Contests

Published on September 7th, 2018 by gavin

PREVIEWS & PREDICTIONS: British Open 2018

Our live reporter for the day, Tommy Tynan, takes an in-depth look at all the competing bands and offers his previews and predictions for this weekend’s British Open.

COMPETING BANDS:-

Aldbourne (David Thornton) – South West of England

Aldbourne Band will still be on one of Blackpool’s many Cloud 9’s after making it to the pinnacle contest of the world’s banding movement. But as many bands have found out in the past, the drop back into the Grand Shield is a hard landing and usually takes some time to get back to the Symphony Hall, so we anticipate Aldbourne under David Thornton to provide a performance of well thought out and well-crafted stability, in the hope to give themselves a steady mid table placing, ready to fight for their British Open status next year.

2018 So Far
Regionals – 5th
Grand Shield – 2nd (Qualified for British Open)

Last 5 British Open Results
Debut

Principal Players
Cornet – Richard Hughes
Euphonium – Ed Latham
Soprano – Paul Bilkey
Flugel – Mark Yarham
Horn – Simon Jones
Baritone – Andy Tilley
Trombone – Rob Marsh
Eb Bass – Ben Newton
Bb Bass – Phil Ockwell

Player to listen for
Simon Jones – a very experienced horn player having played here there and everywhere, he can certainly hold his own on the mother of all stages.

Black Dyke (Nicholas Childs) – Yorkshire

Many people will have Black Dyke right up there this year, and we feel they might be right. After being placed 17th last year, nobody may believe it but the trap door to Blackpool is in plain sight and Nicholas Childs will need to bring the best out of his players to set the hall alight.

2018 So Far
Regionals – Winners (Yorkshire)

Last 5 British Open Results
2017 – 17th
2016 – 3rd
2015 – 6th
2014 – Winners
2013 – 6th

Principal Players
Cornet – Richard Marshall
Euphonium – Daniel Thomas
Soprano – Martin Irwin
Flugel – Zoe Hancock
Horn – Siobhan Bates
Baritone – Katrina Marzella
Trombone – Brett Baker
Eb Bass – Harry Cunningham
Bb Bass – Matt Routley

Player to listen for
Daniel Thomas – the 2017 Young Brass Award winner is certainly making a name for himself, and no wonder too with a sound to die for and delivering class in the truck full

Brighouse & Rastrick (David King) – Yorkshire

It’s been a long 40 years for B&R, full of “nearly” and “almost”s, but in their current National Champion form we wouldn’t be surprised if they take the iconic gold shield back to their lock up in Rastrick. Although a few recent changes in personnel have occurred, a band of this calibre paired with the wizardry of David King are never to be written off. Make sure you’re listening.

2018 So Far
Regionals – 2nd (Yorkshire)

Last 5 British Open Results
2017 – 4th
2016 – 2nd
2015 – 2nd
2014 – 7th
2013 – 9th

Principal Players
Cornet – Kyle Lawson
Euphonium – Phillippe Schwartz
Soprano – Connor Lennon
Flugel – Mike Eccles
Horn – Andy Moore
Baritone – Ciaran Young
Trombone – Ryan Watkins
Eb Bass – Will Evans
Bb Bass – Steven Malcolm

Player to listen for
Minesh Patel – one of the finest Xylophonists I personally have seen in action. Adds a touch of little wizardry to the blocks of rosewood.

Carlton Main Frickley Colliery (Erik Jansen) – Yorkshire

A band of varied and inconsistent results at the majors, one thing they are remarkably consistent at is maintaining a solid and happy band, so who knows which Frickley will be turning up in Birmingham. Will it be the band that won two Yorkshires in three years, or the alternative?

2018 So Far
Regionals – 4th
French Open – Winners

Last 5 British Open Results
2017 – 7th
2016 – (Winners of Grand Shield) 14th
2015 – 17th (relegated)
2014 – 16th
2013 – 8th

Principal Players
Cornet – Kirsty Abbott
Euphonium – Toni Durrant
Soprano – Louise Belton
Flugel – Anna Spedding
Horn – Scott Bennet
Baritone – Paul Haigh
Trombone – Chris Chung
Eb Bass – Rob Browne
Bb Bass – Phil Smith

Player to listen for
Louise Belton – another young lady who’s been making a name for herself over the last couple of years. Tutored by Kevin Crockford, this is her first major and we are looking forward to hearing what she can do on the biggest stage in banding.

