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2014 4BR Awards — Newcomer of the Year

There was plenty of new talent on show in 2014 from players, conductors and bands, to composers, instruments and even new ways of presenting brass band contests.

The nominations from the 4BR team for consideration are...

Austrian Nationals

Austrian National Brass Band Championship

When the European Brass Band Championship was held in Linz in 2010 it opened the eyes of many to the vast possibilities the country’s well funded commitment to music making held - especially for brass bands.

Four years later and the inaugural Austrian National Championships took place at a packed out Kulturzentrum Bräuhaus in Eferding in Upper Austria, with six bands in two sections: Quality not quantity for now - but that exciting potential has finally been untapped.



Euro Youth Day

European Youth Day

The future of this event on an annual basis at least, is questionable, but you have to admit, the success of the inaugural contest in Perth was a credit to the competing bands, EBBA and the Scottish Brass Band Association who backed and presented it so well.

With victories for the Swiss and Norwegians over some pretty good domestic challengers it also shone a very clear musical light on just where the driving force for its future success may come from.


Rory Boyle

Rory Boyle

Now then, now then. All that nonsense about ‘Muckle Flugga’ as a worthy European test piece seems like a pretty insignificant storm in a tea cup now.

A muddled commissioning process was perhaps ultimately to blame - although the work did need some tweaking. When it came to the contest stage though, it revealed itself to be a powerful, evocative composition with a deep sense of human passion. Rory Boyle is a composer the brass band world can ill afford to lose contact with.


Urban Play

Urban Play

Buffet’s latest ‘app’ is a clever, well thought out bit of work - and a very helpful high tech tool to help young players develop their playing skills without getting bored. And believe you me - that takes some doing. 

If you want to make a lasting connection with young performers then give them music to play along with that they enjoy and understand. With ‘Urban Play’ it shows that someone at Buffet is down with the kids.


Kings Division

The Band of the King’s Division

To be fair, the top brass with pips on their shoulders at the Corps of Army Music should take their fair share of credit for their decision to create three UK based professional brass bands, but it is still the public performance face of what they have decided on that creates the right impression for potential new recruits.

Capt Justin Matthews and his band at Weeton have worked their socks off this year in doing the PR performance stuff - and have done it very well (as have the Royal Signals Band in the West Midlands and the Prince of Wales’s Band in South Wales). The long term benefits to the civilian brass band movement could well become increasingly significant in years to come.



Kettering Citadel S A Band -

Tuesday 22 May • 66, Rockingham Road,. Kettering,. NN16 8JU


Contest: Whit Friday March Contests

Friday 25 May • Saddleworth & Tameside OL3


Black Dyke Band - Huddersfield Town Hall - Massed Male Voice Choirs

Saturday 26 May • Huddersfield Town Hall, Corporation St, Huddersfield HD1 2TA


Foden's Band - Edwin Firth Commemoration Event - Sandbach

Friday 1 June • Sandbach School, Crewe Rd, Sandbach CW11 3NS


Contest: French Open Championships 2018

Friday 1 June • Amboise 37400


Enderby Band

May 21 • Enderby Band - National Finalists - Midlands 1st section. Are looking to appoint a new Musical Director. We're a hard-working sociable band and are looking for a dynamic & inspiring MD to continue the band's development towards the National Finals & beyond


Knottingley Silver Band

May 21 • Solo or 2nd trombone, a front or back row cornet and a Bb bass (positions negotiable) are needed at Knottingley Silver to complete the lineup. We have a decent calendar without being too heavy going. We also have a great social side away from band.


Witney Town Band

May 19 • Witney Town Band in West Oxfordshire require Tenor horn, Bass and percussion


Mike Sheppard

B.A. (Hons) Music
Composer, conductor, teacher, author