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Lower Section National Finals 2002 - The Adjudicators

As always the most important people at Torquay will be the four men who will be locked into the box and will be charged with deliberating on all the performances. After they've done that that of course, they will then be released and their findings will be examined before they are announced to the expectant crowd of players and supporters (and a few old hacks like us from the media). It's a rough old job, but someone has to do it. Also - they will most probably take the opportunity to speak to the audience and explain why they came to their decisions - a welcome feature at the Lower Section finals and one that other judges should do elsewhere, such as the Open and London perhaps?


The four charged with the honour this year are Philip Wilby and Goff Richards who will be judging the First and Second Sections, and Denis Wilby (no relation) and Melvin White, who take charge of the Third and Fourth Sections.

Bands in the First and Second Sections can have no cause for complaint from the judges, as both are composers of the set works - so look out!


Dr Philip Wilby

The composer of the First Section set work we believe will be making his debut in the box at this level, and so it will be interesting to find out what he will be looking for from his work.

Philip Wilby was born in 1949 in Pontefract, South Yorkshire. Having been educated at Oxford University at Keble College, he played in various professional orchestras before taking up the post of composition tutor on the staff at Leeds University's Music Department in 1972. He attributes his awakening to composition to Herbert Howells, whose extra curricular composition classes he attended whilst a violinist in the National Youth Orchestra.

His brass works include four compositions for the British Open Contest and one for the National Finals of Great Britain. In addition his works have been used on three occasions for the All England Masters Championships. His works have also been used on two occasions at the Lower Section National Finals in 1994 and 2000.

He remains one of the most original voices ever to compose for brass, although this year saw him announce that he would not be composing for brass band for the considerable future. He has an entry in the Groves Dictionary and was awarded his Doctorate in 1996 and made Professor of Composition in April 2002.


Goff Richards

Goff Richards hails from Cornwall and after studying at the Royal College of Music and Reading University he embarked on a career as a composer, arranger and conductor.

His works have been performed by the King Singers, the Swingle Singers various BBC orchestras, Huddersfield Choral Society, London Brass, Eveleyn Glennie and leading brass and military bands.

In 1984 he won the European Broadcasting Union prize for new music for bands and in 1986 was commissioned to write, "Cornish Fantasia" a large scale work for orchestra, brass band, massed voices, percussion ensemble and baritone. This was followed in 1987 by another work for the Armagh Music Week.

His more recent commissions include works fro "Songs of Praise", "Counting the Days to Christmas", "Vivid Colours", "Intrada" as well as arrangements for Grimethorpe Colliery Band and in the pop field for Tori Amos.

His music has been recorded on CD by bands such as BNFL, Fodens and Brighouse and Rastrick. From 1976 - 1989 he lectured in arranging and directed the Jazz Orchestra at Salford College of Technology. In 1990 he was awarded an honorary GDBM and the title Director Big Band Laureate.

As an adjudicator he has judged at the highest level in the UK, New Zealand, The European Championships as well as the National Male Voice Choir Championships of Great Britain and numerous band competitions for BBC Radio and television.

He spent three years serving on the Central Music Advisory Committee of the BBC and has been a committee member of the British Music Writer's Council. He was made a Bard of the Cornish Gorsedd in 1976 and has been President of the South West Brass Band Association.


Denis Wilby

Denis Wilby was born in Horbury, Yorkshire. He began playing the cornet at the age of seven. During his National Service he was Principal Cornet with the Staff Band of the Royal Army Service Corps. He followed this by becoming Principal Trumpet with the BBC Northern Ireland Orchestra in Belfast.

He taught at the Belfast School of Music and conducted Agnes street Band during his period there. On his return to Britain he continued to play as a freelance trumpet player.

He was Resident Conductor of the Grimethorpe Colliery Band and first Musical Director of the James Shepherd Versatile Brass.He also had two years with the Wingates Band and worked on a freelance basis with Brighouse and Rastrick, Yorkshire Imperial Metals, Hammonds Sauce and Stocksbridge Engineering. He has also conducted in Norway and adjudicated at all Regional contests, the National Finals, Pontins and many other events in the brass band calendar.

He has arranged over 50 titles for brass band and in 1992 wrote the test piece for the youth bands at the Haukas Brass festival in Norway. For 23 years he was employed full time as a brass tutor with Wakefield Metropolitan Education Authority. In 1992 he became editor of the quarterly brass magazine "Brass Review".

Melvin White

Melvin white has gained a well deserved reputation as one of the most successful conductors and band trainers of recent years in the banding world with a record of achievement that bears comparison with any conductor currently plying their trade.

He has conducted 20 bands to qualification for the Finals of the National Brass Band Championships alone, including this year, the Redbridge Band to victory and qualification at the London and Southern Counties Regional Championships. In addition at that contest he also directed the bands of Staines and of Clacton on Sea.

He has also been a successful conductor with the BTM in Wales whom he won the Pontins Championships in 1991 and 1992 with as well as the Welsh Regional Championships of 1991 and 1993. He has conducted at the European Championships where he directed BTM to 6th place in 1992. He also gained 5th place at the National Finals with the band in 1991 playing "Energy".

In 1998 he conducted the SWT Woodfalls band to victory at the West of England Regional Championships. He has been Musical Director of the Redbridge Band since 1998. He was also the conductor of the GUS band and of the Cory Band and conducted both bands at the British Open Championships gaining 10th place with GUS in 1999 and 7th place in 2000. At the All England Masters Championships he has conducted the GUS (Travelsphere Band) into two consecutive 4th places in 1999 and 2000.


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