2011 London & Southern Counties Regional Championship — First Section preview

It's a big field waiting to tackle Berlioz on the weekend — but can any of them truly master it to claim their Cheltenham berths?

StevenageSaturday 19th March
Adjudicator: Duncan Beckley

Test Piece: Le Carnival Romain (Hector Berlioz arr Frank Wright)

Draw: 2.30pm
Commences: Starts after Second Section results

 Chris King
2010 National champions - Friary Guildford

There was a real cause for celebration at Harrogate last year as Friary Guildford took the First Section National title back down the M1.

It was the London Area’s first taste of lower section victory since 2005 and it didn’t come as a surprise either.

Growing sense of confidence

There has been a growing sense of confidence about the qualifiers heading north for a little while now, with the latest qualifiers providing at least one podium finisher for the fourth time in seven years.

How the bands that make it to Cheltenham fare is anyone’s guess at this moment in time, but those who do get the nod from Duncan Beckley (right) will know that they have done it the hard way by overcoming one heck of a test in ‘Le Carnival Romain’.

Degree of comfort?

The bands here are no different from those at any other areas, and if they are true Championship ensembles in waiting then this piece should be overcome with some degree of comfort.

If they are not – and with a line up of 17, it is highly unlikely that all of them are, then there could be a fair share of uncomfortable moments on show.


The line up of contenders comprises 13 returnees as well as two promoted from the Second Section and two down from the Championship.

In alphabetical order they are headed by Alder Valley Brass who has certainly been making progress towards potential Championship Section status in recent years under the baton of Roger Burke.

They claimed a qualification place in the Second Section last year and went on to come a solid 10th at Harrogate.

Opposite direction

Bedford Town
meanwhile has headed in the opposite direction – although their supporters will hope only temporarily.

They ended in 11th place last year to fall thought the top section relegation trap door, so they will be looking bounce straight back.


has produced two consistent performances in the last two years and will look to build on their 13th place at Butlins earlier this season, whilst East London Brass will surely be one of the favourites to head to the finals for a third year in a row after retaining the Second Section title once more.

They came 5th in Harrogate, and whilst they only ended 9th at Butlins many neutrals felt that was more than a little unfortunate.

Egham also made it to Harrogate after coming 3rd last year, and will be keen to return to improve on their 15th place there under Gareth Green’s direction.


Epsom & Ewell Silver
meanwhile will need to be careful they are not drawn into a relegation battle after coming 15th last year.

They will know they will have to up their form from the 8th place gained at Folkestone.

Fairlop Brass
came 9th at Folkestone and will also need to be careful they are not drawn into that relegation zone after coming 17th last year, whilst Haverhill Silver have just dropped away of late after claiming the title in 2006.

9th place at Butlins was an encouraging performance, but they will know this piece is a much harder ask than the Darroll Barry hurdle they overcame at Skegness.

Steady progress

Horsham Borough
has been making steady progress in the six years they have spent at this level and improved to 9th last year.

They will be hoping to build on their Folkestone outing where they came 7th.

A confident Ipswich & Norwich Co-op put in a solid performance after their 2009 relegation when they came 5th and will look to build on their solid Butlins showing

English Channel

Meanwhile,  Jersey Premier Brass once again makes the trip across the English Channel to see if they can maintain their impressive record of achievement under the baton of Tim Pritchard.

The 2008 winners fell away a little in the last two years so a return to form is perhaps on the cards.

Return to form

A return to form is also on the cards for Kidlington Concert Brass as they rather unluckily fell through the relegation trap door despite posting a solid 7th place in the top section.

Duncan Wilson takes over the baton as they seek to regain their long held top flight status, although they will know they will have to up their form from a disappointing 18th at Skegness.

Soham Comrades
has been improving of late – moving up from 12th to 7th in the past three years and will be boosted by a solid 4th in the top section at Folkestone, whilst in contrast, St Alban’s has struggled somewhat dropping away from a podium finish in 2008 to 13th last year.

Bookies favourite

could be one of the bookies short priced favourites as they seek to improve on last year’s 4th place and claim the title for the first time since 2005 under Melvin White.

That just leaves Welwyn Garden City who will be directed by David Daws as they look to reverse their fortunes in the last few years, whilst in contrast, Yiewsley & West Drayton will look to continue their good progress under Chris Cole, as they seek to build on a solid 4th place at Folkestone and 8th last time out.

