2010 British Open Championships - Runners and Riders


4BR looks at the records and form guide of the 17 runners and riders hoping to win the famous Gold Trophy.

Black DykeBlack Dyke
Dr. Nicholas Childs
4BR Ranking: 2

2010 Winnings: £4,698
Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Richard Marshall
Principal Euphonium: David Thornton
Soprano: Paul Duffy
Solo Trombone: Brett Baker
Solo Horn: Martin Armstrong
Flugel: Alex Kerwin
Baritone: Gareth Brindle
Eb Tuba: Joseph Cook
Bb Tuba: Matt Routley

Appearances: 107th time
Debut: 1856

Open Record:
29 Wins: 1862, 1863, 1871, 1879, 1880, 1881, 1891, 1895, 1896, 1899, 1902, 1904, 1908, 1914, 1935, 1957, 1968, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1976, 1977, 1983, 1985, 1986, 1992, 1995, 2005, 2006
23 Seconds: 1877, 1887, 1888, 1900, 1903, 1905, 1907, 1909, 1917, 1922, 1934, 1938, 1971, 1978, 1984, 1988, 1993, 1994, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2007, 2009
11 Thirds: 1868, 1873, 1884, 1894, 1916, 1937, 1953, 1958, 1963, 2002, 2003
8 Fourths: 1890, 1912, 1919, 1921, 1936, 1970, 1979, 1989
5 Fifths: 1864, 1920, 1936, 1952, 1966
4 Sixths: 1947, 1962, 2004, 2008
25 times unplaced:
1 Disqualification: 1865

Last 14 Years:
Conductor and draw

2009: 2nd (Nicholas Childs) (16)
2008: 6th (Nicholas Childs) (1)
2007: 2nd (Nicholas Childs) (15)
2006: Winners (Nicholas Childs) (11)
2005: Winners (Nicholas Childs) (13)
2004: 6th (Nicholas Childs) (6)
2003: 3rd (Nicholas Childs) (11)
2002: 3rd (Nicholas Childs) (3)
2001: 2nd (Nicholas Childs) (14)
2000: 2nd (Nicholas Childs) (15)
1999: 2nd (James Watson) (22)
1998: 8th (James Watson) (7)
1997: DNC
1996: 14th (James Watson) (1)

Open Record:

A record like no other band in the world. This will be the Queensbury band’s 107th appearance boasting a record of 29 wins, 23 runners up and 11 third places.

Missed the historic hat trick in 2007 by the narrowest of margins. Nicholas Childs conducts the band for the 11th time at the contest this year.

2010 Form:
Regionals: 4th (Yorkshire)
Grand Shield: N/A
European: 4th
Masters: N/A
English Nationals: 2nd

Hard to think of a time when Black Dyke last came to the British Open on the back of three consecutive defeats – although to be fair, they haven’t enjoyed a great deal of contesting luck since picking up the National title in London last October.

They will be determined to claim their 30th Open title this weekend, but despite two victories under Nicholas Childs, Symphony Hall hasn’t been the luckiest of hunting grounds for the Queensbury outfit – with four runner up places under his command.

Player to listen out for:
Alex Kerwin – Has gone quietly and very effectively about her business as top line solo player with the band in recent years.

BrighouseBrighouse & Rastrick
Professor David King
4BR Ranking: 6

2010 Winnings:

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Stuart Lingard
Principal Euphonium: Steven Walsh
Soprano: Martin Irwin
Solo Trombone: Chris Gomersall
Solo Horn: William Rushworth
Flugel: Mark Walters
Baritone: Ciaran Young
Eb Tuba: Mick Morris
Bb Tuba: Jonathan Shaw

Appearances: 70th time
Debut: 1890

Open Record:
6 Wins: 1929, 1932, 1933, 1934, 1936, 1978
3 Seconds: 1965, 1977, 1983
5 Thirds: 1939, 1940, 1973, 1976, 1998
7 Fourths: 1942, 1943, 1961, 1964, 1984, 1999, 2002
5 Fifths: 1960, 1971, 1987, 2003, 2009
5 Sixths: 1938,1944, 1959, 1986, 1995
38 times unplaced:

Last 14 Years:
Conductor and draw

2009: 5th (David King) (8)
2008: 8th (Alan Morrison) (16)
2007: 11th (Alan Morrison) (7)
2006: 12th (Ian McElligott) (16)
2005: 7th (James Gourlay) (6)
2004: 11th (James Gourlay) (5)
2003: 5th (Major Ian McElligott) (17)
2002: 4th (Major Ian McElligott) (12)
2001: 8th (Allan Withington) (8)
2000: 12th (Allan Withington) (8)
1999: 4th (Allan Withington) (14)
1998: 3rd (Allan Withington) (15)
1997: 10th (Allan Withington) (4)
1996: 20th (Allan Withington) (18)

Open Record:

It is now over thirty years since Brighouse last took home the British Open title to West Riding. That performance of ‘Benvenuto Cellini’ still remains fresh in the minds of supporters though – especially as it denied Black Dyke a double hat trick.