Cooperative Funeralcare – Scotland

Scottish Coop haven’t had a brilliant few years, with lots of setbacks to add to their main rivals (Whitburn) resurgence in form. Blackpool beckons, but for a band who finished 3rd here just a few years ago, they may have another life yet!

2018 So Far
Regionals – 2nd (Scotland)

Last 5 British Open Results
2017 – 16th
2016 – 8th
2015 – 9th
2014 – 15th
2013 – 3rd

Principal Players
Cornet – Jimmy Hayes
Euphonium – Chris Flynn
Soprano – Gordon Kyle
Flugel – Stephanie Mitchell
Horn – Chris Hamilton
Baritone – Scott Findlater
Trombone – Ross Bahlaj
Eb Bass – Lauren Foden
Bb Bass – Duncan McCluskie

Player to listen for

Chris Flynn – A young lad with stacks of potential to make it as a top Euphonium player

Cory Band (Philip Harper) – Wales

A band who haven’t been placed outside the top 6 at all since the MILLENIUM (!), they’ve been going from strength to strength since the arrival of Philip Harper in 2013. They will have felt short changed in their 3rd place last year after giving a performance full of languid emotion & respect to the piece, but make no mistake they will be out to win it this year.

2018 So Far
Regionals – Winners
Band Cymru – Winners
Europeans – 2nd

Last 5 British Open Results
2017 – 3rd
2016 – Winners
2015 – 3rd
2014 – 2nd
2013 – 2nd

Principal Players
Cornet – Tom Hutchinson
Euphonium – Glyn Williams
Soprano – Steve Stewart
Flugel – Helen Williams
Horn – Ailsa Russell
Baritone – Stephen Kane
Trombone – Chris Thomas
Eb Bass – Ben Dixon
Bb Bass – Rob Nicholson

Player to listen for
Glyn Williams – a remarkably classy & consistent performer throughout his whole career, in the words of Carly Simon “Nobody Does It Better”

Desford Colliery (Michael Fowles) – Midlands

A band of inconsistent form in contesting due to their ultra planned minimal rehearsal schedule, who knows which Desford will be turning up at the open this year?

2018 So Far
Butlins – 2nd
Regionals – 2nd

Last 5 British Open Results
2017 – 9th
2016 – 6th
2015 – 14th
2014 – 5th
2013 – 11th

Principal Players
Cornet – Gary Wyatt
Euphonium – Jim Fieldhouse
Soprano – Kevin Crockford
Flugel –Nicola Longden
Horn – George Thackray
Baritone – Kate Williams
Trombone – Nick Hudson
Eb Bass – Luke Atkinson
Bb Bass – Mike Smith

Player to listen for
Hard to pick one player in this line up so we chose three – the trombone section of Nick Hudson, Chris Gomersall & Geraint Griffiths will certainly make sure there will be no sleepy heads in the hall.

Eikanger-Bjorsvik (Bjarte Engeset) – Norway

This lot will be the talk of the town in the run up to the Open. Having qualified by winning the Euros last year, what can they do as they make their debut in Birmingham? They’ve only failed to win one contest since 2016, but what can they deliver in the line up of all line ups?

2018 So Far
Norwegian Nationals – Winners
Europeans – 5th

Last 5 British Open Results
Debut

Principal Players
Cornet – Stanley Westh
Euphonium – Lars Otto Torsvik
Soprano – Jon Vegar Sol Sundal
Flugel – Gyda Matland
Horn – Hilde Øian
Baritone – Nina Mjanger Eide
Trombone – Vidar Nordli
Eb Bass – Magnus Brandseth
Bb Bass – Kristian Grotle

Player to listen for
Kristian Grotle & Magnus Brandseth – a foundation that could support the Symphony Hall itself is led by these two chaps in the bass team.

