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2012 North of England Regional Championship — Darlington preview

There is so much to enjoy about the banding scene in these parts that it's a pity they haven't had much to fly the flag about of late.

North of EnglandThere is always such a great atmosphere to be enjoyed at the Dolphin Centre for the North of England Regional Championships weekend, that it’s a pity that the Area hasn’t had a great deal to cheer about results wise at the National Finals for a while.

Flag flying

BHK Horden’s First Section victory in 2003 was a long time ago now (and the band is no more) so it would be great to see at least one championship winning pennant flying proudly off the flagpole above the Dolphin Centre this time next year.

The venue itself is well worth a visit (and not just for the warm welcome you get from everyone involved) as despite being a very well maintained leisure complex, it also offers excellent facilities (you can have a dip in the pool to cool off after you played) even if the acoustic can be a bit lively.

That flag raising ceremony may be a little while off yet as 2011 wasn’t a particularly great year at the Finals, with midfield finishes at London and not a single top six placing to be had in Cheltenham.

Postcard
There is always something to catch the eye in the North East...

No despair


There isn’t a feeling of despair however as there has been a noticeable, if incremental improvement if the overall quality of the bands here in the past few years – especially in the lowest sections.

Despite Reg Vardy’s hegemony, they have been feeling the hot breath of the rivals breathing on the backs of their necks, whilst the First Section qualifiers have provided at least one top ten finish at the National Finals for five years in a row.

Numbers up

Numbers are up and there is the welcome sign of debuts in the Fourth Section for Barton Community as well as the return after some time away for Burneside Brass, Jayess Newbiggin, Spennymoor Town, Stape, Craghead and Kirkby Lonsdale.

There a few of non starters in Durham Constabulary, Lockwood, Wansbeck’s Ashington, Lanchester and Dearham, but Alan Hope and his exceptionally hard working team on the Regional Committee must be delighted that despite the relative lack of National success the event is still attracting new and old competitors.

Hope springs eternal

With such passionate brass band supporters in the region it would be great if a little bit of long overdue success came their way.

If Newcastle United and Sunderland can do it then hope springs eternal...

Martin Benson 



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


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

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


Edenbridge Town Band

January 16 • Our friendly, non-contesting band is looking for a new MUSICAL DIRECTOR. We are based in a small town in Kent, situated between junction 5 and 6 of the M25. We practise on Wednesday evenings from 7.30 pm to 9.45 pm in our own purpose built bandroom.


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


Ian Holmes

BA (hons), PGDip (RCM), ARCM, ALCM
Conductor, piano accompanist and educator


               

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