Symphony Hall hasn’t been the happiest of hunting grounds to date, but results have improved year on year since 2006.
2010 Form:
Regionals: Winners  (Yorkshire)
Whit Friday: 2nd in Saddleworth

There is an air about Brighouse & Rastrick that could be the whiff of a British Open victory – their first since 1978.

Any band with four time winner David King at the helm will be a band to watch out for, and they have been quietly restructuring the band in their MDs image of late too, most notably with the return to the hot seat of Stuart Lingard.

Rode their luck a little at Bradford for that win, but boosted by a nice pay out at Whit Friday and plenty of rehearsal time things are looking pretty good.
Player to listen out for:
Stuart Lingard–  The former YBS principal cornet is one of the classiest players around in the hot seat, and knows just what the MD wants in making a title winning performance.

CarltonCarlton Main Frickley Colliery
Philip McCann
4BR Ranking: 12

2010 Winnings: £100
Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Kirsty Abbotts
Principal Euphonium: David Belshaw 
Soprano: Gary Bates
Solo Horn: Leah Williams
Flugel: Sam Fisher
Solo Trombone: Becky Lundberg
Baritone: Carole Crompton
Eb Tuba: Paul Davies
Bb Tuba: Ray Sykes MBE

63rd time
Debut: 1921

Open Record:
2 Wins: 1922, 1958
5 Seconds: 1941, 1957, 1959, 1969, 1972
3 Thirds: 1948, 1950, 1956
3 Fourths: 1928, 1944, 1963
2 Fifths: 1927, 1946
2 Sixths: 1923, 2006
45 times unplaced:

Last 14 Years:
Conductor and draw

2009: 16th (Russell Gray) (9)
2008: 7th (Russell Gray (12)
2007: 12th (Russell Gray) (11)
2006: 6th (Russell Gray) (19)
2005: DNC
2004: 18th (Brian Grant) (7)
2003: Winners of Grand Shield (W. Rushworth) (prom): 18th (W. Rushworth) (14)  
2002: 19th (William Rushworth) (17) (rel)
2001: 17th (John Hinckley) (6)
2000: 9th (John Hinckley) (21)
1999: Winners of Grand Shield (J. Hinckley) (prom): 14th (John Hinckley) (11)
1993-1998: DNC

Open Record:

A bit of an up and down existence at the Open since their return in 2003, (they didn’t compete in 2005), it is now nearly 40 years since the band filled one of the top three podium places and over 50 since their last win.

Two wins though can’t be erased from the record books as Philip McCann takes over the helm this year looking to create a bit of more up to date history with the band. .

2010 Form:
Regionals: 2nd (Yorkshire)
Masters: 7th

A season that has been unusually quiet by Carlton Main’s usual contesting standards – but has shown that quality rather than quantity has paid dividends.

A fine performance at Bradford under an inspired MD brought qualification for the Royal Albert Hall, and although they were disappointing at the Masters, it wa still a performance that had all the hallmarks of rigorous preparation running through it.

That could pay even more dividends here this weekend.
Player to listen out for:
Becky Lundberg – One of the best around - a highly assured soloist and section leader.

Co-opCo-operative Funeralcare
Michael Fowles
4BR Ranking: 11

2010 Winnings: £4,950

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Jim Hayes
Principal Euphonium: Allison Bonner
Soprano: Caroline Tennant
Solo Trombone: Paul Kiernan
Solo Horn: Helen Varley
Flugel: David McLeod
Baritone: Lorraine Bisson
Eb Tuba: Richard McCann
Bb Tuba: Andy Smith

Appearances: 23rd time
Debut: 1956

Open Record:
3 Thirds: 1993, 1997, 2004
1 Fourth: 2006
18 times unplaced:

Last 14 Years:
Conductor and draw

2009: 8th (Michael Fowles) (12)
2008: 11th (Andrew Duncan) (9)
2007: 14th (Allan Ramsay) (5)
2006: 4th (Allan Ramsay) (15)
2005: 10th (Frank Renton) (15)
2004: 3rd (Ian McElligott) (13)
2003: 2nd at Grand Shield (Nicholas Childs) (prom): 13th (James Scott) (12)
2002: 16th (John Hinckley) (4) (rel)
2001: 12th (James Gourlay) (4)
2000: 11th (Kazuyoshi Uemura) (16)
1999: 9th (Howard Snell) (9)
1998: 12th (Howard Snell) (20)
1997: 3rd (Howard Snell) (5)
1996: 8th (Howard Snell) (15)

Open Record:

The then Scottish Co-op (they have played here under five different names) returned to the Open in 2003 after trying a real mix and match approach with MDs that despite two top six finishes has cried out for a bit more stability.