Fairey (Garry Cutt) – North West

This years European qualifiers have left a lot to be desired this year. Being pushed out of their usual top 2 placing at the areas by Leyland, a slightly disappointing result at the Europeans and a Whit Friday where they were pushed all the way by a 1st section band (just edging 2nd overall by the 7th placing rule). But Garry Cutt has tasted lots of success at this competition, so you can never rule them out.

2018 So Far
Regionals – 3rd
Europeans – 9th

Last 5 British Open Results
2017 – 11th
2016 – 9th
2015 – 11th
2014 – 9th
2013 – 5th

Principal Players
Cornet – Stephanie Wilkins
Euphonium – Adam Bokaris
Soprano – Martin Britt
Flugel – Lucy Cutt
Horn – Rachel Neil
Baritone – Paul Walton
Trombone – Rebecca Lundberg
Eb Bass – Gavin Saynor
Bb Bass – Dom Hurley

Player to listen for
Stephanie Wilkins – a recent relocation has landed Fairey on its feet, a player as classy and experienced as Steph joining the ranks.

Fodens (Philip McCann) – North West

Arguably the most stable band in the British open field (at least 10 players having been in the band for 10 years), these players will have last tasted success here in 2012. With the presence of Michael Bach in Cheshire in the run up to the contest, we are curious as to what Fodens will come out with in Birmingham.

2018 So Far
Regionals – 1st

Last 5 British Open Results
2017 – 5th
2016 – 17th
2015 – 5th
2014 – 4th
2013 – 4th

Principal Players
Cornet – Mark Wilkinson
Euphonium – Gary Curtin
Soprano – Richard Poole
Flugel – Melanie Whyle
Horn – Jonny Bates
Baritone – Ashley Jeffers
Trombone – John Barber
Eb Bass – Stewart Baglin
Bb Bass – Andy Cattanach

Player to listen for
John Barber – full stop. This man can do just about anything with a trombone (and piano, and computer, etc etc…), and this piece will showcase his musical diversity.

Fairey (Garry Cutt) – North West

This years European qualifiers have left a lot to be desired this year. Being pushed out of their usual top 2 placing at the areas by Leyland, a slightly disappointing result at the Europeans and a Whit Friday where they were pushed all the way by a 1st section band (just edging 2nd overall by the 7th placing rule). But Garry Cutt has tasted lots of success at this competition, so you can never rule them out.

2018 So Far
Regionals – 3rd
Europeans – 9th

Last 5 British Open Results
2017 – 11th
2016 – 9th
2015 – 11th
2014 – 9th
2013 – 5th

Principal Players
Cornet – Stephanie Wilkins
Euphonium – Adam Bokaris
Soprano – Benjamin Richeton
Flugel – Lucy Cutt
Horn – Rachel Neil
Baritone –
Trombone – Rebecca Lundberg
Eb Bass – Gavin Saynor
Bb Bass – Dom Hurley

Player to listen for
Stephanie Wilkins – a recent relocation has landed Fairey on its feet, a player as classy and experienced as Steph joining the ranks.

Flowers (Robert Childs) – West of England

Flowers have spent the last 4/5 years clutching at the feet of the “big boys” here and elsewhere, taking some scalps and proving their worth. Bob Childs brings a lot of experience to the West of England band, having won the iconic Gold Shield 6 times himself, last in 2015.

2018 So Far
Butlins – 1st
Regionals – 1st

Last 5 British Open Results
2017 – 14th
2016 – 11th
2015 – 10th
2014 – (Winners of Grand Shield) 3rd
2013 – DNQ

Principal Players
Cornet – Benjamin Mortensen
Euphonium – Grant Jameson
Soprano – Paul Richards
Flugel – Lauren Chinn
Horn – Emily Evans
Baritone – Andy Hicks
Trombone – Rob Wilshaw
Eb Bass – Carlton Sykes
Bb Bass – Tony Pemberton

Player to listen for
Emily Evans – one of a handful of young Tenor Horn players with a talent for producing a lovely tone

Grimethorpe Colliery (Allan Withington) – Yorkshire

A band who had a quiet start to the decade but definitely surfaced again under Robert Childs (2013-2016). A very sweet taste of success here in 2015 and not been out of the placings since, but a lot of changes have occurred in the last 12 months so we will be listening closely.