As for a winner?

A real bagful of hopefuls and wannabes, contenders and fancied runners.

Still we opt for Staines Brass, closely followed by Kidlington Concert, East London Brass, Yiewsley & West Drayton, Soham Comrades and Ipswich & Norwich, with Egham as our dark old horse.

4BR Prediction:

1.  Staines Brass
2.  Kidlington Concert
3.  East London Brass
4.  Yiewsley & West Drayton
5.  Soham Comrades
6.  Ipswich & Norwich Co-op

Dark Horse: Egham

Alder Valley Brass
Roger Burke

Last 15 Years:
2010: 3rd in Second Section (R. Burke) (prom)
2009: 4th (R. Burke)
2008: Winners (R. Burke)
2007: DNC
2006: 12th (S. Chislett)
2005: 14th (B. Gentry)
2004: 12th (L. Sale)
2003: 7th (D. Barringer)
2002: 4th (D. Barringer)
2001: 9th (D. Marshall)
2000: 11th in Championship Section (rel)
1999: 11th
1998: Winners of First Section (prom)
1997: 5th
1996: 7th

BefdordBedford Town
A. Kershaw

Last 15 Years:

2010: 11th in Championship Section (P. Mayes) (rel)
2009: 6th (P. Mayes)
2008: 8th (J. Berryman)
2007: 3rd in First Section (J. Berryman) (prom)
2006: 6th (C. Reeves)
2005: 4th (G. Bennet)
2004: 8th in Championship Section (G. Bennett) (rel)
2003: 9th (G. Bennett)
2002: 9th (G. Bennett)
2001: 8th (J. Berryman)
2000: Winners of First Section (J. Berryman) (prom)
1999: 12th (rel)
1998: 5th in First Section (prom)
1997: 7th
1996: 2nd

Leigh Sharpe

Last 15 Years:

2010: 10th (L. Sharpe)
2009: 8th (L. Sharpe)
2008: 13th (C. Swaep)
2007: 2nd in Second Section (C. Swaep) (prom)
2006: 10th (C. Swaep)
2005: 3rd (C. Swaep)
2004: 12th (C. Sweap)
2003: 4th (G. Barber)
2002: 9th (C. Swaep)
2001: 10th (A. Broadbent)
2000: 3rd (A. Broadbent)
1999: 11th
1998: 5th in Third Section (prom)
1997: N/K
1996: 3rd in Third Section

East LondonEast London Brass
Jayne Murrill

Last 15 Years:
2010: Winners of Second Section (J. Murrill) (prom)
2009: Winners (J. Murrill)
2008: 9th (J. Murrill)
2007: 12th (D. Shead)
2006: 6th (D. Shead)
2005: 5th (S. Earley)
2004: 8th (S. Earley)
2003: 7th in Third Section (S. Early) (prom)
2002: 3rd (A. Caldon)
Prior to this they competed as Waltham Forest Co-op Band.

G. Green

Last 15 Years:
2010: 3rd (G. Green)
2009: 12th (G. Green)
2008: 5th (G. Green)
2007: Winners of the Second Section (C. Green) (prom)
2006: 3rd (G. Green)
2005: 11th in First Section (G. Green) (rel)
2004: 17th (G. Green)
2003: 8th (G. Green)
2002: 6th (G. Green)
2001: 6th (G. Green)
2000: 9th (G. Green)
1999: 2nd in Second Section (prom)
1998: 5th
1997: N/K
1996: 7th

EpsomEpsom and Ewell Silver
E. Howard

Last 15 Years:
2010: 15th (T. Howard)
2009: 15th (T. Howard)
2008: 2nd in Second Section (E. Howard) (prom)
2007: Winners of Third Section (E. Howard) (prom)
2006: 4th (E. Howard)
2005: 6th (E. Howard)
2004: 12th (E. Howard)
2003: 16th in Second Section (M. Winter) (rel)
2002: DNC
2001: 11th (E. Meuir)
2000: 7th (D. Richards)
1999: 10th
1998: 14th in First Section (rel)
1997: N/K
1996: 7th