There has been many a top class name associated with their Open efforts over the years, but also some less well known ones too – including one Kazuyoshi Uemura in 2000.

2010 Form:
Regionals: Winners (Scotland)
Masters: Winners
West Lothian: Semi Final
Land O’ Burns: 4th

The Scottish champions may not be the most effective entertainment band in the world at the present time (with two home defeats to First Section bands this year), but on the test piece stage they are a completely different proposition.

A highly professional win at the Scottish Area was followed by a slightly more fortuitous but very polished performance in taking the Masters title for a second time in Kettering.

Michael Fowles is an intelligent and underrated MD, who has the knack of bringing the best out of his charges when it really matters – and that could well be here once again.

Player to listen out for:
Jim Hayes – As classy a principal cornet player as any around, and the fulcrum around which recent contest successes have been built.

CoryCory Band
Dr. Robert Childs
4BR Ranking: 1

2010 Winnings:

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Tom Hutchinson
Principal Euphonium: David Childs
Soprano: Bert Van Thienen
Solo Trombone: Chris Thomas
Solo Horn: Owen Farr
Flugel: Joanne Childs
Baritone: Susan Thomas
Eb Tuba: Simon Howell
Bb Tuba: Fraser Bish

Appearances: 48th time
Debut: 1922

Open Record:
4 Wins: 2000, 2002, 2007, 2009
4 Seconds: 1950, 2004, 2005, 2006
3 Thirds: 1972, 2001, 2008
3 Fourths: 1951, 1975, 1976
1 Fifth: 1974
2 Sixths: 1999, 2003
30 times unplaced:

Last 14 Years:
Conductor and draw

2009: Winners (Robert Childs) (6)
2008: 3rd (Robert Childs) (11)
2007: Winners (Robert Childs) (16)
2006: 2nd (Robert Childs) (17)
2005: 2nd (Robert Childs) (16)
2004: 2nd (Robert Childs) (2)
2003: 6th (Robert Childs) (13)
2002: Winners (Robert Childs) (16)
2001: 3rd (Robert Childs) (20)
2000: Winners (Robert Childs) (22)
1999: 6th (Jeremy Wise) (10)
1998: 13th (Jeremy Wise) (19)
1997: 7th (Jeremy Wise) (16)
1996: 19th (Melvin White) (6)
Open Record:

It took Cory 78 years after their Open debut to register their first victory, but since their Millennium year triumph they have been the most consistent band at the contest, with four wins and five podium finishes.  
The draw doesn’t seem to spook them either – last year’s win their first from a single digit draw spot, whist the last three victories have come with a six in the draw number.
2010 Form:
Regionals: 2nd (Wales)
European: Winners

Not as busy a schedule in 2010 as twelve months ago, when their Open victory heralded the peak of their contest year.  

Since then they have regrouped and refocused after the loss of their domestic Welsh title in Swansea. Their hat trick victory at the European in Linz was a thumpingly comprehensive affair.

Confidence should be high on this piece for certain (they have never lost on it!) so the band to beat on Saturday one suspects.  
Player to listen out for:

Bert Van Thienen – Has been on inspired form on his appearances with the band at major contests – especially in Linz a few moths back.

DesfordDesford Colliery
Martin Winter
4BR Ranking: 17  

2010 Winnings: £7,100

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: David Smith
Principal Euphonium: Matthew White
Soprano: Richard Evans
Solo Horn: Miles Davison
Flugel: Simon Platford
Solo Trombone: Julian Turner
Baritone: Kate Williams
Eb Tuba: Martyn Whybrow
Bb Tuba: Gary Proctor

Appearances: 38th time
Debut: 1970

Open Record:
1 Second: 1979
2 Thirds: 1980, 2006
2 Fourths: 1982, 2007
2 Fifths: 1984, 1986
2 Sixths: 1983, 1987
28 Unplaced

Last 14 Years:
Conductor and draw

2009: 7th (James Gourlay) (1)
2008: 14th (Nigel Seaman) (3)
2007: 4th (Frans Violet) (10)
2006: 3rd (Nigel Seaman) (12)
2005: 16th (Peter Parkes) (1)
2004: 3rd at Grand Shield (Peter Parkes) (prom): 7th (Peter Parkes) (17)
2003: DNC
2002: DNC
2001: 19th (Peter Parkes) (12) (rel)
2000: 20th (Peter Parkes) (19)
1999: 13th (Roy Newsome) (3)
1998: 16th (Frank Renton) (2)
1997: 15th (Frank Renton) (6)
1996: 15th (Frank Renton) (16)

Open Record:

Although it seems inconceivable that Desford have never won the Open – especially during the early 1980's, they have come close and have put in some fine shows in recent years.

The draw hasn’t been too kind to them though of late – two Kelly’s Eyes in the last five years plus a number 3 too.

