A LIVING LEGEND - Celebrating Elgar Howarth as he prepares to turn 85

Issue 6068

HIGHLIGHT REEL - Virtual Brass in Concert to look back at best of the best

FLUGEL SIGNING - Black Dyke welcomes new addition to the ranks

2020 Regionals: Yorkshire - Third Section

Sunday 8 March, 2020

Live coverage of the Yorkshire Regional Championships 
Test-piece: Endurance - (Andrew Baker)
Adjudicators: Steve Pritchard-Jones, David Hirst
Alex Parker Reporting 


1. Kippax (Stephen Tighe)*
2. Lofthouse 2000 (Andrew Whitaker)*
3. Emley Brass (Garry Hallas)
4. Maltby Miners Welfare (Terry Clifford)
5. Dinnington Colliery (Jonathan Beatty)
6. Gawthorpe Brass '85 (John Edward)
7. Clifton & Lightcliffe (John Clay)
8. Huddersfield & Ripponden (Adam Bell)
9. Oughtibridge (Gavin Somerset)
10. Deepcar Brass (Cathryn O'Shea)
11. Armthorpe Elmfield (Raymond Kilcoyne)

*Qualify for National Final

Best Instrumentalist: Nigel Darbyshire (cornet) — Kippax
Best Percussion: Maltby Miners
Youngest Player: Rhiannon Catley aged 11 of Maltby Miners


I think the bands that have done well today will be those who really delivered on the basics of intonation and good ensemble work with those right at the top delivering the final sparkle of delivering some moments of magic. My top 6 guess is:-

1.      Kippax (Stephen Tighe)

2.      Lofthouse 2000 (Andrew Whitaker)

3.      Clifton & Lightcliffe (John Clay)

4.      Emley Brass (Garry Hallas)

5.      Maltby Miners Welfare (Terry Clifford)

6.      Huddersfield & Ripponden (Adam Bell)



11.     Dinnington Colliery (Jonathan Beatty)

The loudest opening we have had yet Flugel takes the roof off! It takes some time to establish a relatively fast march but there are some individually excellent technical lines ensemble needs some work to keep the speed going together. Var. 2 feels good in the opening and settles well - MD give the band support to get a good dynamic shape. Some intonation problems slip in during the transition to Var 3.

Var. 3 has good flow led by a strong back row and some good work from the Basses Some great work from the percussion, who we have heard have a combined age of over 170!

Var. 4 some lovely playing from the soloists but the ensemble is not together in the accompaniment. Beautiful Euph Cadenza. Again Intonation just spoils the moment before the Cornet solo which picks up nicely. Some more excellent Bass work just before the Crescendo into U where the band sound at their best so far. Great finish if a little untidy.

A performance the band will be pleased with but some scrappy ensemble and intonation will hurt today.


10.     Gawthorpe Brass '85 (John Edward)

An aggressive opening but nice sound from the Flugel as a result of the confident dynamic. March is quite aggressive too with a fairly strident Trombone entry. Var. 2 could do with more contrast in the repeating melodic line some dynamic shaping from the MD would help. Towards the Var end some intonation problems arise even before the loud dynamic moment.

Var 3. Good try from the back row repeated quavers but some differences in opinion on style and sound with mutes spoils the effect. Some good work in the technical runs on the front row.

Var. 4 another band where the ensemble support to the solo work need to be more subtle as soloists have clearly prepared well. Some intonation problems just before a wonderful Cornet solo one of the more stylish interpretations today.

Band give it a great last effort but a few individuals stand out which wobbles the intonation.

A band that show some green shoots of good performance work but I fear some of the basics of ensemble and tuning will need working on to continue to progress


9.     Deepcar Brass (Cathryn O'Shea)

An opening that didn’t quiet work with the nerves on show today as entries don’t arrive together and intonation proves hard in the quiet passages.  In the Var. 1 the band work hard at the dynamic shape. Var. 2 the band are working hard to keep things moving some more support in the sound production would help in the band sound I feel. Var. 3 has some good work from the cornets in the opening but as it moves into Var 4. some more subtlety in the accompaniment would help out the soloists enormously, particularly from some power basses!

The band try really hard in the final ensemble playing into U and the close - well done MD on supporting the players and getting the best from them in the final crescendo, especially in the percussion.

A performance that stretched the band, making its second ever appearance in this section today but one that the players should feel proud of bringing together. Some continued work on intonation and ensemble playing would really bring the music life as some of the dynamic contrast was really good.



8.     Emley Brass (Garry Hallas)

A very fine attempt at what is proving a hard opening. Excellent controlled Flugel sound. Basses make a good sound into the March. Good detail in the cornet section as they open up for the first time. The final build and dim to finish the movement is well controlled. Var. 2 finds a good a tempo, a few intonation issues in the unison Euph/Bari phrase but recovers. The dynamic work is good but maybe doesn’t have the range we have seen in the best so far today.

Var. 3 Trombones have a lovely ensemble sound and some clear effort has gone into the balance of this section; it was up on tempo compared to some, losing some of the detail in the fanfare. The FF was a good controlled loud sound and doesn’t stray in to harsh territory. Run into O has great ensemble playing showing off the detail.

Var. 4 Well done soloists all round they all felt part of the music and in keeping with the effect. Some really excellent work from the Horns and Flugel to set the scene for the Cornet soloist to produce something wonderful. Good ensemble at the FF at U. A few intonation problems in the quiet section as people tire but a solid ending together.



7.     Huddersfield & Ripponden (Adam Bell)

A bit safe in the opening with an unlucky moment for the Flugel. Excellent Baritone solo! The march in variation have a very nice style to it but some of the loud playing felt slightly forced so lost the detail.

