Back on Form | National Championships 2015

After claiming the North West Area title in Blackpool earlier this year, last weekend the band made their way down to capital city in order to compete in this year’s National Championships in the Royal Albert Hall. The test piece this time around was Thomas Doss’ Spiriti, previously used for the European Championships.


The lead up to the contest was a very busy time for the band due to the three performances of Gavin Higgin’s ballet Dark Arteries with the Rambert Dance Company at the Lowry in Manchester, only two weeks beforehand. This left only one week for the band to work up the piece in time for the contest. Thanks must go to the dedication of the players for being able to prepare such a huge piece as Spiriti in such a short space of time. And of course we must not forget the meticulous preparation carried out by the band’s Musical Director Garry Cutt.

After a strong performance the band claimed the third prize position with a great reception. Our congratulations to runners-up Brighouse & Rastrick and this year’s winners, The Cory Band.

The band now pre-qualify for next year’s national finals. See you in 2016!

Full Results

RaH_2015_16Adjudicators: Stephen Roberts, Howard Snell, Rob Wiffen

1. Cory (Philip Harper)*
2. Brighouse & Rastrick (Prof. David King)**
3. Fairey (Prof. Garry Cutt)*
4. Flowers (Paul Holland)*
5. Tredegar (Ian Porthouse)
6. Camborne (Kevin Mackenzie)
7. Zone One Brass (Richard Ward)
8. Reg Vardy (Russell Gray)
9. Co-operative Funeralcare (Allan Ramsay)
10. Grimethorpe Colliery (Dr Robert Childs)
11. Black Dyke (Prof. Nicholas Childs)
12. Whitburn (Michael Fowles)
13. Foden’s (Allan Withington)
14. Carlton Main Frickley Colliery (Phillip McCann)
15. Virtuosi GUS (Adam Cooke)
16. Northop Silver (Thomas Wyss)
17. Tongwynlais Temperance (John Berryman)
18. NASUWT Riverside (Stephen Malcolm)
19. Desford Colliery (LCIWTF) (Tom Davoren)
20. Friary Guildford (Chris King)

*top 4 bands pre-qualify for next year’s contest.


2015 North West Area Champions!

It’s that time of year again when the band jet off to sunny Blackpool to compete for a chance to make it to the National Finals in October. This year’s foray at the Winter Gardens resulted in the band successfully defending its title with a rousing rendition of Peter Graham’s fantastic homage to Eric Ball, ‘The Torchbearer’. Many thanks to all the players and those behind the scenes that made the performance as special as it was (especially to musical director Garry Cutt who now builds his number of wins at the north west regional competition to eight). A recording of the performance can be heard on our contest playlist.

2015 North West Area Champions

2015 North West Area Champions

A special mention must be made to our top percussion team Graham Proctor, Dave Wycherley, Dan Baldwin & Chan Tung (Brian) for also picking up the percussion prize! The band will join Foden’s to compete at the National Finals on the 10th of October at the Royal Albert Hall, playing Thomas Doss’ ‘Spiriti’.


Winning Percussion Team – Dan Baldwin, Graham Proctor, Chan Tung (Brian) & Dave Wycherley (Left to Right).

Full Results

Adjudicators: David Hirst & Alan Morrison

1. Fairey (Garry Cutt)*
2. Foden’s (Allan Withington)*
3. Wingates (Paul Andrews)
4. Ashton-Under-Lyne (Phil Chalk)
5. Morecambe (Andrew Warriner)
6. Leyland (Michael Bach)
7. Blackburn & Darwen (Huw Thomas)
8. Oldham (Lees) (John Collins)
9. Milnrow (Mark Bentham)
10.Co-operative Funeralcare North West (Jef Sparkes)
11. Pemberton Old Wigan DW (Stig Maersk)
12. Rainford (Gareth Brindle)
13. Vernon Building Society Poynton (Neil Samuel)

Percussion Prize: Fairey

*Top two bands qualify for National Final at Royal Albert Hall

Brass in Concert 2014

venue_sageThe 38th Brass in Concert Championships were held this weekend with a strong return to form from the band after last year’s placing. As well as coming fourth overall the band’s bass trombone player Josh Cirtina was presented with the Don Lusher Trombone Award for his fantastic rendition of ‘In the Hall of the Mountain King’. This solo will feature on the band’s upcoming CD being released in early 2015. Another two pieces from the band’s program, ‘Nefarious’ and ‘The Land of Make Believe’ (with thanks to Jim Fieldhouse for his composing and arranging skills) will also be featured.

Full Results

1. Grimethorpe Colliery (Dr Robert Childs): 1(60pts)/3(54)/1(40)/2(19)/4(17) = 190
2. Cory (Philip Harper): 3(54)/1(60)/6(30)/4(17)/3(18) = 179
3. Tredegar (Ian Porthouse): 7(42)/2(57)/4(34)/5(16)/1(20) = 169
4. Fairey (Garry Cutt): 2(57)/4(51)/8(26)/6(15)/5(16) = 165
5. Flowers (Paul Holland): 4(51)/6(45)/3(36)/11(10)/7(14) = 156
6. Foden’s (Allan Withington): 6(45)/5(48)/7(28)/1(20)/8(13) = 154
7. Brass Band Schoonhoven (Erik Janssen): 8(39)/8(39)/5(32)/3(18)/2(19) = 146
8. Leyland (Richard Evans): 5(48)/7(42)/11(20)/7(14)/6(15) = 139
9. Carlton Main Frickley Colliery (Leigh Baker): 10(33)/10(33)/2(38)/10(11)/9(12) = 127
10. Brass Band of Central Florida (Chad Shoopman): 9(36)/9(36)/10(22)/12(9)/11(10) = 112
11. Woodfalls (Ray Farr): 11(30)/11(30)/9(24)/8(13)/10(11) = 108
12. Virtuosi GUS (Adam Cooke): 12(27)/12(27)/12(18)/9(12)/12(9) = 93