2010 Form:

Regionals: 2nd (Midlands)
Butlins Mineworkers: Winners

This could be an interesting one. Showed their quality at Skegness, but missed out at Bedworth.

Desford has never been shy of going out on a bit of a limb, and this year they will team up with former principal cornet player Martin Winter, who has been making something of a name for himself with the baton in Norway of late.

There has been something of a recruitment drive too, with a host of experienced names back in the ranks. You sense this could turn into something quite special.

Player to listen out for:

Matthew White  – The young euphonium star has been brought in for this contest and could be something of a trump card.

FaireyFairey (Geneva) Band
Russell Gray
4BR Ranking: 10

2010 Winnings:

Principal Players:

Principal Cornet: Iain Culross
Principal Euphonium: Gary Curtain
Soprano: Michelle Ibbotson
Solo Trombone: Les Webb
Solo Horn: Laura Lea
Flugel: Micke Eccles
Baritone: Jeff Lewis
Eb Tuba: Ben Thomson
Bb Tuba: Jon Davies

Appearances: 67th time
Debut: 1938

Open Record:
16 Wins: 1941, 1942, 1944, 1945, 1947, 1949, 1950, 1956, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1965, 1979, 1987, 1993, 1998
13 Seconds: 1943, 1946, 1948, 1953, 1960, 1967, 1975, 1982, 1986, 1988, 1991, 1995, 1997
5 Thirds: 1969, 1977, 1984, 1992, 1999
6 Fourths: 1959, 1971, 1996, 2000, 2003, 2005
2 Fifths: 1985, 2006
7 Sixths: 1951, 1957, 1970, 1978, 1990, 2001, 2002
17 times unplaced

Last 14 Years:
Conductor and draw

2009: 12th (Philip Chalk) (7)
2008: 15th (Philip Chalk) (8)
2007: 7th (Philip Chalk) (12)
2006: 5th (Simon Stonehouse) (8)
2005: 4th (Simon Stonehouse) (9)
2004: 12th (Allan Withington (11)
2003: 4th (Allan Withington) (9)
2002: 6th (Allan Withington) (19)
2001: 6th (Howard Snell) (2)
2000: 4th (James Gourlay) (17)
1999: 3rd (James Gourlay) (12)
1998: Winners (James Gourlay) (16)
1997: 2nd (James Gourlay) (10)
1996: 4th (James Gourlay) (10)

Open Record:

Only Black Dyke can claim more victories at the British Open than Fairey, and the band from Stockport won at least once per decade from 1940 to the end of the 20th century.

They have yet to add to their 16 victories this Millennium, and Russell Gray becomes the fifth to try since James Gourlay guided the band to victory in 1998.

2010 Form:
Regionals: 2nd (North West)
English Nationals: Winners
Whit Friday: Winners in Tameside

As if by magic…Fairey is back can almost out of the blue they look a damn good bet for a first podium finish since 1999 – or better.

They showed their quality at the Regionals by pushing Foden’s close, but it was the performance at the English Nationals where Russell Gray drew such a wonderfully lyrical, yet technically precise rendition out of them, that so impressed.

More of that and they could well be adding more bunce to the European travel fund for 2011.

Player to listen out for:

Michelle Ibbotson  – A performer of the highest class and one that brings such security to the band too.  

Howard Snell
4BR Ranking: 3

2010 Winnings: £4,335

Principal Players:

Principal Cornet: Mark Wilkinson
Principal Euphonium: Glyn Williams
Soprano: Richard Poole
Solo Horn: Lesley Howie
Flugel: Helen Williams
Solo Trombone: John Barber
Baritone: Natsumi Inaba
Eb Tuba: Stewart Baglin
Bb Tuba: Simon Gresswell

Appearances: 71st time
Debut: 1909

Open Record:
11 Wins: 1909, 1910, 1912, 1913, 1915, 1926, 1927, 1928, 1964, 2004, 2008
6 Seconds: 1911, 1916, 1952, 1987, 1998, 2002
7 Thirds: 1914, 1925, 1957, 1970, 1981, 1985, 2007
4 Fourths: 1958, 1965, 1986, 1991
8 Fifths: 1918, 1953, 1968, 1972, 1988, 1996, 1999, 2000
5 Sixths: 1917, 1984, 1994, 2005, 2009
29 times unplaced.

Last 14 Years:
Conductor and draw

2009: 6th (Garry Cutt) (5)
2008: Winners (Garry Cutt) (10)
2007: 3rd (Garry Cutt) (3)
2006: 13th (Garry Cutt) (9)
2005: 6th (Garry Cutt) (18)
2004: Winners (Garry Cutt) (12)
2003: 7th (Thomas Wyss) (3)
2002: 2nd (Bramwell Tovey) (8)
2001: 7th (Bramwell Tovey) (3)
2000: 5th (Bramwell Tovey) (9)
1999: 5th (Nicholas Childs) (4)
1998: 2nd (Nicholas Childs) (18)
1997: 9th (Nicholas Childs) (13)
1996: 5th (Phillip McCann) (3)

Open Record:

The 2008 champion is a band with an amazing pedigree at the contest – with 11 wins in total since their first way back in 1909.