Var. 2 Nice sop sol well supported by the band. Again the loud passages might be too loud too soon the show off the detail.

Var. 3 Moving quavers over power the poor baritones but the lower band produce some lovely ominous phrases like icebergs in the dark! And finishes with some fab work in the percussion section to transition to Var. 4. There’s some more good playing in the open but the accompaniment is too strong for the detail. The transition from the Trombone works well as the sound goes down to the bass smoothly. The cornet solo has a nice feel driven from within the middle band.

In the final section a few intonation issues arise going from FF down in a controlled dim but excellent commitment from the band in the final section. 


6.     Clifton & Lightcliffe (John Clay)

A relatively safe opening leading straight into the March section. Good playing but the balance hides some good work going on in the technical melodic lines. Dramatic trombone entry! Var.2 generally good but more dynamic shape would be good to keep the music alive. Some harsh sounds in the loud stuff. Some intonation problems in the middle band.

Var 3 I’d like to hear more of the detail as the fanfare is well played although this is bang on the marked tempo.

Var. 4 There clearly a lot of hard work on display here in the solo lines but the soloist need more sympathetic support to bring the music to life and shimmer.

U brings really fantastic ensemble sound - not overblown but filling the hall sideways! This carries on to the finish as the band leaves its best work for the end of the piece.

This got better as it went along. Some more dynamic contrast would have really helped. 


5.     Kippax (Stephen Tighe)

Kippax start with a version that gives the theme more space than we have heard, making the contrast to Var.1 more marked. The flow continues nicely and the detail comes across in the hall although a few ugly sounds in the troms can be heard.

Var. 2 Good ensemble and a beautifully clear Sop solo. Dynamic shaping keeps the music alive and interesting.

Var. 3 really excellent balance between back row quavers and Baritone off beat phrase showing the clear contrast. Excellent fanfares as the detail comes across 

Great solo work in Var. 4 show a great depth of talent in the band – the duet work is particularly balanced and accompaniment keeps restrained to let them do so. Solo cornet makes the hairs on my arm stand on end in this beautiful acoustic, Basses lending some solid foundations helps too.

Top percussion work in the final section not overpowering but solid playing as has been the case throughout.

Glorious sounds to finish from the Cornets not sounding over blown. This is the performance to beat now ladies and gents.


4.  Lofthouse 2000 (Andrew Whitaker)

Spine tingling open good use of Tam-Tam to create the effect. As Var1 starts some detail lost as the accompaniment raises too soon. Great detail from the Bass end of the band.

Var. 2 Best Ensemble work yet finding the flow of the dynamics which brings the repeating phrase to life.

Var. 3 a faster version that we have yet heard and the quavers feel good at this tempo but a little detail is lost in some of the fanfare lines. The middle band do well tying the top and bottom half.

Var. 4 Stylish Trombone solo using a bit of vibrato to keep the notes alive. Ensemble hides the Bass solo which is a shame as I think it was solid. Baritone and Horn are well balanced and really feels like they both shine as a result.

Trombones a little strong during the Cornet solo but the slightly faster tempo gives a nice flow to the music.

The FF at U feels well balanced and the detail come across well, but the final FF might feel like 5% too much.

This could do well today - well done MD on a well planned performance and delivered by the band.


3.  Oughtibridge (Gavin Somerset)

The best attempt at a true Pianissimo opening and the dance melody hints just poke through the texture. A fine first solo from Solo Horn. As the sound grows to the end of Variation 1 some of the balance is a little lost in the lower middle band. The band try to shape the sound in Var.2 to some success but some unevenness in the moving quavers as they move round the band affects the flow.

Var. 3 Good FF and Bass detail.

An excellent Tam-Tam takes us into the solo section - bravo Eb Bass and Flugel/Horn.

The final Cornet solo has some nice moments but a few ensemble moments upset the flow a tad. Great band sound to lead towards the final PP and best ensemble playing left right to the end.

I hope the band will be pleased with the performance but a few nerves created the odd moment in technical passages today that will keep them out the podium spots.



2.   Maltby Miners Welfare (Terry Clifford)

A confident opening from Maltby. As the band move into Variation 1 some of the detail is lost in the hall but a very nice clear sop. Variation 2 shows the band working hard on creating a good sound but the odd intonation problem creeps in on the bottom end.

Variation 3 the back row work very hard on keeping the quavers even - the concentration is obvious. Very nice smooth Eb Bass Solo supported by Euphonium solo after with a really solid sound.

Solo cornet set up for a beautiful solo from a backrow playing together very well in the unison F chords. A bit of tiredness starting to affect the ending with support from an MD vocal solo…


1.     Armthorpe Elmfield (Raymond Kilcoyne)

The day starts with a nice controlled quiet opening from a band light on numbers, but moving into variation 1 there are nice sounds from the Horn/Flugel and a sop player with crystal clear detail in the solo.

Some intonation issues creep in during the long chords before variation 4. Some great solos from across the band with particular mention to the . MD working hard to keep the supporting lines under control to show the soloists’ hard work paying off across the band.

A very nice and controlled opening performance which will set a good bench mark in the box this morning!




1. Armthorpe Elmfield (Raymond Kilcoyne)

2. Maltby Miners Welfare (Terry Clifford)

3. Oughtibridge (Gavin Somerset)

4. Lofthouse 2000 (Andrew Whitaker)

5. Kippax (Stephen Tighe)

6. Clifton & Lightcliffe (John Clay)

7. Huddersfield & Ripponden (Adam Bell)

8. Emley Brass (Garry Hallas)

9. Deepcar Brass (Cathryn O'Shea)

10. Gawthorpe Brass '85 (John Edward)

11. Dinnington Colliery (Jonathan Beatty)