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2019 North of England Regional Championships
As it happened

All the action from the 2019 North of England Regional Championships — As it happened.

North of England

Sunday 17, 17:19:09

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2019 Champion: East Yorkshire Motor Services

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The winning MD

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The winners

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London bound: Reg Vardy

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Third place: NASUWT Riverside

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Best Soprano: Phil Tait of NASUWT Riverside

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Best Trombone: Mark Unsworth of EYMS

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Best Basses: EYMS

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Best Percussion: Reg Vardy

Result:

Championship Section:

Test Piece: Seascapes (Ray Steadman-Allen)
Adjudicators: Dr Brett Baker & Alan Morrison

1. East Yorkshire Motor Services (Stig Maersk)*
2. Reg Vardy (Russell Gray)*
3. NASUWT Riverside (David Roberts)
4. Easington Colliery (Daniel Brooks)
5. Fishburn (Paul Lovatt Cooper)
6. Shepherd Building Group (Richard Wilton)
7. Westoe (Jason Smith)
8. York Railway Institute (David Lancaster)
9. Harrogate (Leigh Baker)

*Top two bands qualify for National Final

Best Soprano: Philip Tait (NASUWT Riverside)
Best Principal Cornet: Neil Day (EYMS)
Best Euphonium: Melanie Ornsby (EYMS)
Best Trombone: Mark Unsworth (EYMS)
Best Tubas: EYMS
Best Percussion: Reg Vardy


North of England

Sunday 17, 17:17:58

Championship Section opinion and prediction...

Taking everything into account thus has not been a bad contest.

NASUWT Riverside should take it for us with their fully committed, passionate reading.

Second place is a close-up battle between Reg Vardy and EYMS. It is all down to the adjudicator Alan Morrison and Brett Baker though.

4BR Prediction:
1. NASUWT Riverside
2. Reg Vardy
3. EYMS


North of England

Sunday 17, 17:10:03

Championship Section:

9. York Railway Institute (David Lancaster)

A unsure opening to the final band of the day. It's a steady pace set for them by David Lancaster one the band manages well. However you feel you're rowing to Portsmouth rather than Palestine and the peacocks have turned from live birds to a taxidermist's playpen.

The Sarabande has more colour to it and has luxurious lilt to it. Secure in execution and with quality that shone through as it progressed, this was by far their best movement.

Back to the same frustrating quality with the chugging steamer plowing through calm waters than the cold North Sea. Moments of unease were certainly to the fore with this performance.


North of England

Sunday 17, 16:45:55

Championship Section:

8. Harrogate (Leigh Baker)

A rather lumpy start, more Norwich than Ninevah. It never gets going, the cornets suffering in particular. The different shades and palette of colours is more grey than multicoloured.

The same can be said for the Sarabande, never getting into a languid mood let alone a boat. More a meal of chorizo tapas than a stately Spanish galleon.

The finale lacks any passion, and you feel rather sorry for Leigh Baker. It drives along like Del Boys Robin Reliant rather than a steamer.

It was just too much for them today.


North of England

Sunday 17, 16:27:01

Championship Section:

7. Fishburn (Paul Lovatt Cooper)

A well laid out, thoughtful opening from 'Coops', a little untidy in a couple of places, but engaging nonetheless.

The Sarabande ebbed this way and that, sometimes flowing a bit against the tide, but full of character. Just a bit scruffy towards the end.

The finale romps along the Tyne never looking so bright and breezy rather than foreboding. The repose it taken at a rather slow tempo and the final three bars even slower with a crescendo from piano!

An account that was great until the last three pages.


North of England

Sunday 17, 16:24:17

Championship Section:

6. Easington Colliery (Daniel Brooks)

It bubbles along quite nicely, not having the overall character but nicely paced and judged by Danny Brooks. A couple of spelks of cedar and sandle wood get in the works but it nicely phrased.

The smell of the cinnamon creeps up but those pesky woods that are overtaking the topazes and diamonds. They had the foundation but lacked a little quality.