Consistency has been the name of the game with just the 13th place of 2006 the only time they had been outside the top 10 since 1993.

Howard Snell returns for the first time since 1995 to make his 16th appearance with the band.

2010 Form:

Regionals: Winners (North West)
English Nationals: 6th
Whit Friday: 2nd at Tameside

Hard to think that anyone would have foreseen this combination taking to the stage at the British Open this year.

Howard Snell has been away a long time from Foden’s (although he last conducted at the contest in 2005), but class is permanent – it is form that fluctuates, as Foden’s have found out to their cost this year.

The Area win was expected under Garry Cutt, but what followed wasn’t, with a loss at Whit Friday and a disappointing showing at Preston.  It would one heck of a story if they win on Saturday – but don’t discount it..

Player to listen out for:

Helen Williams – This piece seems to be just the right musical vehicle for this outstanding performer.

GrimethorpeGrimethorpe Colliery
Allan Withington
4BR Ranking: 4

2010 Winnings: Nil

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Robert Westacott
Principal Euphonium: Michael Dodd
Soprano: Kevin Crockford
Solo Trombone: Gary MacPhee
Solo Horn: Sheona White
Flugel: Andy Holmes
Baritone: Michael Wells
Eb Tuba: Ken Ferguson
Bb Tuba: Phil Blake Convey

Appearances: 64th time
Debut: 1935

Open Record:
4 Wins: 1967, 1969, 1984, 1991
4 Seconds: 1945, 1963, 1973, 2008
11 Thirds: 1960, 1961, 1968, 1971, 1979, 1983, 1987, 1990, 1994, 2000, 2009
3 Fourths: 1972, 1998, 2001
7 Fifths: 1976, 1981, 1989, 1992, 1995, 1997, 2007
3 Sixths: 1946, 1980, 1985
31 Unplaced.

Last 14 Years:
Conductor and draw

2008: 2nd (Allan Withington) (6)
2007: 5th (Allan Withington) (4)
2006: 9th (Allan Withington) (4)
2005: 12th (Allan Withington) (4)
2004: 9th (Frank Renton) (9)
2003: DNC
2002: 14th (James Gourlay) (10)
2001: 4th (Garry Cutt) (13)
2000: 3rd (Garry Cutt) (20)
1999: 18th (Andreas Sporri) (7)
1998: 4th (Major Peter Parkes) (17)
1997: 5th (Major Peter Parkes) (7)
1996: 7th (Major Peter Parkes) (20)

Open Record:

Just the four wins so far for Grimethorpe – but four memorable wins at that. Two under George Thompson and one each for Geoffrey Brand and Frank Renton.

The last time they celebrated victory here though was in 1991, so a fifth win is long overdue – as is a decent late draw.

2010 Form:

Regionals: 5th  (Yorkshire)

Not exactly a busy year so far for Grimethorpe – but that hasn’t kept them from making contesting news has it?

The inclusion of Sheona White in the ranks brings them a world class performer, whilst the regular corner men are not too shabby either are they now? Add Mr Withington to the equation and you can see them coming close to making it victory number 5 again.

A little unlucky at Bradford, it is time they had a touch of good fortune here too.
Player to listen out for:
Sheona White – Grimethorpe has pulled off a quite remarkable coup with this signing. A player of the rarest class.

HepworthHepworth (Cookson Homes)
Brian Grant
4BR Ranking: 19

2010 Winnings: £10,500

Principal Players:

Principal Cornet: Alan Hobbins
Principal Euphonium: Michael Howley
Soprano: Mark Smedley
Solo Horn: Rebecca Landon
Flugel: Natalie Beer
Solo Trombone: Christopher Mansfield
Baritone: Charmain Gott
Eb Tuba: Simon Mofatt
Bb Tuba: Jim Dickinson

6th time
Debut: 2005

Open Record:
No wins
5 Unplaced:

Last 14 Years:

Conductor and draw
2009: 11th (Ian Porthouse) (14)
2008: 9th (Ian Porthouse) (17)
2007: 8th (Mark Bentham) (13)
2006: 11th (Mark Bentham) (6)
2005: Winners of Grand Shield (Mark Bentham) (prom): 8th (Mark Bentham) (2)

Open Record:

Ever since winning the Grand Shield in 2005, Hepworth has delivered solid no nonsense performances at the contest to finish in and around the top 10 places.

Brian Grant becomes the third MD to try and maintain that record.

2010 Form:

Regionals: 7th (Yorkshire)
Butlins Mineworkers: 2nd
Whit Friday: Winners in Saddleworth

Hepworth has gone quietly, but very effectively about its business this season – from the excellent return at the Mineworkers Contest in Skegness where they came runner up for a second year in a row, to the huge financial boost they bagged at Whit Friday.

