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2011 Yorkshire Regional Championship — Bradford preview

Yorkshire is the beating heart of the UK Banding movement but it's blood supply needs a bit of thickening...

St Georges
HallTalk to Yorkshire brass band supporters about just how good their bands are and they reply straight from the heart: It’s their greatest strength as well as their most obvious weakness.

Temple of excellence

The pride in their achievements permeates every nook and cranny of St George’s Hall in Bradford – their very own Victorian temple of brass band excellence.

At times you can’t stop them babbling on about just how good they are – and it seems not without good reason.

One eye


However, they can be blinded in the ‘one eye’ by the brilliance of their very best exponents, who will thrill the packed auditorium late (and it could be very late) on Sunday evening.

Despite the famous National Trophy residing in the county for a fifth successive year, not everything is quite as worthy of a heartfelt boast or two at lower section level.

For a third successive year not one Harrogate qualifier returned home with a title to its name – and only one managed a podium finish.

Winners

Yorkshire may well boast seven Albert Hall winners since the turn of the Millennium, but that’s one more than the entire efforts of all four lower section qualifiers during the same period of time.

The Third and Fourth Sections have produced just one National winner since 2000 (you have to go back to 1993 for the last time a Third Section band won) – and that was in 2006. 

Their great rivals across the Pennines have produced 11 in the same period as well as 35 top six finishers to Yorkshire’s 11.

The best

The best in Bradford are brilliant – but there doesn’t appear to be such great strength in depth.

The lifeblood that keeps Yorkshire’s banding heart beating has been of a pretty thin mix of late.

That though may be about to change, although a 12 band Championship Section (reduced by one this year by the withdrawal of Old Silkstone) remains one of the root causes of Yorkshire’s lower section malaise.

Encouraging results

There have been encouraging results recently from bands on their travels in the lower sections – with City of Sheffield and Dronfield (who now fly the White Rose flag above their bandroom after their move from the Midlands) taking Butlins titles, with rivals close on their coat tails.

That Yorkshire banding blood may not be as diluted as some may think.

Good news

There is further good news in that the region has lost only lost 2 bands since 2010, although it is still disturbing that those include long established competitors such as Old Silkstone, Holme and Yorkshire Co-op as well as Gawthorpe, Cornerstone, West Yorkshire Police, Haworth and Dearne Valley.

Thankfully, Dronfield has popped over the border, whilst the great work of Peggy Tomlinson and her volunteers has seen them bring back City of Bradford, Horbury Victoria, Golcar and Yorkshire Traction Honley.

Whimsy

As always there will be a great deal of interest from all corners of the banding globe to what goes on at St George’s Hall, (Peggy heads a very slick operation) although it is safe to assume the BBC won’t be following Dinnington again, (brass bands seem to be off the BBCs whimsy radar at the moment) and unlikely the renowned journalist Matthew Engel will be back to do a follow up for the 'Financial Times' after last year’s eyebrow raising First Section contest.

Everyone else though will be there for certain – and waiting for the heartfelt expressions of Yorkshire pride as the results are announced too.

Nothing will stop the locals from doing that.

Iwan Fox



Boarshurst Silver Band - Vernon Building Society (Poynton) Brass Band

Sunday 29 January • Boarshurst Band Club. Greenbridge Lane. Greenfield. Saddleworth OL3 7EW


Regent Hall Concerts - The January Band

Friday 3 February • Regent Hall (The Salvation Army). 275 Oxford Street. London W1C2DJ


Regent Hall Concerts - Junior Guildhall Brass Band

Friday 10 February • Regent Hall (The Salvation Army). 275 Oxford Street. London W1C2DJ


Contest: Norwegian National Brass Band Championships

Friday 10 February • Grieghallen, Bergen, N-5015 N-5015


Contest: Norwegian National Brass Band Championships

Saturday 11 February • Grieghallen, Bergen, N-5015 N-5015


Concert Brass Poynton

January 28 • Tired of Contesting? Concert Brass Poynton seek a Bass, Front Row Cornet and Trombone player. Not a learner band. Higher section players should enjoy our rehearsal. Rehearing Weds, 8.00 to 10.00pm in Poynton (between Stockport & Macclesfield.


Mereside Brass

January 27 • Mereside Brass (Rudheath, Northwich, Cheshire) are looking for a front row CORNET, possibly PRINCIPAL for the right player. We are a friendly 4th Section band, currently not contesting but with a sensible calendar of jobs and band social events


The GUS Band

January 27 • The GUS Band is seeking applications for the position of Soprano Cornet. . The GUS Band are a championship section band based in central Northampton and rehearse Mondays and Thursdays 8-10pm


Jonathan Pippen


Conductor, Adjudicator, Trombone Soloist & Clinician


               

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