West of England 1st Section Champions 2012

Promoted to Championship Section 2013
2007 - 2013
West of England Championships 2012

Saturday 10th March, 2012 has proved to be one of the most successful days in Brunel Brass's short history. With 3 Regional Championship titles and two National titles already, the band was pleased with it's record to date and would now try to consolidate itself in the 1st section. Although the band media had written some very flattering remarks in the previews of the competition, Brunel were realistic that this was a debut performance in this higher section. It was strange to be involved in a competition that would play later in the day, previously we had to be in Torquay extremely early in the morning to compete. Compounded by the fact that we were drawn 13th out of 14 bands meant a very long day for young and old alike.

The whole band had enjoyed preparing 'Mountain Views' the test piece by Bertrand Moren and were very eager to perform it at the competition. It had been written off by many as being to easy a test for bands of this status and how untrue that was. The two adjudicator’s Jim Davies and Chris Wormald stated that in their summing up of the results. The band performed well and to the best of it’s ability, everyone was pleased with the performance which was received with prolonged applause from the audience. The announcement of the results is always an intense time for the competing bands with the results being announced in reverse order from the 6th placed band. 6th,5th, 4th, 3rd, and then the two places that qualify the bands for the National Finals. 2nd, 1st, Brunel Brass!

Everyone in the band was stunned and amazed at the result Brunel Brass 1st Section West Of England Champions 2012. Amidst the jubilation of the announcement of the results Chris Wormald had stated that Brunel Brass were clear winners on the day. The result had not only qualified the band for the National Finals in September but given the band promotion to the highest echelon of the brass band movement – the Championship Section in 2013. What a result and what a day!

Read the 4barsrest retrospective article here

Brilliant Brunel Brass steam to victory ahead of the rest of the field!

View photo album

On Saturday 24th September, 2011 the Swindon based brass band travelled the short journey to The Centaur at Cheltenham race course for the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain. This was their third such visit to the National Championships in four years with two previous invitations in 2008 and 2009 when they were held at the International Conference Centre, Harrogate. With a previous good track record at this competition, a fourth placing in 2008 and first place in 2009 to win the Third Section National title, expectation was high in the band press. Since their title win in 2009 seven players had left to go to university only to be replaced by youngsters from Great Western Youth Band and the band rebuilt.

The band arrived at the venue by 8.30 am just as the order of draw was taking place for the seventeen bands that had qualified from Scotland, Wales and England. The band were drawn to play number nine half way through the order and they registered and performed at mid day. All went according to plan with a relaxed band giving a stunning performance of Philip Sparke's "Portrait of a city" which was received with tremendous applause from the audience. However, it was not until the remaining eight bands had performed that the adjudicators could deliberate the results. The last four bands to perform were from the favoured Yorkshire and Lancashire regions of the country so the atmosphere was very tense but optimistic that we had performed to the best of our ability and would be in the mix of top placings. The results are always given in reverse order from sixth placing through to first and a prize for the best instrumentalist. Announcements for placings were given up to second place and then the best instrumentalist prize for the section. It was Paul Richards - Brunel Brass soprano cornet player who had also won the same prize in the 2009 championships. This was heartening for the band, especially as it was just before the announcement of the winners, Brunel Brass - Second Section National Champions 2011.

This is an amazing achievement by any band, but for Brunel Brass who were only formed in December 2006 truly a unique one! The band had already been promoted to the first section in January, 2012 and the automatic promotion as the Champions re-enforced this. To compete against so many very good bands and as the adjudicator Steven Sykes told MD John Winterflood afterwards that Brunel Brass had been clear winners in a high quality competition was truly a great reward for every ones efforts.

Saturday 24th September
Test Piece: Portrait of a City (Philip Sparke)
Adjudicators: Steve Sykes & Dr Roger Webster

1. Brunel Brass, John Winterflood, (West of England), (9)
2. Leicestershire Co-op, Graham Jacklin, (Midlands), (1)
3. South Yorkshire Police, Leigh Baker, (Yorkshire), (17)
4. Thundersley, Jeremy Wise, (London & Southern Counties), (4)
5. Pendennis Brass Falmouth, Steve Thomas, (West of England), (8)
6. Morecambe, Andrew Warriner, (North West) (16)
7. Llwydcoed, Gary Davies, (Wales), (10)
8. Bilton Silver (Rugby), David Stowell, Midlands, (5)
9. Becontree Brass, Adam Cooke, (London & Southern Counties), (3)
10. Barnsley Chronicle, Rob Straw, (Yorkshire), (12)
11. Catterick Brass, Brenden Wheeler, (North of England), (14)
12. City of Discovery, Bruce Wallace, (Scotland), (11)
13. Haydock, Mark Quinn, (North West), (15)
14. Northfleet Brass, Melvin White, (London & Southern Counties), (13)
15. Lewis Merthyr, Gareth Pritchard, (Wales), (7)
16. Granite City Brass, Alan Haggart, (Scotland), (2)
17. Cockerton Prize Silver, George Nicklin, (North of England), (6)

Best Instrumentalist: Paul Richards - soprano (Brunel Brass)

West of England 2nd Section Champions 2011

On Sunday 13th March, Brunel Brass headed for the Riviera Centre in Torquay for the regional brass band championships. The test piece for the contest: Eric Ball's "Resurgam" - a masterpiece that was proving to be a great challenge for second section bands around the country. Brunel were drawn to play 4th out of 14 bands. The performance went well and the band felt they had given there best. At the prize giving the placings were given in reverse order 6th place first, it was a real nail biting experience, made even more tense when the microphone stopped working. Brunel were announced winners and the hall erupted with cheers. This is the third regional championship that Brunel have won, an unprecedented record of wins in the last four years. The band has now qualified for the Second Section National Finals to be held at The Centaur in Cheltenham Racecourse in September. To top everything Brunel are promoted to the First Section from January, 2012.