The performance at Bradford was a disappointment, but with plenty of experience in the ranks and a rejuvenated Brian Grant at the helm, they could well fancy their chances of a single digit result come Saturday.

Player to listen out for:

Michael Howley  – The talented Mr Howley has been making a name with the baton as well as with the euphonium in recent years.

Garry Cutt
4BR Ranking: 23  

2010 Winnings:

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: David Prentice
Principal Euphonium: Robert Richardson
Soprano: Steve Stewart
Solo Trombone: Luke Williams
Solo Horn: Allan Wardrope
Flugel: Andrea Casey
Baritone: Katrina Marzella
Eb Tuba: Andy McKreel
Bb Tuba: Dave Trusdale

Appearances: 10th time
Debut: 2001

Open Record:
1 Fourth: 2004
1 Fifth: 2008
7 Unplaced

Last 14 Years
Conductor and draw

2009: 9th (Selmer Simonsen) (2)
2008: 5th (Selmer Simonsen) (15)
2007: 18th (Nigel Boddice) (2)
2006: 7th (Steve Bastable) (2)
2005: 13th (Steve Bastable) (8)
2004: 4th (Steve Bastable) (16)
2003: 11th (Frank Renton) (16)
2002: 12th (Frank Renton) (6)
2001: Winners of Grand Shield (A. Ramsay) (prom): 16th (Allan Ramsey) (19)
1996 - 2000: DNC

Open Record:

Kirkintilloch has notched up an impressive record of achievement at the Open since they made their debuts in 2001.

Three top 10 finishes in the past four years shows the quality – especially given the horrendous draws they have had to put up with.
2010 Form:

Regionals: 3rd (Scotland)
Masters: 21st
West Lothian: Semi Final

Not a great year on paper for Kirky so far, and there were rumours that preparations were not going well for this contest too on the conducting front, until they were able to grab hold of the Open specialist himself, Garry Cutt.

This could be a trump card – because he knows exactly what does and doesn’t work at Symphony Hall.

They will however have to show better form than that displayed at the Scottish Area and the West Lothian contest, but they were very unlucky at the Masters.

Player to listen out for:

Allan Wardrope – The heartbeat of the band and a performer of unquestionable quality.

Philip Harper
4BR Ranking: 8

2010 Winnings: £2,525
Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: John Doyle
Principal Euphonium: Philippe Schwartz
Soprano: Matthew Balson
Solo Trombone: Daniel Brooks
Solo Horn: Andy Moore
Flugel: Ben Rapp
Baritone: Kristy Rowe
Eb Tuba: Chris Doran
Bb Tuba: Bill Carter

Appearances: 38th time
Debut: 1948

Open Record:
1 Win: 1994
3 Seconds: 1981, 1990, 1992
3 Thirds: 1989, 1991, 1996
4 Fourths: 1985, 1988, 2008, 2009
1 Fifth: 1993
2 Sixths: 1982, 1998
23 times unplaced

Last 14 Years:
Conductor and draw

2009: 4th (Jason Katsikaris) (13)
2008: Winners of Grand Shield (J. Katsikaris) (prom): 4th (Jason Katsikaris) (4)
2007: DNC
2006: DNC
2005: DNC
2004: DNC
2003: 14th (Peter Bassano) (5) (rel)
2002: 11th (Garry Cutt) (5)
2001: 9th (Brian Grant) (5)
2000: 10th (Howard Snell) (10)
1999: 8th (Richard Evans) (17)
1998: 6th (Richard Evans) (5)
1997: 8th (Richard Evans) (14)
1996: 3rd (Richard Evans) (13)

Open Record:

Leyland returned after five years in the Blackpool wilderness in 2008 and showed their class in coming 4th – a result their repeated last year.
They made their Open debut back in 1948 lasting to 1961, but returned in style (white jackets and all) after winning the Grand Shield in 1981 under Richard Evans.

They also had the odd experience of trying to retain their title off the number 1 slot in 1995 only to come 19th.

2010 Form:
Regionals: 3rd  (North West)
English Nationals: 5th
Whit Friday: 3rd in Tameside

The current Leyland line up appears to have all the attributes required to secure its second British Open title – fine principal players, strong back up ensemble and talented conductor at the helm.

They have yet to really show the consistency required though, and despite the excitement and adrenaline perhaps a cooler head would have helped both at the Area in Blackpool and the English Nationals in Preston.

If they can keep the contesting temperature under control on Saturday though you never know though.

Player to listen out for:

Kristy Rowe – What a player this young lady is. Even the most fleeting moment in the spotlight on this piece will see her shine.  