The finale fairly springs along a pompous steamer of ever there was. The focus was just lost near the end.


North of England

Sunday 17, 15:51:28

Championship Section:

5. NASUWT Riverside (David Roberts)

Explodes in a rainbow of colours as David Roberts goes for his third success here. Malcolm Dicks 31 years doing his arms around on RAH stage on percussion and he's got no better — brilliant! Then..... where is the fortissimo cymbal before the andante? They are straight back in their stride.

Sparkling diamonds call down from cornets and horns during the Sarabande. The boat smoothly sailed into the distance as an engrossing movement reached its finale chords.

Wow, what a performance. You don't criticise, let you just sit back and enjoy the ride. The darkness of the waters juxtaposed with the steamer, brings a nobility that has been missing from some bands. The final bars have the band enter stratospheric heights rounded off to tumultuous applause.


North of England

Sunday 17, 15:21:08

Championship Section:

4. Westoe (Jason Smith)

The Light/dark shades and colours are quite there but boy, are they giving this a good go. Jason Smith, sweat pouring from him in buckets, is directing to Westoes strengths. The sweet white wine is there but so are some elephants and vultures.

It's more diamondique than pure cut diamonds in the Sarabande. They sail through plastic palm trees than the tropics with some nasty moments spreading out in front of them on a rather turbulent passage.

The little steamer chugs away through treacle rather than the Tyne . It's hard for them and tiredness is eveident.
A brave effort.


North of England

Sunday 17, 15:00:55

Championship Section:

3. Shepherd Building Group (Richard Wilton)

Starts quickly and it keeps going into the allegro furioso. They are balanced but they don't have the colour palette range. Musically it's good but sound wise they don't have a depth — It doesn't reach the parts that other bands reach.....

It a solidly delivered second movement, just losing its way and flow. You still smell those spices coming through though.....

The third is something else — you can taste the black coal smoke off the basses and a gloriously polished finale brings it to an exciting close.

A account that built and gained strength as it progressed.


North of England

Sunday 17, 14:36:05

Championship Section:

2. Reg Vardy (Russell Gray)

Difference in sound is immediately obvious. Also is some nasty clips from sop! Russell Gray tries to get the band back on track with some super playing, never getting out of hand. Light and dark shades in abundance too.

The Sarabande brings with it a smell of exotic spices but it is very black and white.

Finale is whistle stop tour of the coal fields with a couple of mining disasters thrown in for good measure. The finale fairly bounces along with the sop passing out at the end!

A mixed bag today from Reg Vardy, some very good but a good few blips as well.


North of England

Sunday 17, 14:18:37

Championship Section:

1. East Yorkshire Motor Services

A confident start basses (only 3) growling around the depths of the ocean. We spark into life the cornets leading us through ivory towers into Palestine of old. You can smell the cedar wood oozing out from the horns. Good start.

The tropics bring a calming solitude to the music, horns and euphs bring a touch of the Sarabande topped off with a gorgeous baritone

The final belts along, more speedboat than liner and some detail is lost. A edge of tiredness creeps in too.

All in all though a good marker.


North of England

Sunday 17, 13:44:45

Draw:

Championship Section:

Test Piece: Seascapes (Ray Steadman-Allen)
Adjudicators: Dr Brett Baker & Alan Morrison

1. East Yorkshire Motor Services (Stig Maersk)
2. Reg Vardy (Russell Gray)
3. Shepherd Building Group (Richard Wilton)
4. Westoe (Jason Smith)
5. NASUWT Riverside (David Roberts)
6. Easington Colliery (Daniel Brooks)
7. Fishburn (Paul Lovatt Cooper)
8. Harrogate (Leigh Baker)
9. York Railway Institute (David Lancaster)


North of England

Sunday 17, 13:37:46

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2019 Champion: North Skelton

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The winners

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Cheltenham bound: Cockerton

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Third pace: Felling

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Best Soprano: Michael Holliday of North Skelton (not present)

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Best Euphonium: Chris Coupland of North Skelton

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Best Basses: Cockerton>

Result:

