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2012 4BR Awards — Conductor of the Year

Which conductor made the biggest impression on the collective consciousness in 2012? There were hundreds of them plying their trade for certain.

4barsrest awards

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There were plenty of conducting performances to savour during 2012 – even though not all of them resulted in steering bands to victory.

Some of the best conducting we witnessed during the year wasn’t even on the contest stage – although in banding terms, that was where the vast majority needed to perform to keep their jobs.

Our nominations were certainly successful on the contest, concert and recording stages, and all seemed to have that little ‘extra’ about themselves this year – although there was a list as long as your arm to think about...


ChildsNicholas Childs 

The conductor who is under the most intense day to day scrutiny in the banding world once again showed that he revelled in the spotlight.

The victories he engineered with Black Dyke at Bradford, Rotterdam and Preston were as commanding as any in his 12 year Queensbury tenure – especially at the English Nationals.

All this and his appetite for contesting success remained undimmed as was shown by additional included wins with Co-operative Funeralcare and Reg Vardy.


Philip HarperPhilip Harper

Philip Harper came of conducting age in 2012 and emphatically rebuffed the critics who felt his appointment at Cory was doomed to failure.

His subsequent success was an immense achievement – especially as his first three major contest outings were at the British Open, National Championships and Brass in Concert. 

Not afraid to be bold either with Tongwynlais and Mount Charles at the beginning of the year, he ended it conducting the number 1 ranked band in the world.


Erik JanssenErik Janssen

Perhaps the most impressive conducting talent in European banding at the moment, the tall Dutchman is also one of the most elegant and successful too.

He has moulded Brass Band Schoonhoven into a commanding top class outfit – leading them to success at the Dutch Nationals for a third year in a row, as well as winning the Euro Brass title and coming third at the Europeans in Rotterdam. 

Add to that a very impressive Nationals debut with Whitburn at the Albert Hall, and you can see why he is now in such demand.


RitterGareth Ritter

Is there really a more inspirational young conductor around at the present time than this bloke?

The amazing development of the City of Cardiff (Melingriffith) organisation stems from his infatigable work, whilst he has also managed to reinvigorate banding in one of the most socially deprived areas of South Wales – with the formation of the successful Ebbw Valley Brass. 

Add to that his award winning playing, teaching and his ability to fight musical causes close to his heart and you get to see why he is a conductor to keep a very close eye on.


WithingtonAllan Withington

If the historic achievement of leading Foden’s to the double of British Open and National Championship in 2012 wasn’t enough, the most Europhile of all conductors also delighted the musical senses on his world travels too.

The likes of Stavanger, Krohnengen, Co-operative Funeralcare and Brisbane Excelsior all benefitted from his impeccable direction, whilst his ever inventive Conducting Course in Leeuwarden continues to inspire a host of budding top class conductors.

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Foden's Band - Matt Ford - Lichfield Cathedral

Friday 24 November • 19A The Close, Lichfield WS13 7LD


Lofthouse Brass Band - Pudsey Churches Together Christmas Concert

Saturday 25 November • Pudsey Parish Church, Church Lane, Pudsey, LS28 7BD LS28 7BD


Lofthouse Brass Band - Lofthouse Christmas Fair

Saturday 25 November • Lofthouse Methodist Church, Leeds Road, Lofthouse, Wakefield WF3 3NE


Enfield Citadel Band -

Saturday 25 November • The Salvation Army. 42 Clarence Road. Southend. SS1 1AN SS1 1AN


Newstead Brass -

Saturday 25 November • John Godber Centre. Ogle Street. Hucknall. Nottingham NG15 7FQ


Thoresby Colliery Band

November 22 • Sadly due to work commitments we are looking for an experienced Percussionist to join our friendly and progressive Band. The Band has experienced a recent run of good form and is currently enjoying a sensible mix of contests, concerts and recordings.


Thoresby Colliery Band

November 22 • Sadly due to work commitments we are looking for an experienced BBb Bass player to join our friendly and progressive Band. The Band has experienced a recent run of good form and is currently enjoying a sensible mix of contests, concerts and recordings.


Hitchin Band

November 21 • Due to a re-shuffle in our cornet section we are now looking for a REPIANO or FRONT ROW cornet player. We are a busy band currently at the top of the 1st section in the London and Southern Counties area. We rehearse Mon + Thurs - 7.45-9.45pm.


Chris Wormald

B.Mus (Hons), LTCL, PGCE
Conductor, adjudicator, arranger