2019 National Championship of Great Britain
Section 2 - As it happened

All the action from the 2019 National Championship of Great Britain — Section 2 — as it happened.

  • Section 2Sunday 15, 22:14:42

    Good night from Cheltenham

    What a weekend....

    Well, its late into the night here in Cheltenham and we've reached the end of what has been a truly superb weekend of contesting in The Centaur and even the weather has delivered the goods with glorious sunshine.

    We offer our warmest congratulations to Unison Kinneil, South Yourkshire Police, Uppermill and Tewit Silver for their National Champion titles and all the other podium finishers and Best Instrumentalist's.

    Our thanks go to Philip Morris and Niki Bland at Kapitol Promotions for their warm welcome and help this weekend and congratulate not just all of the competing bands but everybody who has made the Cheltenham weekend a success.

    We hope you have enjoyed our coverage this weekend.

    News reports will follow, but for now, we bid you goodnight from Cheltenham.

  • Section 2Sunday 15, 21:57:26


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    The winning MD — Leigh Baker with the trophy

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    Happy smiles from the winner — South Yorkshire Police

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    The female force of South Yorkshire Police

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    Second place — Chapeltown Silver

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    Third place — Sidmouth Town

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    Fourth place — Epsom & Ewell

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    Fifth place — Newmains & District

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    Sixth place — Besses Boys

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    Best Instrumentalist — Lizzie Logie of Besses Boys

    Section 2:

    Test Piece: Occasion (Edward Gregson)
    Adjudicators: Nicholas Garman, John Maines, Steve Sykes

    1. South Yorkshire Police (Leigh Baker)
    2. Chapeltown Silver Prize (Sam Fisher)
    3. Sidmouth Town (Adrian Harvey)
    4. Epsom & Ewell Silver (Paul Graham)
    5. Newmains & District (Michael Marzella)
    6. Besses Boys (James Holt)
    7. Cockerton Prize Silver (Andy Hunter)
    8. Farnworth & Walkden (Luke Pallister)
    9. Weston (Carl Whiteoak)
    10. Tendring (Antony Sanders)
    11. Bollington (Peter Christian)
    12. Rolls Royce (Derby) (Graham Cardwell)
    13. Gresley Colliery (Craig Stevens)
    14. Coalburn Silver (Gareth Bowman)
    15. Newport Borough (Robin Hackett)
    16. Bedford Town (Craig Paterson)
    17. North Skelton (Lewis Wilkinson)
    18. Royal Buckley Town (Keith Jones)

    Best Instrumentalist: Lizzie Logie (flugel) — Besses Boys

  • Section 2Sunday 15, 21:09:31

    Chris Thomas’ round up and final prediction

    It’s been a deeply frustrating Section Section at times, with Edward Gregson’s Occasion exposing a plethora of tuning and rhythmic issues in many of the performances.

    No band has emerged unscathed, although it was the performances that succeeded in capturing the celebratory style and character of the music that will have caught the ear of the judges.

    It could be a close call for the top three places but Chris Thomas goes for a top six of:

    1. Newmains & District
    2. Sidmouth
    3. South Yorkshire Police
    4. Cockerton Silver
    5. Gresley Colliery
    6. Chapeltown Silver

    Dark Horses: Bollington and Epsom & Ewell

  • Section 2Sunday 15, 20:45:21

    18. Farnworth & Walkden (Luke Pallister) North West

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    A bright opening Fanfare that to the band's credit, aims to make an immediate impression. Festivities sits firmly and rhythmically incisively in comparison to many today, whilst maintaining a sense of celebration and joie de vivre throughout.

    Elegy opens well before a slip unsettles the atmosphere. Lovely sounds though and flugel and solo cornet do well. Just those odd further lapses that detract. Great dynamics in the final Dance and an ending of quality and brio.


    A strong final performance of the day from Farnden and Walkden. Not always subtle but with much to draw the ear to in character and spirit.

    Star Player:

    Solo cornet was a real classy presence here — so tasteful

  • Section 2Sunday 15, 20:29:26

    17. Newmains & District (Michael Marzella) Scotland

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    What a fine opening Fanfare! Bold, engaging and with a fine band sound. And we hear cornet detail that has rarely been evident today. Festivities has a tendency to slow down but this is engaging playing stylistically and has that essential joie de vivre that is vital to the music.