Second Section:

Test Piece: Rise of the Phoenix (Darrol Barry)
Adjudicators: Alan Fernie & Anne Crookston

1. North Skelton (Lewis Wilkinson)*
2. Cockerton (Andrew Hunter)*
3. Felling (Jason Smith)
4. NASUWT Concert Brass (Andrew Hall)
5. Barton Community (Gary Oglesby)
6. Dunston Silver (Dean Jones)
7. Durham Miners Association (Stuart Gray)
8. Ferryhill Town (Gareth Sykes)
9. East Riding of Yorkshire (Gary Hallas)

*Top two bands qualify for National Final

Best Euphonium: Chris Coupland (North Skelton)
Best Soprano: Michael Holliday (North Skelton)
Best Basses: Cockerton


North of England

Sunday 17, 13:13:02

Second Section:

Final three and still we wait for a risen Phoenix. But wait....

Now that's more like it! Barton pull a classy account right out of the top draw. From the purple haired flugel to the flat cap bass player, this was a consummate performance, bristling with energy and bags of pizzazz.

The organisers of the Wainstones cup are up next with Andy Hunter. There's so much good here from Cockerton that it's a shame that the clips and mis-pitching slightly detract. But the overall shape and construction of his reading was there and Andy will be well pleased with that performance. Lovely cornet solo too...

Another Andy takes to the stage, Mr Hall, taking NASUWT Concert Brass. It is all 'there' but couple of occasions it seemed to get away from them, for a bad or two the band being a cross rhythms with itself. Overall however these are minor points to what was another good performance. And special mention to the little girl on triangle who played her part perfectly.

4BR Prediction:

A good contest with the better bands coming in the second half. No one played 'Phoenix' 100% but 95% should do it.

Barton should win with second being a toss-up between East Riding, Cockerton and NASUWT. We go for Cockerton over East Riding.

1. East Riding of Yorkshire
2. Cockerton
3. NASUWT


North of England

Sunday 17, 12:27:26

Second Section:

Our second batch of three.....

It was more stately than anything we've heard at other areas from Durham Miners Association. At times it got lethargic and with five basses it just didn't resonate with us.

The former champs of the Championships find themselves in the second section and Felling started uncharacteristically nervous. But they grew in confidence, bringing out of the score some interesting effects, only spoilt by some bad tuning.

And finally, Garry Hallas and East Riding of Yorkshire turned in an idiosyncratic account . Certainly stylish in its execution, just the odd frailties emerged. However we have to say 'bravo' to the youngsters on kit and bass drum who excelled themselves today and thoroughly entertained us.

We've heard six bands and apart from one bass, all have rushed the semi-quavers in the opening solo. Don't know what it is about these little black two-tailed notes but everyone seems scared of them!! Maybe some tranquilizers to calm the nerves....


North of England

Sunday 17, 11:25:09

Second Section:

So we are up and running here in Durham and we have had three contrasting accounts.

First were North Skelton who were committed, giving a good marker for the day. Sometimes it got a little harsh but the MD knew what they were capable of making them play to their strengths.

There was a good balance to Dunston with MD Dean Jones enjoying himself hugely. Good horns and basses, it was topped off with a quite exquisite flugel. Just a few tuning issues caused unease.

Big and powerful from Ferryhill and former Grimey bass from Gareth Sykes, were the hallmarks of our third account. Was it imagination or did it quicken up near the end and will it find favour with Annie and Alan?


North of England

Sunday 17, 10:43:20

Draw:

Second Section:

Test Piece: Rise of the Phoenix (Darrol Barry)
Adjudicators: Alan Fernie & Anne Crookston

1. North Skelton (Lewis Wilkinson)
2. Dunston Silver (Dean Jones)
3. Ferryhill Town (Gareth Sykes)
4. Durham Miners Association (Stuart Gray)
5. Felling (Jason Smith)
6. East Riding of Yorkshire (Gary Hallas)
7. Barton Community (Gary Oglesby)
8. Cockerton (Andrew Hunter)
9. NASUWT Concert Brass (Andrew Hall)


North of England

Sunday 17, 10:37:44

Morning from Durham

We have had torrential rain, gale force winds and snow, but we've woken up today to glorious sunshine.

