North West Area Championships 2002

Manx Concert Brass prepare to compete for the first time in the North West Area Championships Second Section.

On Saturday, March 9th, a party of 50 players and supporters will brave the Irish Sea to embark on their trip to Blackpool to compete in the annual North West Area Brass Band Championships. This is the 8th consecutive year that Manx Concert Brass have competed in the North West Area Championships at considerable expense to the players. During these 7 years, the rewards have been plentiful, with the band rarely being placed outside the top 4, winning one 4th section title (1996) and two 3rd section titles (1999 and 2001). These results, coupled with a 4th section National Title (1996) has given the band quite a reputation in the North West Area so therefore they go into their first competition in the 2nd Section with confidence.

The test piece this year, Victor Ewald's "Symphony for Brass" has been a very interesting piece for the band to work on. Michael Hopkinson has transformed this piece from being a "classical" brass quintet (two trumpets, french horn , trombone and tuba) into a marvellous test for a full brass band.

The players have shown the usual level of commitment, with extra rehearsals, and full attendance for every rehearsal with the bands professional musical advisor, Mr Derek Broadbent.

This year sees some players make their debut with Manx Concert Brass. We wish them well, but it also sees an ex-member compete against us!! Stephen Somers, who is currently studying Brass Band Studies at Salford University, has been signed to play with Moston and Beswick. We look forward to meeting Stephen and other ex-members of the band who always come along to support us this weekend (oh, Stephen matey, a big raspy Bb Bass sound is what is required for this piece, especially in the second movement!!)

Hopefully, Manx Concert Brass will manage to join the bands from the Midland Region, and the Yorkshire Region who qualified for the 2002 finals last weekend. Our congratulations go out to:


  • Langley Band (M. Vause)
  • Shirley Band (D. Lea)


  • Hade Edge (J&E Dickinson) (S. Wood)
  • Horbury Victoria (I. Shires)

We hope to see them in Torquay later in the year!! Fingers crossed!!