    The Elegy is rich in atmosphere with quality solo contributions and telling changes of mood. Dance brings out features that are refreshingly new at this late stage of the contest and there's an infectious brio about this that impresses to the last.


    A performance that has come as something of a relief in the second half of the draw. This had style and substance in equal measure.

    Star Player:

    Flugel. A beautifully dreamy contribution to the Elegy was a lovely moment.

  • Section 2Sunday 15, 20:14:31

    16. Coalburn Silver (Gareth Bowman) Scotland

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    The initial Fanfare is well controlled and leads into Festivities that are taken at quite a pace. It's not always 100% secure but this certainly has a spirit that has made us pay attention.

    The Elegy is well shaped and pliable and crucially, has a flow and style about it that allows the music to come through. Dance has an infectious spirit that although not without little slips, brings the performance to a vivacious close.


    A performance of spirit from Coalburn Silver. Not faultless but with a dose of brio that engages.

    Star Player:

    Flugel — solid, secure and classy.

  • Section 2Sunday 15, 19:59:02

    15. Royal Buckley Town (Keith Jones) Wales

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    The Fanfare opens neatly but Festivities is slow and considered in style, impeding the celebratory nature of the music. Elegy is so much better in its light and shade with waves of warmth offsetting the quiet solitude of the opening and close.

    Like so many performances however, tuning causes problems at the close. The opening of Dance is rhythmically unstable and tempo slows significantly as the movement progresses.


    A struggle at times for Royal Buckley with the band not quite on top of things. Another nearly one,

    Star Player:

    Timpani. The rhythmic pulse of the band from the word go.

  • Section 2Sunday 15, 19:41:39

    14. Newport Borough (Robin Hackett) Wales

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    The opening bars of the Fanfare are uncomfortable and there's occasionally a feeling of rhythmic instability about this despite a good band sound. Festivities has verve but there are also errors that get in the way.

    Elegy is not without tuning issues and needs to flow with greater ease and pliability, with the final Dance needing a greater degree of rhythmic cohesion.


    A performance with moments of quality that were all too often undermined by slips and errors.

    Star Player:

    Solo euphonium played with such authority and style throughout.

  • Section 2Sunday 15, 19:27:29

    13. Rolls Royce (Derby) (Graham Cardwell) Midlands

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    Fanfare starts well but tuning proves problematic as it progresses. Festivities opens briskly but loses tempo and there are a handful of slips and mis-pitches that undermine the spirit of the music.

    Elegy needs to flow more naturally and is somewhat tense although the closing bars are nicely done. Dance is bright and bold but needs a little more lightness of touch in places.


    Errors are likely to prove costly for the Midlands contenders despite a committed approach from all.

    Star Player:

    Solo cornet — a classy lead in everything they did.

  • Section 2Sunday 15, 19:10:10

    12. Tendring (Antony Sanders) L&SC

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    The opening Fanfare is a touch cautious in both approach and tempo. Festivities moves along better but the detail is not always clear. Full marks for commitment though…we can sense the players giving it their all.

    There's a nice lilt to Elegy but also a handful of individual slips that detract. A shame as the flow of the musical line is good. The final Dance sets off at a good tempo and has a good spirit if not always rhythmically as tight as some.


    A performance of clear musical intent but not without costly errors.

    Star Player:

    Solo euphonium. Solidity and with some deft touches of colour.

  • Section 2Sunday 15, 18:54:29

    11. Sidmouth Town (Adrian Harvey) West of England

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    Nothing is forced about Sidmouth's opening Fanfare with quality sounds and relaxed but confident playing that follows through into Festivities with a real sense of brio and verve about the playing.

    The Elegy flows naturally and although there are little slips, the atmosphere and musicality is always present. The closing bars are beautifully done. Dance derives its energy from taut rhythms and ensemble and the quieter dynamics are so well observed. Bravo!


    A highly organised and musical account from Sidmouth. So well put together and with a natural flow throughout.

