
1999: 10th Championship (rel)
1998: 9th Championship (rel)
1997: 5th Championship
1996: 5th Championship

A great result in 2004 saw Friary Guildford come 4th and beat quite a few more fancied bands in the process. However last year they fell back a bit and could only manage 8th place, the first time in five years that they hadn't improved on their result here. Plenty of talented players in the ranks and well led by Keith Maxwell on the podium they should be looking for a return up the prize list and a top six place at least. 

Robin NormanIpswich and Norwich Co-op
Robin Norman
4BR Ranking:outside top 200 

Last Ten Years:

2005: 10th (S. Kenna)
2004: 9th (S. Kenna)
2003: 3rd in First Section (prom) (S. Kenna)
2002: 11th (S. Kenna)
2001: 5th (S. Kenna)
2000: 4th (S. Kenna)
1999: 9th
1998: 9th
1997: 2nd
1996: 10th Championship (rel)

The talented Robn Norman takes over the reins at Ipswich and Norwich Co-op this year and he has certainly signaled his intentions by signing up Andy Duncan no less on tuba for the contest. That should give the band a huge boost and they will certainly be looking to improve on last year's 10th place for certain.   

Catherine UnderwoodKidlington Concert Brass
Catherine Underwood
4BR Ranking:outside top 200 

Last Ten Years:

2004: 9th (C. Underwood)
2004: 5th (C. Underwood)
2003: 6th (C. Underwood)
2002: 7th (C. Underwood)
2001: 2nd (C. Underwood)
2000: 9th (C. Underwood)
1999: 4th (C. Underwood)
1998: 5th (C. Underwood)
1997: 6th (C. Underwood)
1996: 7th (C. Underwood)

One of the most consistent bands at the London Regional Championships, Kidlington just fell off the pace a touch last year when they came home in 9th place. Catherine Underwood has been on maternity leave we understand and Barry Wassell who took the band at Yeovil has been doing a fine dep job. They will need to up their form a touch though from there as they came 15th. A return to the margins of the top six or better should be their ambition at least this time around and Catherine is welcomed back, so that should give them a huge boost..  

Northfleet Brass
A. Caldon
4BR Ranking:outside top 200 

Last Ten Years:

2005: 6th (D. Lewis)
2004: 2nd First Section (D. Lewis) (prom)
2003: 5th (D. Lewis)
2002: Winners 2nd Section (prom)
2001: 17th (rel)
2000: 12th
1999: 4th 2nd Section (prom)
1998: 3rd 2nd Section
1997: 6th 2nd Section
1996: 9th 2nd Section

The rise and rise of Northfleet Brass continues at pace it seems, and after gaining promotion to the Championship Section last year they showed that they were not overawed in any way by coming 6th. Another performance like that and they will be delighted we are certain, but looking at their past record we think their ambitions may be even higher.  

Melvin WhiteRedbridge Brass
Melvin White
4BR Ranking:31 

Last Ten Years:

2005: Winners (M.White)
2004: Winners (M. White)
2003: Winners (M. White)
2002: Winners (M. White)
2001: 4th (M. White)
2000: 6th (N/K)
1999: 2nd
1998: 3rd
1997: Winners
1996: Winners

Redbridge and Melvin White are going for an unprecedented five in a row year this year, and you have to hand it to them, in the past four years they have been well worth the money for their wins here which has seen them now claim 9 regional titles.

On their day they are a very competent band indeed and can mix it with the best, and in London at the Finals last year they put in an excellent performance to come 7th and just miss out on that top first top six place. At Butlins earlier this year they were good value once again, although a little sloppy on the test piece, but if they play to form and the MD brings out his usual touch of neat delivery they could well be celebrating a nap hand of titles.  

Chris KingSoham Comrades
Chris King
4BR Ranking:outside top 200 

Last Ten Years:
2005: 7th (C. King)
2004: 6th (P. Filby)
2003: 4th (P. Filby)
2002: 4th (P. Filby)
2001: 7th (P. Filby)
2000: 5th (P. Filby)
1999: 7th (P. Filby)
1998: 3rd 1st Section (prom) (P. Filby)
1997: 6th 1st Section (P. Filby)
1996: 5th 1st Section (P. Filby)

The Comrades are certainly one of the most consistent performers here over the past seven years since gaining promotion up from the First Section, and they just missed out on another top six place last year.
Chris King came to the band in 2005 and immediately made an impression, so it will be interesting to see if they can just push on here and claim another top six place or even better.    

