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2013 Butlins Mineworkers Championship — Skegness preview

4BR Editor Iwan Fox looks forward to taking a small step or two towards Skegness this weekend...

The face of Butlins 2012
Worth the march to Skegness:  Family smiles for Flowers in 2012

Even though Chairman Mao said that every great journey starts with one small step, even he would have found the trek to windswept Skegness a hard old slog for his merry band of followers in the middle of a bleak January.

Still, once he got there, he would have had plenty to jot down for future reference about how to keep the masses happy in his version of banding’s little red book.

Spectacular style

That’s because the 2013 contesting season kicks off in quite spectacular style at the Skyline Resort this weekend, when over 100 bands and ensembles set up camp to enjoy plenty of high class music making, entertainment and test piece contesting.

The prizes on offer for those who come out on top in the various sections are considerable – including the first ever £10,000 top prize for a Championship Section event.

Hard work

They will have worked hard for it though, as despite the recent festive celebrations, the really serious contenders will have been putting in the hours of practice well before the Christmas decorations were due to come down on Twelfth Night.

Flowers celebrate
Can Flowers pick up the £10,000 top prize on offer this weekend?

14 top section bands will battle it out over two days to get their hands on the big, big, money, whilst a veritable ‘Red’ Army of 27 contenders will pack into the appropriately named venue for the First Section event.

There is also a big field of 18 challenges lined up at the Lakeside in the Second Section, a further 13 at the Royal Arthur Suite for the Third, and no less than18 rivals at the Crazy Horse Theatre for the Fourth Section.

Earned their fees

The adjudication teams will have certainly earned their fees then – with David Read MBE (Saturday & Sunday), joined by Dr Robert Childs (Saturday) and Michael Fowles (Sunday) in the top section.

Paul Cosh and Michael Fowles will test their marathon capabilities in the First, whilst Dr Nicholas Childs and Paul Norley have the task of separating the bands out in the Second. 

Kevin Wadsworth is joined by American trumpet star and Brass Band of Central Florida MD Chad Shoopman to sort out the Third Section, with Alan Fernie and David Thornton enjoying the action in the Fourth.

Youth Brass 2000
2012 triumph for Youth Brass 2000

Great youth entertainment

Whilst the top section contenders provide the audience with the entertainment on the Sunday there will also be two great contests taking place at the Reds venue, when a cracking line up of Youth Bands and Junior Ensembles look to impress Gordon Higginbottom with their diverse programmes.

Butlins certainly knows how to cater for the brass band loving audience – with additional concerts to enjoy by Cory, Flowers, Woodfalls and Youth Brass 2000, the Dennis Rollins Band, the MF Legacy Band and the Parpenrifters Bavarian Band – all superbly organised by contest controller Brian Eggleshaw and Festival Director of Music, Steve Walker. 

Not even Chairman Mao could indoctrinate the masses as well as this...

4BR will be there on the weekend to cover the action, with our live coverage and usual news, views and interviews, so why not come along and say hello.    

Iwan Fox

Further information:

www.4barsrest.com/news/detail.asp



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Wednesday 31 July • Bandstand, Grand Parade, Eastbourne BN21 3AD


Lewes, Glynde and Beddingham Brass Band - Commercial Square Bonfire Society, The Jumping Jac

Saturday 3 August • The Paddock. Little Paddock Lane. Lewes BN7 1UU


Gresley Colliery Band - Byrkley Park Garden Centre

Saturday 10 August • Byrkley Drive, Rangemore St, Burton upon Trent . DE13 9RN


Foden's Band - Matt Ford - Gawsworth Hall, Macclesfield

Sunday 11 August • Gawsworth Hall, Church Lane, Gawsworth SK11 9RN


Foden's Band - Snape Maltings

Saturday 17 August • Snape Maltings, Suffolk IP17 1SP


Amington Band

July 22 • Positions vacant: Amington Band: Amington Band (Midlands 3rd Section) have a busy contesting and concert schedule and are looking for: 1st TROMBONE, 2nd TROMBONE and BACK ROW CORNETS


city of coventry brass

July 22 • City of Coventry Brass require a Musical Director to prepare the band for forthcoming engagements and contests in the Second Section. We rehearse in Coventry on Thursday evenings with additional rehearsals as required prior to concerts and contests.


Castleton Brass

July 22 • We are an ambitious 2nd section band in the London & Southern Counties Region based near Eye in Suffolk. The band has vacancies for Soprano & Principal/Solo cornet. The band rehearses on a Tuesday evening between 19.30pm and 21.30pm.


Ian Holmes

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