2018 So Far
Regionals – 2nd

Last 5 British Open Results
2017 – 6th
2016 – 5th
2015 – Winners
2014 – 8th
2013 – 10th

Principal Players
Cornet – Roger Webster
Euphonium – Chris Robertson
Soprano – Frank Eikeland
Flugel – Mark Walters
Horn – Helen Varley
Baritone – Mike Cavanagh
Trombone – Chris Binns
Eb Bass – Shaun Crowther
Bb Bass – Mike Johnson

Player to listen for
Roger Webster – Who else? Started the winning performance on his billy tod in 2015, a similar opening could leave the audience captivated

Hammonds Saltaire (Morgan Griffiths) – Yorkshire

After its alter ego suffered its downfall back in c. 2008, Morgan Griffiths has worked hard to get the band back into the YBS stratosphere. A brief return to the Open back in 2014/15 and a trip to the Albert Hall last year have both been stepping stones to their Shield win this year. Hopefully a longer stay at the Symphony Hall this time.

2018 So Far
Preston – 5th
Regionals – 7th
Grand Shield – Winners

Last 5 British Open Results
2017 – DNQ
2016 – 15th
2015 – 10th
2014 – (2nd in Grand Shield) 6th
2013 – DNQ

Principal Players
Cornet – Philip Varley
Euphonium – Ash Higgins
Soprano – Rob Jagger
Flugel – Catherine
Horn – Zoe Wright
Baritone – Michael Walsh
Trombone – Matt Brown
Eb Bass – Dave Long
Bb Bass – Darran West

Player to listen for
Darran West – One of, if not, the best BBb bass player who will take to the stage on Saturday. Possibly the only player left from the YBS era.

Leyland (Thomas Wyss) – North West

A very inconsistent band in the last few years, a return to the Albert Hall may have given them the incentive to match or improve on their 4th place here in 2015.

2018 So Far
Regionals – 2nd

Last 5 British Open Results
2017 – 10th
2016 – 7th
2015 – 4th
2014 – 11th
2013 – 15th

Principal Players
Cornet – Iain Culross
Euphonium – Steven Walsh
Soprano – James Nash
Flugel – Joel Kirk
Horn – Rebecca Doyle
Baritone – Sarah Lenton
Trombone – Tom Challinor
Eb Bass – Chris Doran
Bb Bass – Bill Carter

Player to listen for
Sarah Lenton – an extremely versatile Baritone player who can float, shovel or just back off when needs be.

Rothwell Temperance (David Roberts) – Yorkshire

Rothwell are on the cut-off to Blackpool, but if anything doesn’t go in their favour they could be getting on the fun bus to the seaside come May. They always seem to be able to pull a performance out of the bag when needs be, so let’s wait and see.

2018 So Far
Regionals – 5th

Last 5 British Open Results
2017 – 12th
2016 – 10th
2015 – (Winners of Grand Shield) 3th
2014 – DNQ
2013 – DNQ

Principal Players
Cornet – James McCabe
Euphonium – Dan Morgan
Soprano – Paul Argyle
Flugel – Vikki Holland
Horn – Catherine Roberts
Baritone – Jack Telfer
Trombone – Joseph Heartfield
Eb Bass – Simon Moffat
Bb Bass – Ben Ridgeon

Player to listen for
Joseph Heartfield – one of the banding movements brightest young talents, with the confidence to match his ability

Tredegar (ian Porthouse) – Wales

The second of our Welsh duo this weekend, Tredegar are another band who struggle to maintain consistency here. When they are in form they are nigh on unbeatable, but those times don’t come around too often. Then again, it only takes one performance to win a contest…

2018 So Far
Regionals – 2nd

Last 5 British Open Results
2017 – 8th
2016 – 16th
2015 – 7th
2014 – 10th
2013 – Winners

Principal Players
Cornet – Dewi Griffiths
Euphonium – Martyn Patterson
Soprano – Ian Roberts
Flugel – Danny Winder
Horn – Chris Davies
Baritone – Ben Stratford
Trombone – Ryan Richards
Eb Bass – Lewis Rees
Bb Bass – Ceri John

Player to listen for
Ryan Richards – another Trombonist on our list but definitely worthy of a place. A young lad developing an advanced performance ability and also a keen Conducting portfolio.

