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2012 North West Regional Championship — Blackpool preview

Numbers are up, but is the North West in need of a bit of trickle down success?

Winter GardensIt all kicks off in Blackpool on Sunday.

For the locals that may be a relief as it’s usually Friday and Saturday night when the streets are full with half dressed hen night revelers and stag parties packed with incoherent Lotharios, but for the North West banding community it’s the Sabbath when the fun and games begin.

Concentrate

The London and Cheltenham may seem a long way off at this time of year, but nothing concentrates the early season contesting mind sharper than a possible appearance at the National Finals.

The North West qualifiers suffered a disappointing set of results last year, drawing a blank in the title winning stakes, with only one band (Fairey) returning home with a podium finish to its name. 

That may be seen as something of a temporary blip given the success the region has enjoyed over the last decade or more, but on closer inspection, it may start to raise a few concerns.  

Fodens
Can anyone stop Foden's making it seven in a row this year?

Overdue

The National Trophy hasn’t resided in the region since 2005, whilst you have to go back to 2004 for the last time there was a First Section winner, and to 2000 for a Second Section National champion.

However, there have been six Third Section winners since 2001 and five Fourth Section champions since 2003.

Time then for a bit of long overdue National triumphs from Championship, First and Second Section representatives, before the rest of the banding world starts to really think that like lagered up lads on a night out on the Golden Mile, there is a lot of boasting about top quality conquests, but perhaps little actual evidence to back it up.

Quantity

One thing the locals can certainly boast about though is quantity – with 80 bands (up 9) taking to the various stages at the Winter Gardens. No wonder the area will have two judges per section next year. 

That’s also the highest number since 1990 – a welcome headache for debutant contest controller Keith Tysell to face.

He will head a great team of volunteers who ensure the day runs like clockwork.

Massive field

The massive 25 band field in the Fourth Section will start at 10.30am in the Pavilion Theatre, whilst the 18 contenders in the Third Section will kick off at 9.45am in the Empress Ballroom.

The 11 First Section bands follow the Third at 3.15pm in the Empress Ballroom, whilst the Opera House hosts the 14 Second Section bands starting at 10.00am, followed by the climax of the day with the 12 Championship Section rivals starting at 2.30pm.

4BR coverage

Plenty then to enjoy as things kick off in fine style at the Winter Gardens.

4BR will be there as usual to provide our coverage of the day with our own ‘experts’ in each of the sections to listen to every band.

Iwan Fox



Markham and district band - Charity Concert for Hospice of the Valleys

Friday 24 January • The Met Theatre, Mitre Street, Abertillery. NP131AL


Foden's Band - RNCM Brass Band Festival

Friday 24 January • RNCM, 124 Oxford Rd, Manchester. M13 9RD


Foden's Band - Aberystwyth

Saturday 25 January • Old College, King Street, Aberystwyth SY23 2AY


Black Dyke Band - RNCM Brass Band Festival

Saturday 25 January • 124 Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9 RD


Tredegar Town Band - RNCM Festival of Brass

Sunday 26 January • Royal Northern College of Music. 124 Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9RD


London Central Fellowship Band

January 23 • Vacancies for CORNET (solo / 1st / 2nd), TROMBONE, Bb BASS and PERCUSSION. An enthusiastic band affiliated to the Salvation Army with a full and varied diary of local and national concerts. We are looking for committed enthusiastic players


Mid-Rhondda

January 22 • Are you looking for a change for 2020 or a new challenge with a friendly/sociable band. We have vacancies for Soprano, back row cornet, Bb Bass and percussion. Rehearsal is on Thursdays at the Band Hall, Dunraven Street, CF40 1AL


Corby Silver Band

January 22 • Corby Silver Band, 3rd section - Midlands Area, are looking to recruit a back row cornet and/or 1st horn player for the regional Contest and beyond. We rehearse in our own band room in Corby, North Northamptonshire on Monday and Wednesday at 8pm.


Mike Sheppard

B.A. (Hons) Music
Composer, conductor, teacher, author


               

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