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2019 Midlands Regional Championships
As it happened

All the action from the 2019 Midlands Regional Championships — As it happened.

Midlands

Sunday 10, 20:08:10

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2019 Champion: Desford

Result:

Championship Section:

Adjudicators: Brett Baker and Derek Broadbent

1. Desford Colliery (Michael Fowles)*
2. GUS (Chris Jeans)*
3. Ratby Co-operative (Mareika Gray)
4. Foresters Brass (John Davis)
5. Blidworth Welfare (Simon Oates)
6. Jaguar Landrover (Nigel Seaman)
7. Spal Sovereign Brass (Trevor Jones)
8. Langley (Cliff Parker)
9. Derwent Brass (Jack Capstaff)
10. Thoresby Colliery (Ian McElligott)
11. Rushden Town (Adele Hudson)
12. Hathern (John Hudson)

*Top two bands qualify for National Final


Midlands

Sunday 10, 19:25:19

Championship Section opinions and prediction...

The Championship Section has drawn to a close in Bedworth and it's been a day of widely differing approaches and interpretations of 'Seascapes' -sometimes bewilderingly so.

There were those that went for safety, there were those that tried to get to the heart of the music, there those that tried to find the best of both and there was one that went off on a trajectory that proved to be wildly individual. Yes, the Civic Hall has had it all!

There's only one winner for us though with Desford a clear cut above the competition today. GUS should join them in London although it's a close call for the remainder of the podium places.

Chris Thomas

1. Desford Colliery
2. Virtuosi GUS
3. Ratby Co-operative
4. Thoresby Colliery
5. Jaguar Landrover
6. Foresters

Dark Horses Langley and Spal Sovereign


Midlands

Sunday 10, 19:24:20

Championship Section:

12. Langley (Cliff Parker)

Opens well and from the off this has a sense of purpose and drive. It’s a touch over done at times and the bass trombone has an edge that cut could through the ice of the arctic ocean, but the energy of the playing is never in doubt.

The Saraband has a gently relaxed feel to it and although there are one or two uncomfortable moments, they are fleeting and the musical picture remains intact. Those warm sounds are there throughout too.

The final movement is a touch tired sounding, not surprising perhaps given the bands exertions earlier. It just loses its way a little but recovers its energy to close majestically.

Overall: Langley has excelled itself today, as has it’s MD Cliff Parker. We confess that the quality of this has surprised us. Could be a plumb mid-table finisher.


Midlands

Sunday 10, 18:58:57

Championship Section:

11. Ratby Co-operative (Mareika Gray)

Ratby’s first movement is informed by solid no nonsense playing. It’s perhaps not the most exciting we have heard today and a little more dynamic contrast would help, but everything is neatly and cleanly in its place.

Nice sounds to open the Saraband and the tempo is good. Again this is not the most refined and elegant playing that we have heard but it’s eminently sensible in terms of its playing to the band’s strengths. The error count is low and although in some ways its a touch safe, it’s also impressive for its confidence and security.

The final movement is quick but again, this drives on its way with purpose and impressive technical security. The detail is always evident and careful attention to balance is making a big difference here. And the band still has something in reserve for a majestic ending.

Overall: A performance from Ratby that was as safe as houses but not in a bad way. This could make a significant mark today.


Midlands

Sunday 10, 18:40:24

Championship Section:

10. Blidworth Welfare (Simon Oates)

Open well and although its not always 100% precise, the first movement progresses with good style and is musically well put together. It’s not the most refined execution at times but we admire the MD’s stance as he really tries to shape the music.

That same musicality also informs the Saraband and perhaps most impressive of all is the fact that the MD is drawing the best from his players. One senses that this is the band playing to the very best of its capabilities.

The final movement is laboured at times and here the technical demands of the score do take their toll as the ensemble loosens and individual entries are not always entirely accurate. It drives on well though and that momentum steams through to the final bars.

Overall: So much to commend from Blidworth. Musically this was a thoughtfully constructed account, whilst technically the players gave their all.


Midlands

Sunday 10, 18:21:50

Championship Section:

9. Virtuosi GUS (Chris Jeans)

The opening tempo is steady and whilst the quality of the playing is fine indeed, it does feel a tad sluggish. The Allegro Furioso is so much better and the ensemble is impressively tight. This is accurate, precise playing with a comparatively low error count in comparison to much we have heard today.

The Saraband radiates warmth and this is so well done. Arguably the tempo is a touch cautious and a little more freedom might enhance the music further but the security of the playing allied with its musicality is beyond question, with the movement ending in touching tranquility.

That essential momentum is there form the off in the final movement and technically this is playing of a high order indeed. There are one or two slips as we head towards the closing bars but the building excitement here is intelligently paced leading to a majestic closing flourish.

Overall: A warmly affectionate account of Seascapes from GUS and a significant step up from the band's performance at Butlins a couple of months ago.


Midlands

Sunday 10, 17:53:47

Championship Section:

8. Hathern (John Hudson)

Opens well although as the movement progresses it becomes increasingly untidy in its execution. We sense where the MD is taking the music but this is challenging the band on a technical level as well as musically.

The Saraband reveals some serious cracks as errors, tuning and nerves threat to overrun. It’s such a shame as the intent is always there but at times the boat lists precariously.

The choice of tempo in the final movement is good and this again displays purpose and drive but those technical elements again conspire to undermine that intent. The result is that the playing becomes more and more untidy as it progresses to a tired end.

Overall: The band laboured manfully throughout but ultimately Hathern’s was a performance that struggled to stay afloat to complete is perilous journey.


