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2013 4BR Awards — Conductor of the Year

Which conductor made the biggest impression on the collective consciousness in 2013?

There were hundreds of them plying their trade — although some more successfully than others.

4barsrest awardsThere were plenty of conducting performances to savour during 2013 - even though not all of them resulted in steering bands to victory.

As always, 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...

Go to Voting:

Marieka Gray

Marieka Gray

One of the most impressive conductors in the banding world in 2013 - from Perth to Perth and all stops in between in fact.

Her compact, intelligent direction of Milnrow not only saw them win the Grand Shield and qualify for the British Open and National Finals for the first time in their history, but when they got there they revelled in the experience too.

Add to that a fine piece of musical husbandry at the English National, impressive guest appearances with Randaberg in Norway, South Brisbane Federal in Australia, Reg Vardy in Scotland and her ongoing commitment to Eccles Borough in the Third Section, and you can see why her talents are now in demand all over the banding globe.

Philip HAarper

Philip Harper

Philip Harper certainly came of conducting age in 2012, but hallmarked his talents even further in 2013.

The pressure is always on at Cory, but it was at bursting point after the Welsh Area where they came 5th. However, the rest of the year was a juggernaut of increasingly impressive performances that had the stamp of his musical personality all over the number 1 ranked band in the world.

The year ended with them crowned European, National and Brass in Concert champions – and very nearly the British Open and World champions too.  

Multi talented and multi faceted - his musical reputation grows by the year.

Philip McCann

Phillip McCann

The Scotsman can still divide opinion with his interpretations on the contest stage at times, but there no denying the amount of time, energy and talent he commits to each performance for whatever band he conducts.

2013 saw him at his very best – from Scotland to Sweden in fact.

His direction of Carlton Main was superb - resulting in a fine victory at Bradford, a solid return at the British Open and a memorable performance at the Royal Albert Hall.

He also inspired a more disparate collection of players at Kirkintilloch to qualify for London and re-claim their British Open berth at the Grand Shield, before rounding off the year by leading Windcorp Brass to victory at the Swedish National Championships.

Ian Porthouse

Ian Porthouse

A conductor who continues to get better year on year. 

Leading Tredegar to their second British Open title in four years was some achievement - especially given the pressure they were under following their failed Masters hat-trick bid, but it was how he then built on that success at the Nationals and Brass in Concert that was even more impressive.

Those performances came from a band and conductor working as one - and they came mighty close to winning them both too. 

All that and he drew one heck of a performance out of Whitburn to win the Scottish Championship, made a fine impression at the Norwegian Championships and has enhanced his reputation as a band trainer on his increasingly busy trips around the globe.

Allan Withington

Allan Withington

Even if he didn’t quite capture the same amount of contesting silverware as he did in 2012 Allan Withington still led the way with his insatiable appetite to try something new and inventive.

The contest victories did come - and a brace of memorable ones they were too with Stavanger at Siddis and Manger at the World Championship in Kerkrade, whilst he also led a slightly misfiring Foden’s with determination.

However, his outstanding course in Leeuwarden continues to develop new and existing conducting talent with such imagination that his influence will be felt all over the musical world for years to come.    

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

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.

Elland Silver Band

March 20 • We have a vacancy within our Championship Section senior band for a 2nd Trombone player. This is a great opportunity for an experienced or young player looking to join one of Yorkshire's progressive bands, conducted by Daniel Brooks.

Crofton Silver Band

March 20 • Yorkshire 2nd Section Champions are looking for the following players:. . FRONT ROW/ SOPRANO CORNET. BASS. . The band are heading back to the National Finals in September to try and repeat their success from 2016.

Christopher Houlding

Conductor, Performer, Educator