    Star Player:

    Percussion. The two youngsters on percussion did a great job. Stars in the making!

  • Section 2Sunday 15, 18:37:27

    10. South Yorkshire Police Band (Leigh Baker) Yorkshire

    The dynamics are admirably controlled in the opening Fanfare and the style is well captured without the need for aggression. Festivities has a lightness of touch that matches its dynamic control and this has spirit but also confidence and clarity.

    The Elegy opens so well but a cracked cornet entry unsettles the atmosphere. Nicely relaxed flugel and solo cornet is deftly done. Warm sounds and closing bars of mysterious repose. Subtle changes of atmosphere in the Dance make for a spirited finale.


    One or two entries threatened to unsettle the picture but this was a reading of musicality and impressive juxtapositions of dynamic and mood.

    Star Player:

    A musical voice of experience. Brian Winter on solo cornet added a touch of style to the performance

  • Section 2Sunday 15, 18:25:12

    Chris Thomas' halfway round up and prediction:

    Edward Gregson’s 'Occasion' has proved a deceptively difficult test piece so far with few performances emerging from the exposed Elegy unscathed and others struggling to find the sense of festive joy that runs through the outer movements.

    It’s going to make for a second half with everything to play for.

    1. Cockerton Prize Silver
    2. Gresley Colliery
    3. Chapeltown Silver

    Dark Horse: Bollington

  • Section 2Sunday 15, 18:07:13

    9. Cockerton Prize Silver (Andy Hunter) North of England

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    The Fanfare immediately has a sense of musical purpose with big dynamic contrasts and Festivities continues the same theme, with playing that finds the celebratory nature of the score with rhythmic verve and energy.

    This is playing that takes no prisoners and there are one or two edgy corners but it's woken the hall up. Elegy is thoughtfully played and finds the light and shade of the music to telling effect. Dance is full of spirits and vigour, capping a well put together offering.


    A big boned and full blooded account from Cockerton but one that really found some life and vigour in the music.

    Star Player:

    Solo euphonium found some lovely touches in the Elegy and outer movements.

  • Section 2Sunday 15, 17:48:56

    8. Epsom & Ewell (Paul Graham) L&SC

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    The Fanfare opens boldly although there are also moments in Festivities where ensemble is not always totally secure.

    Elegy sets a suitably haunting atmosphere although those dreaded tuning issues that have affected almost every performance so far are also present at times. Dance is bright and breezy albeit with little slips that detract at times.


    So much to commend from Epson and Ewell. Not all went according to plan but in spirit alone, this had character in abundance.

    Star Player:

    Co-principal cornet for a highly creditable solo contribution to the Elegy.

  • Section 2Sunday 15, 17:34:18

    7. Gresley Colliery (Craig Stevens) Midlands

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    A solid, yet rounded sound to open the Fanfare and this sets the character well. Festivities has a zest and joie de vivre that has been missing from many so far although tuning is uncomfortable to open the Elegy.

    It settles and the playing is both warm and confident in the centre of the movement. The joyous final Dance has both light and shade and is uplifting to the rousing final flourish.


    A performance of quality from Gresley Colliery. There were minor tuning issues in the Elegy but also playing of confidence and spirit.

    Star Player:

    Solo cornet. A performance that was led with authority from the front.

  • Section 2Sunday 15, 17:20:53

    6. North Skelton (Lewis Wilkinson) North of England

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    The Fanfare opens well and this has a bracing style that leads into a vigorous and celebratory Festivities. Dynamics are well controlled and although there are odd bars that don't quite click together the style is again so well captured.

    The Elegy isn't without a handful of uncomfortable moments but there's a warmth that contrasts so well with the haunting opening and close. Dance could be a little more nimble on its feet but the close is suitably festive in style.


    A performance that found the character of the music with aplomb but moments of insecurity in the Elegy might cost.

    Star Player:

    Euphonium. A beautifully flowing and lyrical contribution to the Elegy.

  • Section 2Sunday 15, 17:06:32

    5. Bollington (Peter Christian) North West

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    The Fanfare immediately catches the attention in its sound and bold approach. Festivities could be lighter in touch at times but this trips along well and has a sense of spirit that the music cries out for.