Midlands

Sunday 10, 17:52:11

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2019 Champion: Ratby Cooperative

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Result:

Fourth Section:

Test Piece: Stantonbury Festival (Ray Steadman-Allen)
Adjudicators: Benjamin Richeton and John Winterflood

1. Ratby Co-operative Mid (Gary Perrin)*
2. Melton (Graham Sutton)*
3. Shipston Town (Howard Gibbs)*
4. Kirkby Colliery Welfare (Neville Buxton)
5. Skegness (Steve Walker)
6. Matlock (Chris Banks)
7. Whitwell Brass (Ryan Stacey)
8. Coventry Festival (Allan Wheelhouse)
9. Moulton 77 (Colin Jones)
10. Croft Silver (Ian Needham)
11. University of Warwick (Simon Hogg)
12. Sherwood Forest Brass (Christine Lippeatt)
13. Malvern Hills District (Chris License)
14. Fairfield (Buxton) (Charles Kitchen)
15. Brackley & District (Mark Probert)
16. City of Birmingham (Ben Hewlett-Davies)
17. Wem Jubilee (David Thomas)
18. Dunchurch (Paul Whitmore)
19. Bilton Silver (Evolution) (Jack Fisher)
20. Newark Town (Brian Newland)

*Top three bands qualify for National Final

Withdrawn: Bestwood Welfare Black Diamonds (tba)


Midlands

Sunday 10, 17:36:57

Championship Section:

7. Derwent Brass (Jack Capstaff)

The opening movement flies along like a powerboat across the Solent. This has a serious head of steam about it and all too often feels headlong in its approach rather than pliable. A good deal of the detail is lost as a result although it’s certainly got drive and purpose about it.

The Saraband is well played on one level but feels a touch contrived in its shape and again, the music needs to be more malleable if it is to bring the many subtleties of the score to the surface. Slips in individual entries and lapses in ensemble also detract on occasions.

The final movement is way faster than anything else we have heard today. At times it’s more akin to Derek Bourgeois’ Apocalypse than the poetry of John Masefield and the music of a Salvationist. By heck, this is going for the jugular.

Overall: A curious account from Derwent. Much of it was well played but it’s sheer individuality is almost impossible to place into context.


Midlands

Sunday 10, 16:57:47

Championship Section:

6. Jaguar Landrover (Nigel Seaman)

JLR takes to the stage with Nigel Seaman at the helm for the first time and the opening moves on with urgency. This is a quicker tempo than most bands have adopted so far today but there is both detail and character in the playing that impresses. One or two little clips and slips are noted although the shape of the music remains intact and dynamics are kept on a tight leash.

A delicately coloured Andante closes the first movement and heralds the Saraband. The intonation doesn’t sit comfortably as the Saraband opens but the courtly feel of the dance is well articulated. Dynamics are used to telling effect but cornet clips are evident in the duet and trombones don’t sit well in the bars that follow. This has suddenly lost its poise. It regains its composure to close well though.

The final movement powers ahead but at times feels a touch rushed. The detail is not always totally clear in the cornets and tuning is again problematic at times. It drives on towards the close with vigour and momentum and its an impressive final flourish but those earlier slips could prove crucial.

Overall: A performance that at it’s best was high quality indeed. However there were also lapses in concentration that saw the quality drop at several key moments.


Midlands

Sunday 10, 16:48:31

Fourth Section opinion and prediction

Dunchurch ' To finish off a great day's banding Dunchurch who on a different day could be up there. However today, tuning and ensemble issues could cost them. Credit to them, to play last in a field of 20 isn't easy. A good effort.

My final thoughts and predictions:-

A great day's worth of banding and fabulous to see such a healthy number of bands in the fourth section. The day was brilliantly led by Mick Veasey and his team. The day flowed really well as soon as a band is off the other band is on and made the day flow very nicely indeed.

On the whole a deceptively 'easy on paper' test piece that proved anything but as any intonation problems and easy to hear and hard to sort. A few degrees of tempo differences especially in the first movement. It will be interesting to hear what the judges thought whether they go for 'what it says on the tin' or not.

I don't think any band ran away with it today and it could be any order. I don't envy the judges job today.

Michael Cox

1. Ratby Co-operative Mid
2. Kirkby Colliery
3. Sherwood Forest Brass
4. Matlock
5. City of Birmingham
6. WEM Jubilee

Dark Horse: Skegness


Midlands

Sunday 10, 16:30:10

Fourth Section:

WEM Jubilee—A brisk opening. Despite the quick tempo a lot of quality to admire. The MD means business with his team and it’s paying off. Very neat and tidy playing just the odd clip and percussion heavy by the end but overall doesn’t detract from the performance. This could feature with the guys in the box very much so.

Skegness—A very controlled, measured performance. This had a few nods around the hall and it’s hard to disagree with them. The team from the coast can come away feeling very happy satisfied indeed. Another for the judges to ponder near the top.


Just one band to go…


Midlands

Sunday 10, 16:29:26

Championship Section:

5. Desford Colliery (Mike Fowles)

Desford is a band that can lay claim to having a unique history with Seascapes and the opening makes so much musical sense here as everything is audible, whilst the swell of the ocean and the evocative cries of the seabirds are painted in myriad colours and with so much character and atmosphere. This is so engaging and carries us along on the crest of its musical wave.

The closing Andante is as delicate as a water colour and the Sarabande opens with grace and such delicacy. The gentle ebb and flow is captured beautifully as Mike Fowles gives the music space to breathe and flow. The cornet duet dances and the dynamics are used to such telling effect, contributing hugely to the overall musical picture. There’s a wonderful depth to the sonority of the band sound and the movement closes in gentle repose. Lovely stuff.

Immediately there’s a vigour about the final movement that lends the music so much energy and intent. It drives on against the waves with purpose and everything knits together so impressively. Most of all there is a sense of technical and musical cohesion about the performance that is unlike anything else we have heard so far today with an ending of majestic splendour.

Overall: A reading of unbridled quality from Desford, imbued with so much atmosphere and character from the off. It will take some performance to sink this one today.


Midlands

Sunday 10, 16:10:46

Championship Section:

4. Foresters Brass (John Davis)

The first movement opens well and this has a gently swelling sense of shape as we hear the distant cries of seabirds over the ocean. There are one or two uncomfortable moments as the boat rocks momentarily but the Allegro Furioso drives onward with energy and elemental power. This is a raw approach but it certainly grabs our attention.