The good Lord must be smiling down on us in these banding parts of the world...

And he will smile even more on four bands, two in particular, when the final places and titles are decided.

The draw for the Second Section has been made and we'll put it up once adjudicator Alan Fernie and Anne Crookston are safely ensconced in the box.

Time for quick cuppa....


North of England

Saturday 16, 18:57:32

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2019 Champion: J36 Brass

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A happy MD

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The winners

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Cheltenham bound: Ripon City

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Third place: Kirkbymoorside

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Best Basses: J36 Brass

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Best Percussion: J36 Brass

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Best Trombone: Rebecca Staed of J36 Brass

Result:

First Section:

Test Piece: Symphony of Marches (Gilbert Vinter)
Adjudicators: Stan Lippeatt & Alan Fernie

1. J36 Brass (Andrew Warriner)*
2. Ripon City (Mark Sidwell)*
3. Kirkbymoorside Town (Sarah Woodward)
4. Houghton Brass (Tom Gibson)
5. GT Group Peterlee (Ian Langthorne)
6. Ashington Colliery (Nigel Steadman)

*Top two bands qualify for National Final

Best Trombone: Rebecca Stead (J36 Brass)
Best Basses: J36 Brass
Best Percussion: J36 Brass


North of England

Saturday 16, 18:23:18

First Section opinion and prediction...

To give them their full title, Junction 36 Brass, from a rather ropey opening couple of bars turned in a real solid performance in mvt 1. But in the second, it all got messy and there were some rather uncomfortable moments for euphonium and sop. It continued into the third, some sloppiness creeping in. And this from a band that has really fine sound.

And finally to Ashington and the returning Nigel Steadman. The band sounds comfortable in his tempo choice but rather timid in places where you need a real ff. And the balance seems to have gone AWOL in places in the second mvt. It is the same in mvt 3 — overall good playing blacking that fizz we needed to hear. Could still be in the placings.

4BR Prediction:

The mastery of Gilbert Vinter shone out of every page of the score today as the bands struggled to put some thought into, let passion, the piece. Quite simply, it has found out the first section bands all over the country, let alone here, and a radical rethink is needed to keep S1 as a viable contest.

Only one hand came anywhere near Vinter and that was Kirkbymoorside. Engaging, with a musicality to match it should see them Cheltenham.

Second and third.... Well you can perm any two from five. We fancy Ripon just from Houghton but don't be surprised if it's the other way round.

1. Ripon
2. Houghton


North of England

Saturday 16, 17:46:23

First Section:

Kirkbymoorside have a young front row and previous principal cornet John Sails now on sop — and what a player he is. For the first time we hear the solo played correctly. Sarah Woodward conducts with thought, picking tempos that suit the band and in the main it comes off.

A few blemishes won't detract from a very good outing.

It seemed to be a struggle for GT Group Peterlee. You wished for a little extra from them — instead you got a hotch-potch of tempos, some squeezing out of notes and blemishes that in ordinary run of things would not have mattered.

The error/tuning/blip count started to mount up! Sorry, but we hoped for better!

Two to go....


North of England

Saturday 16, 17:15:02

First Section:

Section 1 gets underway at Durham with Ripon City. Despite an overeager snare drummer, the first movement springs along but goes a little haywire during the 2nd.

The rather slow tempo catches them out, though sop is good. So is the euphonium in mvt 3. A sum of its parts rather than an encapsulating whole.

Houghton gave a solid performance but another one which was a mix and match rather than a contest blitzing rendition.

Sensible tempos, good overall playing but with minor indiscretions and some strange sounds from percussion (yet to hear the triplets on timp). Bass trombone was heard though...

Vinter must be smiling down at all these bands struggling on his piece — but it's been enjoyable so far.