FairlopFairlop Brass
K. Jordan

Last 15 Years:
2010: 17th (K. Jordan)
2009: 3rd in Second Section (K. Jordan) (prom)
2008: 7th (K. Jordan)
2007: 6th (K. Jordan)
2006: 13th (K. Jordan)
2005: 13th in First Section (K. Jordan) (rel)
2004: 11th (K. Jordan)
2003: 13th (K. Jordan)
2002: 7th (K. Jordan)
2001: 12th (K. Jordan)
2000: 6th (K. Jordan)
1999: 10th
1998: 2nd in Second Section (prom)
1997: 2nd
1996: 12th

Haverhill Silver
Mark Ager

Last 15 Years:
2010: 6th (M Ager)
2009: 4th (M. Ager)
2008: 12th in Championship Section (M. Ager) (rel)
2007: 5th (M. Ager)
2006: Winners of First Section (M. Ager) (prom)
2005: 8th (M. Ager)
2004: 7th (M. Ager)
2003: 10th (M. Ager)
2002: DNC
2001: DNC
2000: 8th (C. Shipp)
1999: Winners of First Section
1998: 7th
1997: N/K
1996: 2nd in Second Section (prom)

HorshamHorsham Borough
L. Cole

Last 15 Years:
2010: 9th (L. Cole)
2009: 14th (K. Maxwell)
2008: 6th (K. Maxwell)
2007: 9th (K. Maxwell)
2006: 5th (G. Bacon)
2005: 2nd in Second Section (G. Bacon) (prom)
2004: 10th (G. Bacon)
2003: 5th (G. Bacon)
2002: 4th (L. Barron)
2001: 3rd (L. Barron) (prom)
2000: 7th (L. Barron)
1999: N/K
1998: 10th
1997: N/K
1996: 4th

IpswichIpswich and Norwich Co-op
G. Chambers

Last 15 Years:
2010: 5th (G. Chambers)
2009: 11th in Championship Section (R. Norman) (rel)
2008: 2nd in First Section (R. Norman) (prom)
2007: 5th (R Norman)
2006: 11th in Championship Section (R. Norman) (rel)
2005: 10th (S. Kenna)
2004: 9th (S. Kenna)
2003: 3rd in First Section (S. Kenna) (prom)
2002: 11th (S. Kenna)
2001: 5th (S. Kenna)
2000: 4th (S. Kenna)
1999: 9th
1998: 9th
1997: 2nd
1996: 10th in Championship Section (rel)

JerseyJersey Premier Brass
Tim Pritchard

Last 15 Years:

2010: 11th (T. Pritchard)
2009: 7th (T. Pritchard)
2008: Winners (T. Pritchard)
2007: 11th (T. Pritchard)
2006: Winners of Second Section (T. Pritchard) (prom)
2005: Winners of Third Section (G. Saynor) (prom)
2004: 13th (T. Pritchard)
2003: 17th in Third Section (T. Pritchard) (West of England)
2002: 15th in Second Section (T. Pritchard) (West of England)
2001: DNC
2000: 14th in Second Section (T. Pritchard) (West of England)
1999: 4th in Second Section (West of England)

KidlingtonKidlington Concert Brass
Catherine Underwood

Last 15 Years:

2010: 7th in Championship Section (C. Underwood) (rel)
2009: 9th (C. Underwood)
2008: 10th (C. Underwood)
2007: 4th (C. Underwood)
2006: 3rd (C. Underwood)
2005: 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)

SohamSoham Comrades
Keith Schroeter

Last 15 Years:
2010: 7th (K. Schroeter)
2009: 9th (K. Schroeter)
2008: 12th (G. Sheldon)
2007: 10th Championship Section (P. Filby) (rel)
2006: 6th (C. King)
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 (P. Filby) (prom)
1997: 6th (P. Filby)
1996: 5th (P. Filby)

St AlbansSt. Albans City
P. Littlemore

Last 15 Years:
2010: 13th (P. Littlemore)
2009: 13th (D. Shead)
2008: 3rd (D. Shead)
2007: 13th (S. Garman)
2006: 11th (S. Garman)
2005: 17th (S. Garman)
2004: 2nd in Second Section (S. Garman) (prom)
2003: 9th (S. Garman)
2002: 5th in Third Section (W. Rumford) (prom)
2001: 8th (W. Rumford)
2000: 13th in Fourth Section (W. Rumford) (prom)
1999: 3rd in Fourth Section
1998: 8th
1997: N/K
1996: 10th