The Sarabande again opens well and the MD is really trying to inject shape and pliability into the music. Cornets falter in the dancing duet and it just stutters a little as trombones don’t gel in the bars that follow, but as the movement draws to a close we again sense the players trying to draw the music off the page. They might not be the most technically equipped band so far but the musical approach has offset this to some degree.

The opening needs more dynamic contrasts and as a result the colours are a touch monochrome. One or two nervy moments in the cornets unsettle the flow and this now feels a touch pedestrian as we approach the conclusion. The ending is solid enough and caps a reading of clear musical intent.

Overall: A fine effort from Foresters. It wasn’t always totally accurate in execution and needed more contrast of dynamic at times but the musical approach was evident throughout.


Midlands

Sunday 10, 15:52:22

Fourth Section:

Newark Town—A mixed bag this one. Some good bands sounds and classy playing was equalled by some all too evident intonation discrepancies. Another good reading by the MD. A shame not everything came off today.

Fairfield Buxton—A solid account by the 2014 champions. However just lost its way ever so slightly at times. Seemed to tire towards the end. A frustrating one as the quality was there to admire. Could still feature.

Bilton Silver—A young team led by Jack Fisher should feel very proud of themselves. They coped with the demands of the music very well just intonation and hesitation caught up with the young team that may cost. An exciting future ahead for Bilton.


Midlands

Sunday 10, 15:51:37

Championship Section:

3. Spal Sovereign (Trevor Jones)

The opening lacks shape and lilt and the swell of the waves and cries of the seabirds are lost amongst a dense sea mist that masks so much of the musical vision. Above all Ray Steadman-Allen’s score is evocative in its changes of mood and atmosphere but this is being played as a test piece first and foremost.

Tuning wavers in the fleeting Andante that closes the opening movement and as the Sarabande opens theres a little more grace and shape about the playing. The cornet duet needs to dance more and with a slow tempo adopted at this point the music again loses the shape and pliability that it relies on.

The final movement opened effectively and progresses well through the early passages before losing its way once again in the latter stages as the detail becomes scrambled and somewhat over-complicated in its direction.

Overall: A piece that the band could clearly play technically but a performance that failed to get to the heart of the music. This needed a good deal more pliability and shaping to find the abundant moods the composer creates.


Midlands

Sunday 10, 15:28:34

Championship Section:

2. Rushden Town (Adele Hudson)

Rushden Town celebrates its first Championship Section area outing and starts well. Some of the inner detail is not always apparent and it lacks a little poise at times with not everything quite knitting together. This is a creditable debut so far however and the MD is working hard to find the shape and flow of the music.

The Sarabande is so tricky to pull off and this needs a little more ebb and flow and light and shade. Trombones don’t gel and as the movement progresses the challenges of the music gradually become more evident as individual entries tend to the cautious and insecure.

The detail in the final movement is again not always apparent as the band wrestles with ensemble and the mistakes begin to mount. The result sounds somewhat chaotic at times with the band battling hard against an angry ocean that it can’t always contain.

Overall: A creditable debut from the Northamptonshire band. It was perhaps the musical challenges of the score more than the technical challenges that ultimately saw the waves envelope them.


Midlands

Sunday 10, 15:11:16

Fourth Section:

Moulton 77—An impressive start that caught the attention of most in the hall, however the quality wasn’t quite maintained throughout but a fine effort though. The MD can come away feeling his team has put in a good shift.

Ratby Co-operative Mid—A lovely flow to the music which the MD allows the music to breathe and is returned in kind with some quality playing. I think we could have a new leader at the top. Maybe not so unlucky 13…

University of Warwick—Credit to the band they have given it a go. Not everything went according to plan. Well done to the young lady MD who directed excellently and was all smiles at the end and rightly so.


Midlands

Sunday 10, 15:10:20

Championship Section:

1. Thoresby Colliery (Ian McElligott)

The opening is possibly a touch steady in tempo and it takes a few moments for the waves to settle. As we hit the Allegro Furioso the tempo is again steady and this seems to lack a little urgency and ferocity despite the obvious quality of the playing.

The Andante to close is nicely done and the Sarabande opens gracefully with gentle swells of warmth that permeate the textures. As the movement progresses however it loses its flow and stubbornly fails to engage musically. Yet the sounds are so deliciously warm and enveloping.

The technical elements of the final movement are unquestionably secure but it’s the character that again seems to be absent. Fine work from the cornets and the detail impresses when the textures thicken. The close has more spirit about it but there has been a strangely lack lustre quality to much of this.

Overall: A competent, technically secure account to open from Thoresby but one that didn’t quite get to the heart of the music.


Midlands

Sunday 10, 14:56:04

Draw:

Championship Section:

Test Piece: Seascapes (Ray Steadman-Allen)
Adjudicators: Brett Baker and Derek Broadbent

1. Thoresby Colliery (Ian McElligott)
2. Rushden Town (Adele Hudson)
3. Spal Sovereign Brass (Trevor Jones)
4. Foresters Brass (John Davis)
5. Desford Colliery (Michael Fowles)
6. Jaguar Land Rover (Nigel Seaman)
7. Derwent Brass (Jack Capstaff)
8. Hathern (John Hudson)
9. GUS (Chris Jeans)
10. Blidworth Welfare (Simon Oates)
11. Ratby Co-operative (Mareika Gray)
12. Langley (Cliff Parker)


Midlands

Sunday 10, 14:43:54

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2019 Champion: Gresley Colliery

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Result:

Second Section:

Test Piece: Rise of the Phoenix (Darrol Barry)
Adjudicators: Gary Davies & Steve Pritchard-Jones

1. Gresley Colliery (Craig Stevens)*
2. Rolls Royce (Derby) (Graham Cardwell)*
3. Shirland Welfare (Lynden Cooper)
4. Foss Dyke (Mike Howley)
5. Market Rasen (David Dernley)
6. Ireland Colliery Chesterfield (Lindon Bolt)
7. Ibstock Brick Brass (Simon Willis)
8. Wigston (Chris Small)
9. Tintwistle (Andrew Mallon)
10. City of Coventry (Stephen Cooper)
11. Avonbank Evesham (Dave Lea)
12. Bakewell Silver (Andy Davey)
13. Stourport on Severn (Oliver Wilson)

*Top two bands qualify for National Final


Midlands

Sunday 10, 14:37:04

Second Section opinion and prediction

The last band has just left the stage in Bedworth Civic Hall, with Ibstock Brick Brass giving a reading of solidity and warmth that has resonated as a serious contender. It wasn't without its moments of hesitation and nerves but no performance has emerged unscathed today in what has been a closely fought but at times frustrating Second Section contest with issues of consistency proving to be amongst the greatest challenges to the competing bands.

