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2012 West of England Regional Championship — Torquay preview

West of England banding is on the up — and now its lead is coming from the top down...

TorquayWest of England banding is on the up – and perhaps for the first time in a generation it is being led from the top down.

Famed for the excellence of their lower section bands over the past decade or more, the good times are now starting to roll at Championship and First Section levels too.

Numbers up


Numbers are up (an additional 8 bands make it to the starting line to bring the total to 81), the organisation at the Riviera Centre under Brian Elliot’s command is slick, happy and very professional, and the Region can boast two National Champions after the superb performances from just about all their qualifying bands at Cheltenham.

The only down side is the acoustic at the both the Forum and Arena venues – both splendid for the spoken voice and fun and games, but neither ideal for a brass band contest – although the amenities are excellent and the welcome is always warm and friendly.

Cheltenham excellence


Aldbourne and Brunel Brass were worthy National title winners of the First and Second Sections, but it is also important to add that there were excellent performances in each of the sections – with Bournemouth runner up in the First behind their rivals, Pendennis claiming 5th in the Second Section, Sidmouth 6th in the Third, and New Forest Brass coming runner up in the Fourth.

To top it all though, Flowers has built on its solid 2011 season and has started this year like a F1 car, Woodfalls and Mount Charles are certainly on the up and Aldbourne was on fire last year. No wonder there are envious glances from other regions in the country.

Puffed out

You get the feeling that there will be plenty of puffed out chests at Torquay this weekend.

It should also make for keenly fought contests too – with Woodfalls hoping to finally put the dreaded defending champions curse to bed in the Championship event on Sunday, and with the prospect of some cracking battles in each of the other sections.

No wonder an experienced team of judges has been drafted in.

What the rest of the contesting year brings we wait and see, but unlike other false dawns of recent times, especially in the top section, there is a look of growing sense of permanency about the quality of the bands here now.

4BR will be there on the weekend to enjoy the new found confidence of a regional event that promises to be a cracker.

Iwan Fox



Regent Hall Concerts - Big Smoke Brass

Friday 17 January • Charlton House. Charlton Road. London. SE7 8RE SE7 8RE


Black Dyke Band - Morley Town Hall

Saturday 18 January • 66 Queen St, Morley, Leeds LS27 9BP


Camborne Youth Band - New Year Concert

Sunday 19 January • Penventon Park Hotel, West End, Redruth TR15 3AD


The Hepworth Band - A New Year's Viennese Matinee Concert

Sunday 19 January • Christ Church. Sude Hill. New Mill. Holmfirth. West Yorkshire HD9 7BL


Foden's Band - RNCM Brass Band Festival

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


Shipston Town Band

January 16 • We are looking for a Bb Bass and Eb Bass as we prepare for the Midlands Area Section 3 in March and the ODBBA Winter Contest in February. After qualifying for the finals at Cheltenham last September we are looking to make an impression in our new section


Markham and district band

January 15 • A friendly, 2nd section band we are looking for applicants for BBb bass and percussionist in readiness for the Regional contest in Swansea on 29th February. A busy 2020 is planned. A very Happy New Year to all our banding friends


Foss Dyke Band

January 15 • Due to ill health, we find ourselves needing a front row Cornet. A tuned percussionist is still required, and BBflat Bass player. Come along for a blow and check us out. Now playing in the 1st Section under our New MD Ian Scott. A warm welcome awaits.


Sarah Groarke-Booth

BA (Hons) MA
Conductor, Adjudicator, Compere, Actor


               

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