StainesStaines Brass
Melvin White
Last 15 Years:
2010: 4th (M. White)
2009: 12th in Championship Section (M. White) (rel)
2008: 5th (M. White)
2007: DNC
2006: 2nd (I. McElligott)
2005: Winners of First Section (I. McElligott) (prom)
2004: Winners (I. McElligott)
2003: 11th in Championship Section (I. McElligott) (rel)
2002: 11th (M. White)
2001: 2nd in First Section (M. White) (prom)
2000: 2nd (E. Campbell)
1999: 13th in Second Section (rel)
1998: DNC
1997: N/K
1996: 2nd

WelwynWelwyn Garden City
D. Daws

Last 15 Years:
2010: 12th (D. Daws)
2009: 6th (J. Marshall)
2008: 11th in Championship Section (D. Stoke) (rel)
2007: 7th (S. Tighe)
2006: 10th (D. Jones)
2005: 5th (D. Jones)
2004: 7th (D. Jones)
2003: 7th (D. Stokes)
2002: 2nd in First Section (D. Stokes) (prom)
2001: 4th (D. Stokes)
2000: 10th (D. Stokes)
1999: 3rd
1998: Winners of Second Section (prom)
1997: 5th
1996: 10th in First Section (rel)

YiewsleyYiewsley & West Drayton
C. Cole

Last 15 Years:
2010: 8th (C. Cole)
2009: 2nd in Second Section (C. Cole) (prom)
2008: 12th (C. Cole)
2007: 4th (C. Cole)
2006: 12th (C. Cole)
2005: 9th (C. Cole)
2004: 3rd (C. Cole)
2003: 12th (C. Cole)
2002: 2nd in Third Section (C. Cole) (prom)
2001: 7th in Fourth Section (C. Cole) (prom)
2000: 15th (C. Cole)
1999: 5th in
1998: DNC
1997: DNC
1996: DNC

Past Qualifiers:

2010: Friary Guildford, Regent Brass, Egham
2009: Norfolk Brass, Sandhurst Silver
2008: Jersey Premier Brass, Ipswich & Norwich Co-op
2007: Milton Keynes Broseley, City of Cambridge
2006: Haverhill, KM Medway
2005: Staines Brass, Clacton on Sea, Wantage Silver
2004: Staines Brass, Northfleet Brass, Clacton On Sea Co-operative
2003: Friary Guildford, Zone One Brass
2002: Matthews Norfolk Brass*, Welwyn Garden City
2001: Alliance Brass, Staines Brass
2000: Bedford Town, Staines
1999: Haverhill, Regent Brass
1998: Alder Valley Brass, Regent Brass
1997: City of Oxford, Ipswich Co-op
1996: Hatfields of Colchester, Bedford Town
1995: City of Cambridge, City of Oxford
*Didn't take place at Finals – replaced by Alder Valley

London Bands at the Finals:

2010: 1st, 13th, 15th
2009: 3rd, 11th
2008: 15th, 16th
2007: 12th, 15th
2006: 12th, 13th
2005: 2nd, 12th, 15th
2004: 3rd, 16th, 8th
2003: 5th, 15th
2002: 14th, 16th
2001: 2nd, 14th
2000: 7th, 14th
1999: 10th, 13th
1998: 9th, 16th

Regent Hall Concerts - The January Band

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

WFEL Fairey Band -

Sunday 5 February • Glossop Old Bandroom . Derby St.. SK138LP SK138LP

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

Chadderton Band

January 31 • Chadderton Band is a non-contesting band playing at various events throughout the year. We are a friendly band and welcome all players of any age and ability on all sections of the band. Please come along and meet the band you will be very welcomed.

Leicestershire Co-op Band

January 30 • Leicestershire Co-op Band are looking for a PERCUSSIONIST for the 2023 Midlands Regional Championships (and beyond). Do you fancy the challenge of The Pilgrim's Progress under the artistic direction of Keith Leonard?

Newstead Brass

January 30 • Our Red Priest is still looking for an EEb Bass as we prepare for the midland championships with Martin Heartfield. Great chance to work with a great MD on this challenging but fun piece to rehearse.

Phillip Littlemore

GGSM, AoBBA Member
Conductor, Band Trainer, Adjudicator, Arranger, Teacher and Publisher


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