It could take a fair bit of head scratching for adjudicators Steve Pritchard-Jones and Gary Davies as they pick through what could be a very close finish at the top.

Chris Thomas

1. Gresley Colliery
2. Rolls Royce Derby
3. Ibstock Brick Brass
4. Market Rasen
5. Foss Dyke
6. City of Coventry

Dark Horses Shirland Welfare and Stourport on Severn


Midlands

Sunday 10, 13:54:14

Second Section:

We are approaching the end of the Second Section contest in Bedworth and in many ways it’s been a disappointing affair with the bands finding the demands and exposed solo work in Rise of the Phoenix to be challenging to say the least.

Newly promoted Market Rasen was another band that opened in such promising fashion but with slips and errors that mounted in the music that followed. The approach was excellent however and what a fine contribution from solo cornet. John Barry loomed large in the central section and there was drama in the closing passages.

City of Coventry’s opening was bracing and weighty in sound although cracks appeared once the dynamic dropped to lower levels. Quality solo work evident although like so many other performances today, it lost its flow at times with ensemble not always precise as the excitement levels built.

Stourport on Severn’s MD Oliver Wilson pulled no punches with the tempi as the music drove onward with purpose and intent, albeit not always backed up by consistent execution. There was a sense of drama about this though that held our attention throughout.


Midlands

Sunday 10, 13:53:17

Fourth Section opinions and half way point round up...

Melton—A very assured performance. Some lovely bass pedals thrown in there also. Not everything comes off today however but a confident display nonetheless.

Whitwell Brass—An uneven one this, as tuning and lack of balance plagued throughout this one despite the best intentions of the MD. When it got going the sounds were there to enjoy.

Half way opinions and predictions:

What a contest. Plenty to admire today and a difficult one to call. The conductors have done a great job to attempt to bring the style out of the score. What looks like on paper to be an ‘easy’ piece can be deceptively difficult. The two men in the box have their work cut out.

Still, my top six at half-time is as follows:-

Kirkby Colliery
Sherwood Forest Brass
Matlock
City of Birmingham
Shipston Town
Croft Silver


Midlands

Sunday 10, 13:20:57

Fourth Section:

Malvern Hills District—Neat opening, the notes are all played and flows well to end. The 2nd movement again flows along nicely without too much drama. Good tempo to finish the piece off. Overall a good effort overall and one the band can be proud of.

Croft Silver—Good band sounds to open and throughout. Despite a ‘telephony incident’ between the movements the band kept composure to deliver a good rendition of the piece and can head to the bar feeling pleased with their days work.

Shipston Town—A great effort by the Shipston team. Solid playing throughout. Not without the occasional blemish (and an unlucky timp entry) but a thoroughly enjoyable and a great read by the MD and could find favour in the box later as there was plenty to enjoy.


Midlands

Sunday 10, 12:59:54

Second Section:

We are into the second half of the draw in Bedworth and Gresley Colliery has given us a performance to relish that could well prove tough to beat on the evidence of what has gone so far.

There were good sounds from Avonbank Evesham to open although there were also some uncomfortable moments along the way as shaky ensemble and nervy individual entries served to unsettle the musical picture. A shame as there was so much to admire in the style here.

Gresley Colliery is a band with serious contesting credentials and it showed in a bold, attention grabbing opening that bristled with drama and intent. Good flugel and cornet soloists and the playing displayed consistency that has been all too lacking at times so far today. The atmosphere was carefully created and maintained to a bravura ending. One to beat without a doubt.

Tintwistle gave a solid opening although the slow music that followed didn’t quite flow smoothly, despite a fine effort from flugel. Bass solo wasn’t entirely comfortable although what followed was so much better. Lost its flow in the slow section though. This was so close to being a fine performance but slips will surely count against.


Midlands

Sunday 10, 12:31:31

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Family enjoyment for Sherwood

Fourth Section:

Sherwood Forest Brass ' Confident and controlled opening and this continues throughout with a lovely style just the occasional tuning issue but overall a very good opening (maybe a tad more in dynamic contrast) . This is good stuff from the MD the second movement is controlled and the band are responding to her in kind.

Third movement is brisk and runs along nicely. Just the occasional blip and untogetherness. Maybe more quiet playing throughout required. The young timp player looks to be enjoying himself. Just tired towards the end but overall a good show. Could be there or there abouts come the results

Kirkby Colliery Welfare ' Good opening, warm sounds come through however don't forget 'leggiero' style cornets. Grows in confidence to a good ending. Nice sounds emerge from the 2nd movement and some good sop playing that just sits nicely on top of the tutti cornets.

Well played generally just the odd 'blip' but doesn't generally detract from the overall picture. Good third movement with a nice flow just be careful with the tuning (cornets) as the notes get lower (bottom C's). Just a bit untidy in the trombones at times but overall this is good playing. Another that could be up there.

Coventry Festival ' Untogether opening crotchets. A brisk tempo the opening movement. This is a good effort but tuning problems with the sustained sounds over power the melody for me. A good flow into the second movement but again intonation just takes a shine off the performance.

Third movement is better as the band start to settle down the style is heard and leads to a good finish. Overall, the intonation/blips just won the battle today but a fine effort nonetheless.