BBC Radio 2’s ‘Listen to the Band’ recently featured two of the band’s performances from the day, which can be listened to below. First is ‘The Witch of the Westmerlands’ featuring Solo Baritone player Rob Richardson and Principal Cornet Paul Hughes. Second is Benjamin Tubb’s ‘Danse Macabre Variations’ used to round off our ‘Fairey Tales’ program theme with pyrotechnic style!

National Finals

It’s that time of year again when the band steps up to the stage in the Royal Albert Hall. The band delivered a very strong performance of ‘The Legend of King Arthur’ (Peter Meechan) with excellent execution by all soloists and received a very enthusiastic reception to finish a respectable 5th out of 20 bands. The full results are given below:

Full Results:

  1. Black Dyke
  2. Cory
  3. Brighouse & Rastrick
  4. Tredegar
  5. Fairey
  6. Flowers
  7. Fodens
  8. Reg Vardy
  9. Grimethorpe
  10. Wantage Silver
  11. Woodfalls
  12. Cooperative Funeralcare
  13. Virtuosi GUS
  14. Bury Port Town
  15. Whitburn
  16. Friary Guildford
  17. Tongwynlais Temperance
  18. Carlton Main Frickley Colliery
  19. Desford Colliery
  20. East Yorkshire Motor Services

Congratulations to Black Dyke on their victory!

More Area Win Photos

Fairey’s Back on Form – North West Area Champions!

Fairey-Celebrate-Reg-2014This is will be the fourteenth time the band have taken home the regionals trophy, leading them on to play in the National Finals in the Royal Albert Hall later this year. It is a great step forward for the band to win the regionals again (the last time being 2001), and a streak that we will fully aim to continue! The full performance can be heard below.

The full results were:

Championship Section:
Test Piece: ‘St Magnus’ – Kenneth Downie
Adjudicators: Jim Davies & Barry Thompson

1. Fairey (Garry Cutt)*
2. Foden’s (Allan Withington)*
3. Co-operative Funeralcare North West (Jef Sparkes)
4. Milnrow (Mareika Gray)
5. Blackburn & Darwen (Huw Thomas)
6. Leyland (Michael Bach)
7. Pemberton Old Wigan DW (Stig Maersk)
8. Rainford (Gareth Brindle)
9. Wingates (Paul Andrews)
10. Wardle Anderson Brass (Steven Walsh)

Percussion Award: Fairey

* Top 2 bands qualify for National Final


“This has just enhanced a terrific work ethic and team spirit that I’ve not witnessed in banding for a long time”

Gary Cutt

Needless to say the band are delighted with the result. Sympathy goes out to our Solo Baritone player who was so overcome with paroxysms of joy that she managed to dislocate her foot upon exiting the band bus.

Back in the frame at The Open!

The Band had another late drew this year, 15th, to go with 16th and 17th in the previous two Opens! Under Musical Director Garry Cutt’s direction the Band delivered an exciting and very musical rendition of Stephen Roberts’ ‘Arabian Nights’, which was a test piece take on Rimsky Korsakov’s Scheherazade. The adjudicators placed us a creditable 5th out of the 17 competitors. The performance can be heard via the jukebox on our home page. Full results were as follows:

1. Tredegar (Ian Porthouse), 8
2. Cory (Philip Harper), 16
3. Co-operative Funeralcare (Allan Ramsay), 14
4. Foden’s (Allan Withington), 13
5. Fairey (Garry Cutt), 15
6. Black Dyke (Dr Nicholas Childs), 4
7. Kirkintilloch (David Roberts), 10
8. Carlton Main Frickley Colliery (Phillip McCann), 9
9. Brighouse & Rastrick (Prof. David King), 5
10. Grimethorpe Colliery (Luc Vertommen), 2
11. Desford Colliery (Nigel Seaman), 17
12. Hepworth (Michael Fowles), 3
13. Milnrow (Mareika Gray), 7
14. Virtuosi GUS (John Berryman), 11
15. Leyland (Michael Bach), 6
16. Reg Vardy (Russell Gray), 12*
17. Seindorf Beaumaris (Gwyn M Evans), 1*

Congratulations to Ian Porthouse and Tredegar on their 2nd win at the contest in the last four years.

Whit Friday Runners Up

Last night the Band competed at the annual Whit Friday march competitions in the Saddleworth area. We played ‘The President’ march in 8 contests; scoring one 1st, five 2nd and one 5th place. Unofficially (as yet) we have finished as Saddleworth area runners up, behind Brighouse & Rastrick. The Band got off to an early 4pm start and hence managed to compete in all but three of the Saddleworth contests, racking up just shy of £4,300 in total prize money for the evening!

Thanks go to MD Garry Cutt for working us hard this week and directing us so assuredly on the night, and to guest players Dave Morton (cornet), Ceri John (euphonium), Ben Knowles (trombone) and Andy Cattenach (BBb bass). Congratulations to Ben Richeton (soprano) and Ceri John (euphonium) for the solo prizes they gained around the events.