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2011 West of England Regional Championship — Torquay preview

As always there is always a warm and friendly atmosphere down in Torquay despite a slight chill of late at the Nationals.

TorquayThere is always a warm welcome to be found at the West of England Regional Championships.

Perhaps it’s the early spring breeze that gently blows though the palm trees surrounding the Riviera Centre, or the smiles you get from the organisers and helpers as you make your way to the hall.

Red hot blast

However, there may be a red hot blast about to erupt here – although not from the place you might suspect. Things at Championship level are bubbling up nicely this weekend, thanks to the early season form of a few of the rival competitors.
 
The travails of the Championship Section bands once they get to the Royal Albert Hall are well documented: A last podium finish in 1993 and a top six finish in 1994, whilst the 2010 qualifiers came 13th and 18th.  

However that could be about to change – and there is a feeling that Sunday afternoon’s contest is one not to miss.

Colder further down

Its further down the sections that a once rich seam, of what appeared to be a never ending supply of highly competitive bands has dried up a bit , although there were two podium finishers in Harrogate.  

That’s still a fine return in most regions books (Yorkshire included), but the heady days of winners galore around the turn of the Millennium is starting to fade in the memory banks.

Polyphemus

That said, even the most patriotic musical Polyphemus found in Bradford still casts a green eye of envy this way: Five of the nine qualifiers came home with top ten finishes from Harrogate.

Plenty to look forward too then – from Flowers attempts to become the first top section band to retain its title since 1996, to the delights of the Fourth Section where 22 bands are sure to impress Derek Broadbent and David Lancaster.

The region still produces high quality lower section outfits, even if it’s not quite the gold top double cream variety of recent vintage.

Ticking over nicely

Brian Elliott and his excellent team of volunteers keep a field of 74 bands ticking over nicely.

There is even good news on that front as numbers are up one this year, with the loss of Heyl, Solent, South Molton and St Breward, offset by the return of Bodmin, Soundhouse, Bideford, Gosport, Midsomer Norton and Tiverton, and debutants Andover Town.

The West of England may not be able to boast as many National Champions as Yorkshire just yet, but it is making every effort to ensure they will have plenty of bands trying.

Iwan Fox



Foden's Band - St Michaels & All Angels Church

Saturday 25 May • Egerton Road, Ashton on Ribble, Preston PR2 1AJ


St Pinnock Brass Band - Rock Choir Cornwall

Sunday 26 May • Sterts Theatre, . Sterts, . Liskeard, . PL14 5AZ PL14 5AZ


Contest: All England International Masters

Sunday 26 May • The Lighthouse Theatre, Kettering Conference Centre, Thurston Drive NN15 6PB


Lewes, Glynde and Beddingham Brass Band - Eastbourne Bandstand - 1812 concert

Wednesday 29 May • Bandstand, Grand Parade, Eastbourne BN21 3AD


Black Dyke Band - George Lawton Hall, Mossley

Thursday 30 May • George Lawton Hall, Stamford St, Mossley, Ashton-under-Lyne OL5 0HR


Oxford Cherwell Brass

May 20 • OCB are looking to recruit a 2nd horn, 2nd baritone & 2nd trombone player to complete our middle and lower band lineup. A good selection of concert work and contests planned for 2019 as we settle into life in the 2nd section.


Hucknall & Linby Brass

May 20 • Hucknall and Linby MC Brass are looking for a Bb bass player to complete their line up. This position offers a trip to the 1st section National finals in September and the enjoyable challenge of the Championship section from January 2020.


Stannington Brass Band

May 20 • A rare opportunity has arisen to join one of Sheffield's leading bands with a vacancy for an EEb TUBA PLAYER to complete our bass section. We have a good band room atmosphere and a calendar of interesting concerts and contests.


Ian Porthouse


Cornet soloist, clinician, conductor and adjudicator