Midlands

Sunday 10, 11:48:50

Second Section:

Another three accounts of Rise of the Phoenix that were at best inconsistent and at times clearly wayward in their execution. The bands in Bedworth aren’t finding this easy with the door remaining wide open as we approach the mid-way point of the contest.

Foss Dyke gave us a vibrant, dynamic and bracing account under the experienced Mike Howley. There was so much colour about this and even though there were one or two unsettled moments along the way, the bravura continued through too the end….some racy James Bond in the middle section too!

Shirland Welfare displayed bundles of intent although the performance didn’t always go to plan as ensemble wasn’t always as tight as it could be and soloists dried up on a couple of occasions. It sounded a little tired by the end although this was another committed if not flawless account.

Wigston started well but once again those nerves kicked in as soloists sometimes found it difficult to maintain those long, exposed lyrical lines. This was one that got scrappier as it progressed.


Midlands

Sunday 10, 11:47:14

Fourth Section:

As soon as we reached 11am the blue skies came out for a lovely day of contesting. We have heard three good bands this morning. One that came runners up last year and two that came from the 3rd section that will be looking to make their statements heard.

City of Birmingham a slightly hesitant opening but soon settles with some nice playing throughout. Second movement flows well just a the occasional tuning discrepancy. Third movement is vibrant and style is captured throughout. Overall a very confident performance off the dreaded number 1 draw. A good marker.

Matlock set off quickly for the first movement but they can handle it well. A good sound however the semiquavers seem rather staccato for me but not a bad opening movement. Lovely start to the second movement with lyrical sounds from the middle band. Third movement is played well with a good tempo with good attempts at the accented notes and that shows off the good band sound right until the end.

Brackley & District a few slips detract from a solid opening. A few intonation issues creep in but a better end to the movement. A better opening into the 2nd movement, as the band settle down. Well done trombones lead a solid lower end to a good movement. 3rd movement has a light feel but a few slips are coming back and notes quite together. A good reading by the MD, however didn’t quite all come together today.


Midlands

Sunday 10, 11:44:29

Draw:

Second Section:

Test Piece: Rise of the Phoenix (Darrol Barry)
Adjudicators: Gary Davies & Steve Pritchard-Jones
Split Draws: 9.00am and 10.30am
Commences: 10.00am

1. Ireland Colliery Chesterfield (Lindon Bolt)
2. Rolls Royce (Derby) (Graham Cardwell)
3. Bakewell Silver (Andy Davey)
4. Foss Dyke (Mike Howley)
5. Shirland Welfare (Lynden Cooper)
6. Wigston (Chris Small)
7. Avonbank Evesham (Dave Lea)
8. Gresley Colliery (Craig Stevens)
9. Tintwistle (Andrew Mallon)
10. Market Rasen (David Dernley)
11. City of Coventry (Stephen Cooper)
12. Stourport on Severn (Oliver Wilson)
13. Ibstock Brick Brass (Simon Willis)


Midlands

Sunday 10, 10:55:56

Second Section:

We’ve heard three colourful, vivid accounts of Darrol Barry’s Rise of the Phoenix to open the Second Section contest in Bedworth although we suspect that those tricky exposed solos are likely to be crucial as the contest progresses.

Ireland Colliery Chesterfield commenced with warm, nicely balanced sounds although nerves played a crucial part in the reminder of the performance as soloists felt the pressure of the occasion. The tutti’s were impressive though and the dynamics well handled.

Bold confidence was the order of the day from Rolls Royce (Derby) under Graham Cardwell although admirably, that confidence was never allowed to spill over into over blowing or stridency. Fine work from the euphonium section and there was so much atmosphere about this, allied with excellent quiet dynamics.

Bakewell Silver’s admirably controlled opening was subsequently undermined by some loose ensemble playing in the more exposed passages. Committed soloists though and full marks to principal cornet for a great contribution with the band giving us a fine majestic ending.


Midlands

Sunday 10, 10:49:21

Draw:

Fourth Section:

Test Piece: Stantonbury Festival (Ray Steadman-Allen)
Adjudicators: Benjamin Richeton and John Winterflood
Split Draws: 10.00am and 12 noon
Commence: 11.00am

1. City of Birmingham (Ben Hewlett-Davies)
2. Matlock (Chris Banks)
3. Brackley & District (Mark Probert)
4. Sherwood Forest Brass (Christine Lippeatt)
5. Kirkby Colliery Welfare (Neville Buxton)
6. Coventry Festival (Allan Wheelhouse)
7. Malvern Hills District (Chris License)
8. Croft Silver (Ian Needham)
9. Shipston Town (Howard Gibbs)
10. Melton (Graham Sutton)
11. Whitwell Brass (Ryan Stacey)
12. Moulton 77 (Colin Jones)
13. Ratby Co-operative Mid (Gary Perrin)
14. University of Warwick (Simon Hogg)
15. Newark Town (Brian Newland)
16. Fairfield (Buxton) (Charles Kitchen)
17. Bilton Silver (Evolution) (Jack Fisher)
18. Wem Jubilee (David Thomas)
19. Skegness (Steve Walker)
20. Dunchurch (Paul Whitmore)

Withdrawn: Bestwood Welfare Black Diamonds (tba)


Midlands

Sunday 10, 10:46:39

Fourth Section:

Draw announced imminently.

A grey morning from Kenilworth School with snow nearby but 21 bands looking to show what they can do with the popular 'Stantonbury Festival' and a piece that hasn't gone 'stale' whilst rehearsing according to feedback here.