North of England

Saturday 16, 16:38:11

Draw:

First Section:

Test Piece: Symphony of Marches (Gilbert Vinter)
Saturday 16th March
Adjudicators: Stan Lippeatt & Alan Fernie

1. Ripon City (Mark Sidwell)
2. Houghton Brass (Tom Gibson)
3. Kirkbymoorside Town (Sarah Woodward)
4. GT Group Peterlee (Ian Langthorne)
5. J36 Brass (Andrew Warriner)
6. Ashington Colliery (Nigel Steadman)


North of England

Saturday 16, 16:27:18

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2019 Champion: Bearpark & Esh

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Winning smiles

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Cheltenham bound: Trimdon Concert

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Third place: Ellington Colliery

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Best Percussion: Bearpark & Esh

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Best Soprano: Nicola Evans of Bearpark & Esh

Result:

Third Section:

Test Piece: First Suite in Eb (Gustav Holst)
Saturday 16th March
Adjudicators: Dr Brett Baker & Stan Lippeatt

1. Bearpark & Esh Colliery (Phillip Tait)*
2. Trimdon Concert Brass (William Harrison)*
3. Ellington Colliery (Claire Winter)
4. Knaresborough Silver (Nick Garrett)
5. Jayess Newbiggin (Andrew Griffiths)
6. Cleethorpes (Brian Harper)
7. Billingham Silver (Vaughan Evans)
8. Swinton & District Excelsior (Robin Rutter)

*Top two bands qualify for National Final

Best Percussion: Bearpark & Esh
Best Cornet: Nicola Evans (soprano) — Bearpark & Esh


North of England

Saturday 16, 16:08:33

Third Section opinion and prediction...

Last two bands have played here.

Cleethorpes made it safely, after last year's trials and tribulations and put in a very creditable performance. The balance and dynamics were good and it should see them safely through to this section next year.

The final band on were Jayess Newbiggin with Dennis Todd still on top man going on 70+ and sounding like at a twenty year old. A good solid rendition from them.

Prediction:

This has really sorted the musicians from the 'hand wavers'. When bands got to grips with it, it was a very fine piece to listen too. But when they didn't have a clue or, even worse, an MD who thought you could rattle through it with little care, attention or thought, it was terrible.

For us two bands stood out; Knaresborough played with a confidence, dynamically wide but with the odd blip whilst Bearpark stood out with some refined playing. Behind them come Trimdon with Cleethorpes in fourth.

1. Knaresborough
2. Bearpark & Esh
3. Trimdon
4. Cleethorpes


North of England

Saturday 16, 15:34:51

Third Section:

Trimdon had only two basses but it made the opening sound more relaxed and balanced. A couple of clips here and there didn't detract from the overall picture that the MD instilled his players. Well done solo cornet too.

Following them came the players of Knaresborough and Nick Garrett, conducting without stick and music, producing what has been the most carefully considered, rounded rendition. From pp to ff, here was a band who knew what MD wanted, beautiful, sublime playing at times. A clear leader for us.

And that was followed by an equally refined and subtle performance from Bearpark and Esh Colliery. A real corker, this was right in the mix with Philip Tait guiding his charges with aplomb and a keen musicians ear, keeping everything relatively on firm ground. It's right there in the mix.


North of England

Saturday 16, 15:02:20

Third Section:

Three contrasting performances to get the third section underway at Durham.

Ellington started as if they were scared of playing no.1 with some 'ropey ' playing in the opening bars.

The style got better with some very good dynamics in the third movement.

Billingham just never seemed to get going with little 'passion' in its music making. We have to say that it won't make much impression with Stan Lippeatt and Brett Baker in the box.

Making a much better impression were Swindon and District Excelsior. They tried to make MUSIC out of the piece, not always successfully, but it was a damn good try. Vigour and purpose were the watchwords.