    Tuning is problematic to open the Elegy but it settles and there are some lovely sounds from cornet, euphonium and flugel. This has a comfortable flow about it with the darker moments well captured, although the odd tuning issue pervades. The Dance got just a tad scrappy towards the close.


    A stylish account from Bollington. A little have dynamically at times possibly but confident and characterful throughout.

    Star Player:

    Solo euphonium was the perfect counterfoil to solo cornet in the Elegy.

  • Section 2Sunday 15, 16:49:59

    4. Bedford Town (Craig Patterson) L&SC

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    The Fanfare is well controlled dynamically but could be more rhythmically incisive. Festivities again sets off well but this just lacks that joyous feeling that is so vital to what is celebratory music.

    Tuning doesn't settle at the opening of Elegy but flugel does well as does solo cornet. Dance Needs a little more tautness of rhythm and ensemble with not all of the rhythmic detail easily audible.


    A mixed affair from Bedford Town that needed a littler more life and rhythmic vitality at times.

    Star Player:

    Flugel — Opened the Elegy with lyrical style and elegance.

  • Section 2Sunday 15, 16:35:15

    3. Besses Boys (James Holt) North West

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    A controlled opening Fanfare sets a good opening mood. Festivities just drags a touch behind the MD at times but the feel is just right and the dynamics are so well controlled.

    Elegy opens atmospherically and flugel sets a lovely tone. This is flowing and musical with the atmosphere never being disturbed.

    Just the odd tuning issue creeps into towards the close. The Dance is joyous and caps a quality reading.


    Such a musical approach from Besses Boys. A few intonation issues appeared at times but this was a performance of character.

    Star Player:

    Flugel. The stand out soloist in the ethereal Elegy.

  • Section 2Sunday 15, 16:22:34

    2. Chapeltown Silver (Sam Fisher) Yorkshire

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    A good opening fanfare is dynamically restrained, with the ensuing Festivities tripping along nicely at a well chosen tempo. There's just a little more joy needed at times and the tempo quickens as it progresses.

    The Elegy starts well with the atmosphere carefully created. Lovely solo cornet and this flows so well with warm sounds abounding. A spirited final Dance although not without a few little slips. So much to admire musically here though.


    A musical and well honed account from the Yorkshire team of Chapeltown with a haunting Elegy at its heart.

    Star Player:

    Cornet — Lyrical playing of elegance in the Elegy.

  • Section 2Sunday 15, 16:09:48

    1. Weston (Carl Whiteoak) West of England

    A bold start from Weston and the opening Fanfare has an appropriately celebratory feel, leading to some vigorous Festivities.

    Elegy needs to flow a little more with the odd intonation issue also noticeable. Basses not clear to open the final Dance and the dance like feel could me more accentuated.


    A cautious opening account from Weston. This could have done with a little more zest.

    Star Player:

    Soprano — what a classy contribution throughout, bright as well as tender

  • Section 2Sunday 15, 15:55:11


    Test Piece: Occasion (Edward Gregson)
    Adjudicators: Nicholas Garman, John Maines, Steve Sykes

    1. Weston (Carl Whiteoak)
    2. Chapeltown Silver Prize (Sam Fisher)
    3. Besses Boys (James Holt)
    4. Bedford Town (Craig Paterson)
    5. Bollington (Peter Christian)
    6. North Skelton (Lewis Wilkinson)
    7. Gresley Colliery (Craig Stevens)
    8. Epsom & Ewell Silver (Paul Graham)
    9. Cockerton Prize Silver (Andy Hunter)
    10. South Yorkshire Police (Leigh Baker)
    11. Sidmouth Town (Adrian Harvey)
    12. Tendring (Antony Sanders)
    13. Rolls Royce (Derby) (Graham Cardwell)
    14. Newport Borough (Robin Hackett)
    15. Royal Buckley Town (Keith Jones)
    16. Coalburn Silver (Gareth Bowman)
    17. Newmains & District (Michael Marzella)
    18. Farnworth & Walkden (Luke Pallister)

  • Section 2Saturday 14, 06:17:46

    Contest preview

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