Michael Cox


Midlands

Sunday 10, 09:35:14

Draw:

Second Section:

Test Piece: Rise of the Phoenix (Darrol Barry)
Adjudicators: Gary Davies & Steve Pritchard-Jones
Split Draws: 9.00am and 10.30am
Commences: 10.00am

1. Ireland Colliery Chesterfield (Lindon Bolt)
2. Rolls Royce (Derby) (Graham Cardwell)
3. Bakewell Silver (Andy Davey)
4. Foss Dyke (Mike Howley)
5. Shirland Welfare (Lynden Cooper)
6. Wigston (Chris Small)
7. Avonbank Evesham (Dave Lea)

City of Coventry (Stephen Cooper)
Gresley Colliery (Craig Stevens)
Ibstock Brick Brass (Simon Willis)
Market Rasen (David Dernley)
Stourport on Severn (Oliver Wilson)
Tintwistle (Andrew Mallon)


Midlands

Saturday 9, 16:30:49

embedded picture
2019 Champion: Enderby

Result:

First Section:

Adjudicators: Alan Morrison and John Winterflood

1. Enderby (Ryan Richards)*
2. Hucknall & Linby MC (Paul Whyley)*
3. Newstead Brass (Jim Davies)
4. Jackfield (David Maplestone)
5. Shirley (David Hirst)
6. Bedworth Brass (Wayne Ruston)
7. Kibworth (John Hudson)
8. Oddfellows Brass (Dave Hollings)
9. Harborough (Brad Turnbull)
10. Burbage (Buxton) (Steve Critchlow)
11. Staffordshire (Craig Williams)
12. Bilton Silver (Rugby) (David Stowell)
13. Shirebrook MW Unison (Jim Henson)
14. Carlton Brass (Gary Wyatt)
15. Leicestershire Co-op (Brendan Caddy)

*Top two bands qualify for National Final

Withdrawn: Glossop Old (Luke Palister)


Midlands

Saturday 9, 16:24:39

embedded picture
2019 Champion: Raunds Temperance

Result:

Third Section:

Adjudicators: Gary Davies and Steve Pritchard-Jones

1. Raunds Temperance (Jonathan Pippen)*
2. Stamford Brass (Julian Bright)*
3. Towcester Studio (Neil Brownless)
4. Pleasley Colliery Welfare (Geof Benson)
5. Wellington Telford (Stephen Rhodes)
6. Cleobury Mortimer (Colin Hogg)
7. Arrow Valley (Andy Culshaw)
8. Audley Brass (Tom Hancock)
9. Cubbington (Mark Phillips)
10. Long Eaton (Sharon Stansfield)
11. Corby Silver (Catherine Fountain)
12. Daventry (Bob Stradling)
13. Amington (Alan Gifford)
14. Newhall (Kevin Holdgate)
15. Syston (Gary Smallwood)
16. Trentham Brass (Mike Cavaney)

*Top two bands qualify for National Final


Midlands

Saturday 9, 15:55:12

Third Section opinions and predictions...

15. Long Eaton: Lovely warm opening from Long Eaton here, Baritones help add to this lovely texture. There are some unlucky moments in the solo lines unfortunately. Conductor has a real spring in her are during movement 2, not surprising with some virtuosic euphonium playing on show. The MD continues to work hard as she puts together this performance, which for the most part comes off. Only 1 or 2 uneasy moments.

16. Trentham Brass: Beautiful sound from the euphonium player to open, although this is followed my some nervy solo lines. You can tell it’s the end of a long day as Trentham are sounding very fatigued, with scrappy cornets and loose ensemble. Movement 2 seems to drag on with intermittent solo lines not helping.

4BR Prediction:

There have been two bands that have stood out for me today. Raunds Temperance were the most consistent in my opinion, closely followed by Stamford Brass. In third I have gone for Long Eaton who’s conductor inspired them to pull off a very committed performance.

Wilson Taylor

1. Raunds Temperance
2. Stamford Brass
3. Long Eaton
4. Arrow Brass
5. Audley
6. Towcester


Midlands

Saturday 9, 15:49:08

First Section opinions and prediction...

It's all over in Bedworth Civic Hall although the fat lady has yet to sing the results out! The contest has been a curious mix of elation and frustration as a result of some bands finding the myriad moods and colours of the core despite flaws elsewhere and others displaying impressive technique yet leaving us out in the cold emotionally.

There were a select handful of performances however that did get close to achieving both in equal measure and its that select handful of bands that have made it to the top of my predictions.

It's a close call though and the adjudicators comments will be awaited with considerable anticipation here in the Civic Hall.

Chris Thomas goes for a top six of:

1. Bilton (Rugby)
2. Shirley
3. Enderby
4. Jackfield
5. Staffordshire
6. Bedworth Brass

Dark Horses: Carlton and Oddfellows Brass


Midlands

Saturday 9, 15:42:14

First Section:

The final three first Section bands have all made an impression in Bedworth although for differing reasons.

Jackfield opened well with a stylish, brightly coloured fanfare. The ensemble to follow wasn’t always totally precise but there were some spine tingling darkly hued touches in the Grave that were so well done whilst the Finale was always under control, despite a few nervy moments from soloists leading to a bravura closing flourish.

Enderby have been on an impressive run under Ryan Richards of late and there certainly signs of that today. The dynamic control displayed was impressive albeit with wide ranging extremes on display but it was the attention to rhythmic detail that impressed the most, particularly in the final movement where the opening of the Brioso was perhaps the best we have heard today, both in terms of its dynamic and lightness of touch.

Hucknall and Linby opened well with a bright and breezy fanfare although not without a few minor slips as the first movement progressed. There was a dark seam of intent in the Grave that didn’t always fully come off but it also had moments of chilling depth. The last movement got off to an untidy start, recovering to a spirited close.

Chris Thomas’s summing up and prediction will follow shortly…


Midlands

Saturday 9, 15:20:27

Third Section:

12. Amington: Movement 1 starts quite untidily, dynamics are also a touch on the heavy side. Principal cornet does so well leading the front row during the second movement. Some great detail coming from the bass end as the second movement comes to a close. Another performance that grew in confidence as the piece went on, and although the final movement is a touch on the quicker side, it is well controlled.

13. Corby Silver: Another quiet opening from Corby, horns sound lovely during their opening phrase, as does sop! Movement 2 doesn't open entirely together. The dynamic control from the MD is excellent. Movement 3 is mostly played well, it's just a shame that the band and percussion aren't always 100% together. The ending is bold, helped by great Basses.