RothwellRothwell Temperance
David Roberts
4BR Ranking: 9

2010 Winnings: £5,675

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: James McCabe
Principal Euphonium: Andrew Marsh
Soprano: Martin Britt
Solo Horn: Catherine Roberts
Flugel: Richard Golding
Solo Trombone: Nick Walker
Baritone: Jack Telfer
Eb Tuba: Edward Hodkin
Bb Tuba: Ben Ridgeon

Appearances: 16th time
Debut: 1927

Open Record:

1 Fifth: 2005
1 Sixth: 1928
13 times unplaced

Last 14 Years:
Conductor and draw

2009: Winners of Grand Shield (D. Roberts) (prom); 15th (D. Roberts) (11)
2008: 17th (Dave Roberts) (2) (rel)
2007: 9th (David Roberts) (1)
2006: 14th (David Roberts) (10)
2005: 5th (David Roberts) (12)
2004: 2nd at Grand Shield (D. Roberts) (prom): 15th (David Roberts) (14)
1996 - 2003: DNC

Open Record:

A 16th appearance at the British Open for Rothwell, with their first as long ago as 1927.

They returned to the contest in 2004 only to rather controversially be relegated in 2008. Won the Grand Shield in 2009 to return once more.   

2010 Form:
Regionals: 3rd (Yorkshire)
English Nationals: 3rd

No longer a dark horse or long shot bet as a fancied outsider, Rothwell is the real deal at all major contests now – although Symphony Hall hasn’t been the happiest of hunting grounds for them.

If they show the classy, well prepared form of Bradford and Preston they should be in and around a first top six finish since 2005, but they also know that given their luck here in the past they cannot afford any slip ups – as they are not too far away from the edge of the relegation trap door.  

Player to listen out for:

James McCabe – Has continued to grow with maturity in the principal cornet seat over the last few years and is one of the most consistent performers around.

TongwynlaisTongwynlais Temperance
Nigel Seaman
4BR Ranking: 22

2010 Winnings:

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Carl Saunders
Principal Euphonium: Martyn Patterson
Soprano: Morgan James
Solo Trombone: Robin Hackett
Solo Horn: Alyn James
Flugel: David James
Baritone: Dave Osborne
Eb Tuba: Chris Eveson
Bb Tuba: Nick Wills

Appearances: Debut
Debut: 2010

Open Record: N/A
Last 14 Years:
Conductor and draw

Open Record:

The only band never to have appeared at the British Open before, Tongwynalis makes its debut this year thanks to coming runner up at the Grand Shield in Blackpool.  

2010 Form:
Regionals:  3rd (Wales)
Grand Shield: 2nd
Welsh Open: 3rd
Yeovil: 5th
The current National Champion of Great Britain (First Section) has enjoyed a remarkable restoration of contesting fortunes in the last couple of years following their relegation from the Championship Section in Wales in 2008.

Ended 2009 as Pontins champion and then took that form to a higher level after a slightly hesitant start to the 2010 season under Philip Harper’s baton.

Well worth their qualification for London in October and their place here after a terrific performance at Blackpool. This is the litmus test though, but with an experienced man at the helm (Philip Harper is taking Leyland), they should be confident of more than holding their own.

Player to listen out for:

Alyn James – The beating heart of the band in more ways than one - his two talented sons also play on principal seats. One of the very best horn payers Wales has ever produced.

Ian Porthouse
4BR Ranking: 7

2010 Winnings: £6,750

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Dewi Griffiths
Principal Euphonium: Darren Morris
Soprano: Steve Barnsley
Solo Trombone: Stephen Sykes
Solo Horn: Chris Davies
Flugel: Zoe Hancock
Baritone: Geraint Chamberlain
Eb Tuba: Gethin Rees
Bb Tuba: Andy Russell

Appearances: 16th time
Debut: 1976

Open Record:

1 Second: 1996
1 Sixth: 1997
13 times unplaced

Last 14 Years:
Conductor and draw

2009: DNC
2008: DNC
2007: DNC
2006: DNC
2005: 18th (Thomas Wyss) (5) (rel)
2004: 19th (Russell Gray) (15)
2003: 9th (Russell Gray) (18)
2002: 8th (Steve Bastable) (18)
2001: 13th (Steve Bastable) (17)
2000: 8th (Steve Bastable) (12)
1999: 7th (James Scott) (20)
1998: 7th (James Scott) (11)
1997: 6th (James Scott) (3)
1996: 2nd (Nicholas Childs) (9)

Open Record:

A 17th appearance for Tredegar, and the third time they have qualified to play at the contest after a five year absence following their victory at the Grand Shield in Blackpool.

Also won the Grand Shield in 1976 and was runner up in 1994. They came runner up at the Open itself in 1996, but were relegated in 2005.  

2010 Form:
Regionals: Winners  (Wales)
Grand Shield: Winners
Masters: 2nd
National Eisteddfod of Wales: Winners
Welsh Open: Winners
Yeovil: Winners

Tredegar is one of the form bands of the year – so far anyway.