Valaisia Brass Band (Arsene Duc) – Switzerland

The defending champions are back this year (after some deliberation between organisers & bands), and if they are to provide us with a performance like last year we are in for a very rewarding day on Saturday. Since last year, they have defended their Swiss national title and pick up their first ever Europeans win, so they keep going from strength to strength.

2018 So Far
Europeans – Winners

Last 5 British Open Results
2017 – Winners
2016 – DNC
2015 – DNC
2014 – DNC
2013 – DNC

Principal Players
Cornet – Vincent Bearpark
Euphonium – Glen Van Looy
Soprano – Marielle Rey
Flugel – Claude Romailler
Horn – Anne Barras
Baritone – Florent Bagnoud
Trombone – Yannick Romailler
Eb Bass – Joel Filliez
Bb Bass – Pierrick Barras

Player to listen for
Marielle Rey – a super player with a glorious sound, and her versatility is what makes her a class above the rest

Whitburn (Florent Didier) – Scotland

A band who are on fire at the minute. They’ve picked up their form since Troon 2014, and have kept climbing the ladder since. They may have found themselves a touch unlucky not to have been back in the British Open sooner (only requalifying last year), but any ill feeling of that was soon washed away with their 2nd place in Birmingham last year.

2018 So Far
Regionals – Winners
Europeans – 7th

Last 5 British Open Results
2017 – (Winners of Grand Shield) 2nd
2016 – DNQ
2015 – DNQ
2014 – DNQ
2013 – DNQ

Principal Players
Cornet – Chris Bradley
Euphonium – Scott Kerr
Soprano – Scott Forrest
Flugel – Caroline Farren
Horn – Michael Fleming
Baritone – Evelyn Bradley
Trombone – Paul Kiernan
Eb Bass – Graham Fraser
Bb Bass – Alan Gourlay

Player to listen for
Scott Forrest – another fine Soprano player to take to the stage on Saturday, Whitburn will definitely be able to rely on him to pull off the fiendishly difficult part.

Wingates (Paul Andrews) – North West

Wingates have definitely turned things around since Paul Andrews arrived at the band room. Players come and go but he is building a very stable set of core members who are completely dedicated to the band, and it has paid off! With last year’s return to the Open, and the previous year’s trip to the National Finals. Although they may be on the bottom end of the British Open rankings, a performance of well thought out stability can ensure they stay in the contest and set themselves up for next year.

2018 So Far
Regionals – 6th

Last 5 British Open Results
2017 – 13th
2016 – DNQ
2015 – DNQ
2014 – DNQ
2013 – DNQ

Principal Players
Cornet – Andrew MacDonald
Euphonium – Danny Jones
Soprano – John Atkinson
Flugel – Nicόla Shaw
Horn – Melanie McFarland
Baritone – Marrianne Garbutt
Trombone – Adam Taylor
Eb Bass – Connor Gingell
Bb Bass – Ola Ness

Player to listen for
Andrew MacDonald – not only a fine cornet player, but the best example of a bandsman you could come across


Winner?

A tricky one to call. The European banding movement is moving forward whilst Britain seems to be stuck in the past, letting them overtake us. To move forward and take control again, we need to get out of this mindset of “yellow music” and adapt to changes in the movement. It’s going to be a fantastic contest on Saturday and I’m looking forward to listening to all 19 performances.

Prediction:-
1. Eikanger-Bjorsvik
2. Cory
3. Valaisia
4. Brighouse & Rastrick
5. Black Dyke
6. Grimethorpe Colliery




Comments are closed.

Back to Top ↑