14. Daventry: The opening is a touch on the heavy side, but because of this it is all mostly secure. Movement 2 opens nicely with some tidy cornet and euphonium work. Soprano has done well so far during all of his solo lines. Scrappiness and bad tuning is becoming apparent as the 2nd movement comes to a close. Movement 3 is set at such a nice tempo, percussion help this stay on track too.


Midlands

Saturday 9, 15:02:18

First Section:

The second half of the split draw in the First Section in Bedworth is well under way with the contest just losing its momentum a little as bands struggle to colour the music and with ensemble all too often lacking clinical precision.

We have to confess to a degree of disappointment about Staffordshire’s performance from the number ten draw. The pre-contest favourite gave a technically secure yet curiously un-involving account of the score that needed a good deal more subtlety of spirit, mood and character than we heard today. This could struggle to make a serious challenge amongst some tough competition.

Leicestershire Co-op certainly demonstrated enthusiasm in the opening movement but all too often the detail wasn’t audible, with the band displaying a tendency to rush headlong onward. The central Grave was better with thoughtfully observed mood changes but the final movement again rushed with some uncomfortable moments along the way, notably in the fugue.

For Kibworth it was a lack of rhythmic control that often undermined the outer movements, notably in the finale where the counterpoint of the Brioso felt somewhat insecure from the start. The ending was better but slips are likely to cost the band several places today.


Midlands

Saturday 9, 14:42:22

Third Section:

9. Raunds Temperance: Juicy bass noise to begin movement 1, just a shame the horns don't all speak together in their entry. Soprano does so well in their solo. Movement 2 flows beautifully with not much that will hinder their performance. Movement 3 is very solid, nothing overdone, which is nice. So much detail in this performance from first note to last. Soprano and principal cornet highlights for me. Could feature today.

10. Wellington Telford: Safe opening with the dynamics a bit on the heavy side, just some tuning issues as solo lines enter. Movement 2 produces a fair bit of untidy ensemble work, and closes with an unusual interpretation from the MD. It's clear that the bands in this section enjoy the 3rd movement more than the others, as this is where the best playing has been heard.

11. Arrow Valley: Lovely delicate opening from Arrow Valley which is phrased so well. Just some unlucky moments in the solo lines. Movement 2 is extremely well led by the MD, with the ensemble fitting together nicely. Movement 3 has a real swagger to it. This is a performance that has had a handful of wonderful moments, but not without a few blips on the way.


Midlands

Saturday 9, 14:05:49

First Section:

This is turning into an intriguing and exciting First Section contest in Bedworth with the standard gaining in consistency as the contest progresses.

Shirley’s account from a draw of seven impressed from the off. There are some highly experienced heads around the stands and this has so much colour, energy and character. Nothing is forced and crucially, the central movement isn’t allowed to descend into a dirge despite its marking of ‘Grave’. Excellent stuff and directed with a telling combination of experience and insight by David Hirst.

Bedworth’s opening movement showed plenty of spirit albeit maybe without the last ounce of stylistic character that is now separating a close field at the top. We like the darkness of the ‘Grave’ and it’s a final movement marked with impressive dynamic contrasts despite a tired sounding final chord.

Harborough’s performance under Brad Turnbull was creditable for its consistency of execution but lacked the crucial contrasts of colour and dynamic that have marked out the front runners so far. In parts it was engaging stuff but needed more excitement at key moments.


Midlands

Saturday 9, 13:25:27

Draw:

Third Section:

Adjudicators: Gary Davies and Steve Pritchard-Jones
Split Draw: 10.00am and 12 noon
Commences: 11.00am

1. Cleobury Mortimer (Colin Hogg)
2. Cubbington (Mark Phillips)
3. Towcester Studio (Neil Brownless)
4. Pleasley Colliery Welfare (Geof Benson)
5. Syston (Gary Smallwood)
6. Newhall (Kevin Holdgate)
7. Stamford Brass (Julian Bright)
8. Audley Brass (Tom Hancock)
9. Raunds Temperance (Jonathan Pippen)
10. Wellington Telford (Stephen Rhodes)
11. Arrow Valley (Andy Culshaw)
12. Amington (Alan Gifford)
13. Corby Silver (Catherine Fountain)
14. Daventry (Bob Stradling)
15. Long Eaton (Sharon Stansfield)
16. Trentham Brass (Mike Cavaney)


Midlands

Saturday 9, 13:19:45

Third Section halfway opinion and prediction..

7. Stamford Brass: Everything is fairly compact during the 1st movement. Only 1 or 2 small blips. Grand band sound to close. Movement 2 opens nicely — this is going at some tempo, but everything is well controlled. The quality is still there during movement 3. Stamford are definitely hungry for a trip to Cheltenham.

8. Audley Brass: Positive opening to movement 1, although there are some slight intonation issues. The dynamic control.

Is fantastic though, bravo MD! The 2nd movement plods along nicely with a wise tempo choice. Principal cornet — what a sound. Movement 3 is where we hear the bands best playing, who were on the ball from the word go! Overall a good performance with a few unlucky solo moments and a slight issue with intonation.

Half time prediction:
1. Stamford
2. Audley
3. Towcester


Midlands

Saturday 9, 12:56:11

Draw:

First Section:

Adjudicators: Alan Morrison and John Winterflood
Split Draws: 10.00am and 12 noon
Commences: 11.00am

1. Newstead Brass (Jim Davies)
2. Shirebrook MW Unison (Jim Henson)
3. Bilton Silver (Rugby) (David Stowell)
4. Burbage (Buxton) (Steve Critchlow)
5. Oddfellows Brass (Dave Hollings)
6. Carlton Brass (Gary Wyatt)
7. Shirley (David Hirst)
8. Bedworth Brass (Wayne Ruston)
9. Harborough (Brad Turnbull)
10. Staffordshire (Craig Williams)
11. Leicestershire Co-op (Brendan Caddy)
12. Kibworth (John Hudson)
13. Jackfield (David Maplestone)
14. Enderby (Ryan Richards)
15. Hucknall & Linby MC (Paul Whyley)

Withdrawn: Glossop Old (Luke Palister)


Midlands

Saturday 9, 12:46:17

First Section:

Six bands down in the First Section in Bedworth and there’s going to be plenty for adjudicators Alan Morrison and John Winterflood to think about with another three highly contrasting readings, all of which offered differing qualities and also inconsistencies.