North of England

Saturday 16, 14:38:10

Draw:

Third Section:
Test Piece: First Suite in Eb (Gustav Holst)
Saturday 16th March
Adjudicators: Dr Brett Baker & Stan Lippeatt
Draw: 12.30pm
Commences: 1.35pm approx, following the Fourth Section

1. Ellington Colliery (Claire Winter)
2. Billingham Silver (Vaughan Evans)
3. Swinton & District Excelsior (Robin Rutter)
4. Trimdon Concert Brass (William Harrison)
5. Knaresborough Silver (Nick Garrett)
6. Bearpark & Esh Colliery (Phillip Tait)
7. Cleethorpes (Brian Harper)
8. Jayess Newbiggin (Andrew Griffiths)


North of England

Saturday 16, 14:31:20

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2019 Champion: Tewit Silver

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Cheltenham bound: Burneside Brass

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Third place: Penrith Town Band

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Best Cornet: Owen James of Tewit

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Best Euphonium: Melissa Stuart

Result:

Fourth Section:

Test Piece: Stantonbury Festival (Ray Steadman-Allan)
Adjudicators: Benjamin Richeton & Anne Crookston

1. Tewit Silver (Martin Hall)*
2. Burneside Brass (Laurie Johnston)*
3. Penrith Town Band (Ian Butterworth)
4. Spennymoor Town (Fiona Casewell)
5. Marske (James Chisholm)
6. Backworth Colliery (Daniel Maverick)
8. Lanchester (John Weirs)
8. Craghead Colliery (Stephen Goddard)

*Top two bands qualify for National Final

Best Principal Cornet: Owen James (Tewit Silver)
Best Euphonium: Melissa Stuart (Penrith Town Band)


North of England

Saturday 16, 13:13:49

Fourth Section opinion and prediction...

Final bands have taken to the stage with Backworth Colliery giving a tidy rendition-the young principal cornet doing a sterling job. Happy birthday to him for Monday coming, where he reaches the grand old age of 14!

Lanchester rounded things off with a considered approach, many good moments outlining from the little slips and tuning errors.

Prediction

What a great contest to start things off. There is a clear winner in our view with Tewit Silver beating Spennymoor into second place. Burneside came within a whisker of trumping them and we have got them third with Penrith and Lanchester vying for fourth.

1. Tewit Silver
2. Spennymoor
3. Burnside
4. Penrith
5. Lanchester


North of England

Saturday 16, 12:36:01

Fourth Section:

Now we're going in Durham, with two outstanding performances for the title.

Spennymoor gave us a brilliant performance, full energy and not with a little elegance too.

But Tewit Silver pulled a blinder out of the bag, full of dark and light shades, musically exceptional for a fourth section band.

In between came Penrith with an outlook on the piece that could very well pick up minor place if the judges don't penalise them too much for their third movement.


North of England

Saturday 16, 11:57:36

Fourth Section:

What a fine start to proceedings here.

The six cornet troopers of Craghead put in an excellent display followed by a much fuller sounding Marske, the best we've heard them in a couple of years. Detail and a lyrical intent from James Chisholm were on display.

Burneside Brass followed with a strong performance notable for some robust percussion. An even bigger sound but will the slight errors in tuning cost?

Three to think about....


North of England

Saturday 16, 11:44:57

Draw:

Fourth Section:

Test Piece: Stantonbury Festival (Ray Steadman-Allan)
Adjudicators: Benjamin Richeton & Anne Crookston

1. Craghead Colliery (Stephen Goddard)
2. Marske (James Chisholm)
3. Burneside Brass (Laurie Johnston)
4. Spennymoor Town (Fiona Casewell)
5. Penrith Town Band (Ian Butterworth)
6. Tewit Silver Band (Martin Hall)
7. Backworth Colliery (Daniel Laverick)
8. Lanchester (John Weirs)


North of England

Saturday 16, 11:39:21

Welcome to Durham

Despite the rain and the wind (and depending where you have come from, the snow showers too) a warm welcome is waiting Durham for everyone. At least it'snot as bad as last year!

We 've got a good size audience already for the fourth section which Anne Crookston and Ben Richeton will adjudicate.

Should be nice start to a good days banding and if we're lucky, we'll get some six nations action too....


North of England

Saturday 16, 04:17:20

Previews & Predictions



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