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2013 4BR Awards — Contest Performance of the Year

Perhaps the most difficult of all the categories to choose the best from?

Which contest performance stood out for you in 2013 — and it may not have been a winner.

4barsrest awardsWith so many contests to choose from, which performances lingered longest in the memory banks?

There were some crackers in 2013 - many of which were just as good as if not better than the five we have come up with.

Cast your minds back to the Areas where a couple of real bobby dazzlers won through, the Europeans, the various European contests from Holland and Belgium to Switzerland and Sweden, World Championship, Australia, North America, New Zealand, National Youth Championships...

The list is endless and personal, so make your own pick...

Go to Voting:

Black Dyke

Black Dyke 
Conductor: Dr Nicholas Childs
Revelation (Philip Wilby)
Own Choice: English National Championship

In a year in which the Queensbury band rather faltered on the contest stage, this reminded everyone that they could still produce a world class performance against any opposition.

It was a fabulous rendition and interpretation - full of drama, pathos, juggernaut technique and a sound that almost took the roof off the excellent Elgar Concert Hall at the University of Birmingham.

Black Dyke gave the much maligned English National Championship a memorable musical send off.

Conductor: Philip Harper
Of Distant Memories – Music in an Olden Style
National Championship of Great Britain

Cory had to pull something special out of the hat at the Albert Hall to deny their resurgent Welsh rivals the opportunity of making it a Tredegar ‘Double’ – and they did that and more with this stunning display.

Philip Harper matched the lyrical and the technical to perfection, and his players responded magnificently, playing out of their collective skins.   It was a tour de force. 

13 years of Kensington hurt had come to a glorious end.

EikangerEikanger Bjorsvik 
Myth Forest (Stig Nordhagen)
Conductor: Prof David King
Set Work: European Championship

The only performance not to ‘win’ this year (it was placed second in the set work discipline in Oslo) -but what does that matter when you get to hear playing of such ethereal beauty.

The composer’s austere, melancholic work was deeply engrossing, touching on aspects of recall and memory surrounding the story of the drowning of a horse in frozen lake.

David King and his band produced a performance that sent a shiver down the collective spine - capturing a magical air of dark mystery in the process.


Manger Musikklag
Conductor: Peter Sebastian Szilvay
Cantigas (Torstein Aagaard-Nilsen)
Own Choice: Norwegian National Championship

A performance of the rarest brilliance on a work that sucked you into its grasp from the word go.

This was Manger at its best – bold, fearless, risky and engrossing, led by an MD who moulded a performance that captured your imagination. The central section was a thing of beauty. 

By it close it was like listening to a musical version of those Russian Dolls being opened in turn to reveal yet more layers of delightful craftsmanship in smaller and smaller detail.

band logoTredegar
Conductor: Ian Porthouse
Arabian Nights – Fantasy on Rimsky Korsakov’s Scheherazade for Brass Band
Stephen Roberts
British Open Championship

A simply stunning winning performance from a band that came to the contest with pressure heaped upon their shoulders.

This was a brilliant character portrait that combined erotic sensuality with spiteful venom, locked together in a free flowing interpretation which was delivered in quite startling  fashion by a musical combination that simply bought into the music lock stock and two smoking barrels.

It brought the composer to tears of joy in the box – and the band shed quite a few in their celebrations afterwards too. 

Black Dyke Band - Mirfield Parish Church

Thursday 22 March • Mirfield Parish Church, 38 Church Lane, Mirfield WF14 9HX

The Fairey Band - Ensembles from Bramhall High School

Friday 23 March • Bramhall High School. Seal Road. Stockport SK72JT

Regent Hall Concerts - Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama Brass Band

Friday 23 March • Regent Hall. (The Salvation Army). 275 Oxford Street. London W1C 2DJ (opposite RESERVED) W1C 2DJ

The Brighouse & Rastrick Band - Boobs & Brass at Huddersfield Town Hall

Saturday 24 March • Huddersfield Town Hall. Corporation St,. Huddersfield HD1 2TA

Croydon Citadel Band - The International Staff Band of The Salvation Army

Saturday 24 March • The Salvation Army. Booth Rd. Croydon. CR0 1XY CR0 1XY

Hitchin Band

March 20 • BASS TROMBONE VACANCY - Hitchin Band (promoted to Championship as of 2019) are looking for a bass trombone player to fill our vacancy. We are a friendly and sociable band with a busy and varied concert programme throughout the year.

Milnrow Band

March 20 • 2nd EUPHONIUM and 2 FIRST CLASS CORNET PLAYERS. We have immediate vacancies for a 2nd Euphonium & 2 Cornet players (positions negotiable). We rehearse Mon/Thur 8pm-10pm in our own bandroom in Milnrow, situated just off J21 M62 and accessible via Metrolink.

Amesbury Town Band

March 20 • Players of any standard are always warmly welcomed especially some more solo cornets and a spare percussionists to help out existing players. We don't contest, so feel free to drop in, even if you just fancy a blow or want to try another instrument.

Ian Porthouse

Cornet soloist, clinician, conductor and adjudicator