Thanks to for photography.

4barsrest article:

Second Section:

The remarkable rise of Brunel Brass continued at a pace Isambard Kingdom himself would have been proud of on Sunday afternoon. Conducted by John Winterflood, the band formed in 2007 took the Second Section honours - their third regional title in just five years.

Every bit as good

And according to their MD, the win was every bit as good as any they have enjoyed in their short history - including a National title.

"We have been building towards this for the past year - not just the last few weeks," John told 4BR. "We aimed to improve significantly this season both musically and technically, and have worked really hard to make sure we have done that."

The result of that work was shown on 'Resurgam', with a rendition described by the adjudicators as, 'superb - a very, very well shaped musical and technical performance'.

More work

The win now means more hard graft for the band from Swindon though.

"We now have more to do," John added. "We want to make the next step up well prepared, so we'll be planning what to do after we enjoy a celebration. I've a young band, so even though we are losing some players, others are being developed. It's such an exciting time for us."

Second Section:
Sunday 13th March

The Forum
Test Piece: Resurgam (Eric Ball)
Adjudicators: Ian Brownbill & David Lancaster

1. Brunel Brass (John Winterflood)*
2. Pendennis Brass Falmouth (Steve Thomas)*
3. Forest of Dean Brass (Martyn Ford)
4. St Pinnock (Chris Spreadbury)
5. Bugle Silver (J. Wilcock)
6. Soundhouse Brass (Simon Badge)
7. Phoenix Brass (Crewkerne) (Dave Hatton)
8. Cinderford Town (Nigel Seaman)
9. Swindon Pegasus Brass (Mike Lock)
10. City of Bristol (Ceri Thomas)
11. Bath Spa (David Hayward)
12. Wotton-under-Edge & District (Dennis Grant)
13. Bodmin Town (Garry Lannie)
14. Bristol East & Kingswood (Rhodri Griffiths)

*Two bands qualify for the finals

More prize winning success!
West Midlands Brass Band Association Contest - Leamington

On Sunday 21st November, 2010 Brunel Brass travelled to Leamington Spa to compete in the WMBBA Contest held in the Spa Center. This was the first visit to this contest and uncharted territory for the band against some very good second section bands. There were 7 bands in the section from as far afield as Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire.

It is an own choice competition which means each band can select its piece of music to perform as a test piece on the day. Brunel Brass had selected Philip Sparkes music "London Overture" a challenging 1st Section test piece which was new to most of the band members and would prove a tremendous challenge to all concerned. The band played the test piece well and there was a great sense of achievement after the performance - the Musical Director was delighted that the band had met the challenges. The competition from other bands was very high and on the day the results were:

1st. Blidworth Miners Welfare Band
2nd. Bilton Band (Rugby)
3rd. Brunel Brass

Brunel Brass win at Oxford and District Brass Band Association Entertainment Contest

On Sunday 26th September Brunel Brass performed at their first ever entertainments contest at Burford School. This annual event is organised by the ODBBA for bands in Oxfordshire and surrounding area. The competition is split into three sections, one for non-registered bands, the other for Nationally graded 3rd and 4th Section bands and the top section for bands Nationally graded Championship, First or Second section. Brunel who at the time were the 3rd Section National Champions of Great Britain and are now newly promoted to 2nd Section competed in the top section. The section consisted of only three bands in total, Kidlington Concert who are a Championship Section Band and the Forest Of Dean an established Second Section band that had beaten Brunel earlier in the year by one place at the West of England Regional Championship held of Torquay. Performing last out of the three bands Brunel Brass played a short programme - Breezin Down Broadway by Goff Richards, Memory from Cats played as a Soprano Cornet Solo by Paul Richards, the hymn Deep Harmony arranged by Roy Newsome and finally Bernstein's America from West Side Story. The programme proved popular with the audience and especially with the adjudicator for the day Steve Pritchard Jones who commented
"Overall a very good performance, very well controlled and directed". Paul Richards was awarded the prize for the Best Soprano Cornet of the day.

This was a particularly encouraging as the band has recently had to re-organise due to members going off to University!


Brunel Brass 190
Kidlington Concert 189
Forest of Dean 187
Otterbourne, withdrawn

Brunel Brass CD Release – Autumn 2010


Brunel Brass have released a CD to commemorate their first three years and the great success in winning two Region Championships and the National Championships in 2009. The CD is a mix of test- pieces and some popular concert music. To order your copy please contact us through the website contact address. The cost of the CD is £7.00 + £1.80 Delivery or collect from a band member.

1. Death or Glory March - (Robert B Hall)
2. Oceans - Goff Richards *
The Once and Future King – Andrew Baker *
3. Tintagel
4. Lyonesse
5. Badon Hill
6. Once Upon A Time In the West - Ennio Morricone arranged Andrew Duncan
Soprano: Paul Richards
7. Breezin’ Down Broadway - Goff Richards
8. Hymn to the Fallen – John Williams arranged Klass van der Woude
9. Four Cities Symphony – Rodney Newton *
The Shipbuilders – Peter Yorke *
10. The Web of Steel
11. The Launching
12. All Hands at Work
13. Maiden Voyage

* Denotes live contest performance.

Buy Torchbearer CD of Brunel Brass winning Nationals!

You can now buy the recording of Brunel Brass's winning performance at the National Championships, alongside the winning performances from other sections.

Highlights of the 2009 National Finals at both Harrogate and in London. Featuring Black Dyke, Tongwynlais Temperance, City of Cardiff (Melingriffith), Brunel, St Breward and Cory Bands.

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