Five victories in six contest outings – including a scorching win at the Welsh Regional Championships and that Grand Shield success. A couple of the others were more expected, but they were unlucky not have added the Masters crown to their CV in Kettering.

Many people’s dark horse for a top six finish or better here, and certainly not a band to discount.

Player to listen out for:

Steven Sykes – The pick of a high class stable of principal players around the stands at the current Welsh Area champion.

GUSVirtuosi GUS
John Berryman
4BR Ranking: 29

2010 Winnings: £1,950

Principal Players:

Principal Cornet: James Fountain
Principal Euphonium: Mark Giles
Soprano: Gary Fountain
Solo Horn: Simon Smith
Flugel: Cliff Pask
Solo Trombone: Chris Jeans
Baritone: Jo Stephenson
Eb Tuba: Linda Hobbs
Bb Tuba: Mike Smith

38th time
Debut: 1934

Open Record:

2 Wins: 1954, 1988
1 Second: 1980
5 Thirds: 1946, 1952, 1974, 1982, 1986
2 Fourths: 1983, 1995
3 Fifths: 1948, 1949, 1964
3 Sixths: 1950, 1953, 1969
22 times unplaced

Last 14 Years:
Conductor and draw

2009: 2nd at Grand Shield (J. Berryman) (prom): 14th (John Berryman) (15)
2008: DNC
2007: DNC
2006: DNC
2005: DNC
2004: DNC
2003: 15th (Major Peter Parkes) (1) (rel)
2002: 17th (Brian Grant) (15)
2001: 10th (Frank Renton) (1)
2000: 7th (Melvin White) (6)
1999: 10th (Melvin White) (23)
1998: 21st (Melvin White) (1)
1997: 17th (John Berryman) (12)

Open Record:

The Virtuosi GUS Band has had many a name in their history at this contest since making their debut in 1934.

They have won the contest twice – famously off the number 1 spot under Stanley Boddington in 1954 as Munn & Felton, and again as Rigid Containers under Bram Tovey in 1988.

They returned to the contest after a six year absence in 2009.

2010 Form:

Regionals: Winners (Midlands)
Butlins Mineworkers: 4th
Masters: 4th
It’s been a decent year of solid progress so far in 2010 for Virtuosi GUS.

They took the Midlands Area title for the first time since 2004 to add to consistent showings at both the Mineworkers Championship in Skegness and the Masters at Kettering.

With a nicely balanced mix of youth and experience the time may have come for them to make a mark at the Open once again and post their fist top six finish since 1995.

Player to listen out for:
James Fountain – Without doubt one of the rising stars of the 21st century brass band movement.

Frank Renton
4BR Ranking: 16

2010 Winnings: £2,400

Principal Players:

Principal Cornet: Chris Bradley
Principal Euphonium: Andy Robson
Soprano: Scott Forest
Solo Trombone: Alex Phillip
Solo Horn: Iain Fleming
Flugel: Hayley Edmond
Baritone: Anne Crookston
Eb Tuba: Graham Fraser
Bb Tuba: Alan Gourlay

Appearances: 19th time
Debut: 1971

Open Record:
1 Second: 2003
1 Fifth: 2001
1 Sixth: 2007
15 times unplaced

Last 14 Years:
Conductor and draw

2009: 17th (Steven Mead) (18)
2008: 10th (Steven Mead) (9)
2007: 6th (Andrew Duncan) (17)
2006: 10th (Andrew Duncan) (13)
2005: 11th (Andrew Duncan) (3)
2004: 13th (Andrew Duncan) (10)
2003: 2nd (Andrew Duncan) (8)
2002: 10th (Philip McCann) (7)
2001: 5th (Philip McCann) (9)
2000: 17th (Philip McCann) (4)
1999: 11th (Philip McCann) (18)
1998: 20th (Archie Hutchison) (3)
1997: 13th (Richard Adams) (8)
1996: 17th (Chris Houlding) (7)

Open Record:

Whitburn made their first appearance at the British Open in 1971, returning a second time after winning the Grand Shield in 1991.
Fortunes have swung widely ever since with three top six finishes balanced against some dire returns. They were runners up in 2003, but last but one in 2009.

2010 Form:

Regionals: 2nd (Scotland)
West Lothian: Winners
Land O' Burns: 2nd

A band that knows it is currently standing right on the creaking doors of the relegation trap door.

Whitburn must show the type of form that saw them post three consecutive top 10 finishes here not so long ago, and perhaps hope for a little bit of luck, if they are to survive.

A solid enough performance at the Scottish Championships was followed by an equally purposeful win at the West Lothian Challenge, but last week’s defeat at their usual impregnable fortress of Troon was a major blow to confidence ahead of this survival challenge.

They have the quality on their day and Frank Renton loves a good old musical scrap, but they are up against it.

Player to listen out for:
Hayley Edmond – One of Whitburn's and Scotland's rising talents


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