Ian McElligottStaines Brass
Ian McElligott
4BR Ranking:87

Last Ten Years:
2005: Winners of First Section (prom) (I. McElligott)
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 double First Section champions and runners up at Harrogate where they could count themselves perhaps a tad unlucky not to have won. Ian McElligott brings a touch of class to the podium and their performances with his broad musical approach and even though they are moving up a class her this year they won't be overawed and will be more than capable of making a significant challenge. Ones to possibly watch out for.    

Welwyn Garden City
D. Jones
4BR Ranking:185

Last Ten Years:

2005: 5th (D. Jones)
2004: 7th (D. Jones)
2003: 7th (D. Stokes)
2002: 2nd 1st Section (D. Stokes) (prom)
2001: 4th 1st Section (D. Stokes)
2000: 10th 1st Section (D. Stokes)
1999: 3rd 1st Section
1998: Winners 2nd Section
1997: 5th 2nd Section
1996: 10th 1st Section (rel)

Welwyn Garden City are a band moving it seems in the right direction and after two consecutive seventh places they upped their form last year to come home in 5th place. If they can repeat that again it will be some achievement especially as there is a well matched field of solid top sections bands up against them.  

Simon DobsonZone One Brass
Simon Dobson
4BR Ranking:152

Last Ten Years:

2005: 4th (S. Dobson)
2004: 5th First Section (S. Dobson) (prom)
2003: 2nd (S. Dobson)
2002: DNC

Simon Dobson and his youthful band of talented players have come a very long way in a very short space of time, and although we wondered how they would get on last year when they made their debut here, they dispelled any notions that they were not up to it by producing a performance of real merit to come home in fourth place. The MD has the talent and so too do the players under his command. If he has been able to get them together for a significant period of rehearsal they could well feature.  

Past Qualifiers:

2005: Redbridge Brass, Aveley and Newham
2004: Redbridge Brass, Alliance Brass
2003: Redbridge Brass, Alliance Brass
2002: Redbridge Brass, Aveley and Newham
2001: Aveley and Newham, Kidlington Concert
2000: Aveley and Newham, First City Brass
1999: First City Brass, Redbridge Brass
1998: Aveley and Newham, City of Oxford
1997: Redbridge Brass, Aveley and Newham
1996: Redbridge Brass, Staines Brass
1995: John Laing Hendon, Aveley and Newham
1994: Regent Brass, John Laing Hendon
1993: John Laing Hendon, Aveley
1992: London Electricity Redbridge, Asphaltic Newham
1991: London Electricity Redbridge, Alder Valley Aldershot
1990: John Laing Hendon, London Electricity Redbridge, Aveley
1989: Asphaltic Newham, John Laing Hendon
*Pre Qualified

How London & SC bands did at the Finals:

2005: 7th, 18th
2004: 12th, 15th
2003: 15th, 19th
2002: 11th, 12th
2001: 12th, 20th
2000: 7th, 9th
1999: 12th, 13th
1998: 18th, 20th
1997: 17th, 18th
1996: 13th, 18th
1995: 12th, 17th
1994: 15th, 19th
1993: 14th, 19th
1992: 13th, 19th
1991: 18th, 21st
1990: 15th, 18th, 21st
1989: 5th, 7th  

4BR Prediction:

This could be one of the most keenly fought Championship contests of the whole regional championships this year with a whole group of bands more than capable of winning or at least claiming a qualification place.

Redbridge will be the band to beat for certain though and they will be looking to make it five wins in a row. They are a good band who can on their day sound inspired although they can also sound a touch sloppy as well. Aveley and Newham should push them the closest again, but they too can be inconsistent and were not at their best at Yeovil. Alliance Brass are the band that could beat them all though and if they have got together in time, and more importantly, they like the piece, they should be there or thereabouts come the results. After that it becomes just as hard to pick the top six bands, but Staines we think will feature if they show the form of late last year and Zone One and Clacton on Sea should also feature. Our dark horse is Soham Comrades. 

1. Redbridge
2. Aveley and Newham
3. Alliance Brass
4. Staines
5. Clacton on Sea
6. Zone One

Dark Horse: Soham Comrades


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