Burbage (Buxton) proved to be another band that started brightly and with promise but not without errors creeping in later as the ensemble and tuning proved problematic at times.

In contrast, Oddfellows Brass under Dave Hollings recovered from a shaky opening fanfare to give a reading that found considerable light and shade despite some noticeable slips. An intelligent approach here though and good attention to dynamics.

Carlton’s bracing opening certainly grabbed our attention immediately and although this wasn’t always the subtlest of renditions, it radiated energy and excitement. Engaging stuff and a true Brioso to finish. Well in the mix at this stage as we get closer to the half way point.


Midlands

Saturday 9, 12:37:59

Third Section:

4. Pleasely Colliery: Nervy opening from the bass end, possibly tried to play it too quiet. Movement 2 has a great style to it, but unfortunately there are some scrappy moments. Same for the 3rd Movement, as the band just seemed to run out of steam.

5. Syston: Movement 1 was marred with intonation and balancing issues, not helped with the band and percussion not finishing together. Movement 2 & 3 produce some scrappy moments, plus the intonation issues haven’t seemed to have solved themselves. Powerful band sound to close.

6. Newhall: An upbeat start from Newhall. Balancing is sometimes and issues (cornets a bit too much) but everything is played well, especially sop. Detail is heard well throughout the 2nd movement, helped by the slightly laid back tempo. Percussion and band not entirely together at the start of the 3rd movement, doesn’t detract too much though. Great finish from Newhall.


Midlands

Saturday 9, 11:58:45

Third Section:

Cleobury Mortimer: A performance that would have been greatly improved by just doing the basics better. All soloist performed well, especially sop, but tuning and ensemble togetherness let them down.

Cubbington: Nervy solo lines detract from a performance that grew in confidence as it went on. They wait until the 3rd movement to really go for it, but unfortunately it’s a bit too much (not helped with cornets pointing out)

Towcester Studio: quietest opening yet, which is well balanced throughout the first movement. Most detail we’ve heard so far, there are still one or two moments, but our first real marker.


Midlands

Saturday 9, 11:56:51

First Section:

The first three bands have given us their accounts of Symphony of Marches in Bedworth and it has been a somewhat varied trio indeed with only one of the performances giving us the real contrasts of darkness and sardonic with which this great Vinter score abounds.

Having dropped down from the Championship Section last year, Newstead’s was a steady if somewhat nervy performance that needed a little more excitement and edge about it to grab our attention.

Shirebrook started brightly, with good attention to dynamics and a good style although concentration levels waned as the performance progressed with errors mounting in the latter stages.

Bilton (Rugby) under David Stowell have been in a different league so far though with playing that sparkled from the off, brimming with energy and dynamic contrasts. Fine soprano and euphonium soloists and the changing moods of the music were so well observed and captured. A clear leader at this early stage.


Midlands

Saturday 9, 10:43:02

Draw:

First Section:

Adjudicators: Alan Morrison and John Winterflood
Split Draws: 10.00am and 12 noon
Commences: 11.00am

1. Newstead Brass (Jim Davies)
2. Shirebrook MW Unison (Jim Henson)
3. Bilton Silver (Rugby) (David Stowell)
4. Burbage (Buxton) (Steve Critchlow)
5. Oddfellows Brass (Dave Hollings)
6. Carlton Brass (Gary Wyatt)
7. Shirley (David Hirst)
8. Bedworth Brass (Wayne Ruston)

Enderby (Ryan Richards)
Harborough (Brad Turnbull)
Hucknall & Linby MC (Paul Whyley)
Jackfield (David Maplestone)
Kibworth (John Hudson)
Leicestershire Co-op (Brendan Caddy)
Staffordshire (Craig Williams)

Withdrawn: Glossop Old (Luke Palister)


Midlands

Saturday 9, 10:41:29

Draw:

Third Section:

Adjudicators: Gary Davies and Steve Pritchard-Jones
Split Draw: 10.00am and 12 noon
Commences: 11.00am

1. Cleobury Mortimer (Colin Hogg)
2. Cubbington (Mark Phillips)
3. Towcester Studio (Neil Brownless)
4. Pleasley Colliery Welfare (Geof Benson)
5. Syston (Gary Smallwood)
6. Newhall (Kevin Holdgate)
7. Stamford Brass (Julian Bright)
8. Audley Brass (Tom Hancock)


Amington (Alan Gifford)
Arrow Valley (Andy Culshaw)
Corby Silver (Catherine Fountain)
Daventry (Bob Stradling)
Long Eaton (Sharon Stansfield)
Raunds Temperance (Jonathan Pippen)
Trentham Brass (Mike Cavaney)
Wellington Telford (Stephen Rhodes)


Midlands

Saturday 9, 10:22:25

Third Section — possible draw change...

4BR has been informed that due to Gillingham Imperial Silver's coach breaking down, and with the contest running very quickly ahead of time, there may be an amendment to the draw.

There will be a break after band number 8 to allow them as much time to get to the venue as possible for their number 9 draw. If they can't the organisers have taken the excellent decision to allow them to play last.

Bravo Sue Oldfield and her team...


Midlands

Saturday 9, 04:55:51

Previews & predictions

Iwan Fox looks forward to the qualification action in Bedworth and Kenilworth on the weekend.



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July 18 • Cornet/Horn/Trom/Bass players required. Positions negotiable. Friendly band located just off the M1 (Jnct. 36). Currently undergoing a rebuilding process, we have 18 players around the stand and are just looking for the remaining few elusive players.


Ian Porthouse


Cornet soloist, clinician, conductor and adjudicator