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2014 4BR Awards — Conductor of the Year

Which conductor made the biggest impression on the collective consciousness in 2014?

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

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

Michael Bach

Michael Bach

The man behind Brass Band Burgermusik Luzern’s remarkable rise to European glory  - and a musician so bursting with talent that you wonder if we are only seeing the first of many more major contesting baubles of success that he is capable of grabbing by the musical throat.

His style, verve and sheer joy in taking musical risks marks him out - be it with Luzern, Leyland, Ensemble de Cuivres Euphonia or Saanen Band, whilst he also revealed himself to be a very perceptive man in the box too.

Prof Nicholas Childs

Prof Nicholas Childs

No conductor so revels under the pressure of being in the contesting spotlight than the man who has moulded Black Dyke into a band that now responds intuitively to his every command.

The concert and CD recordings remains the slick and professional face of the Queensbury juggernaut, but it has been on the contest platform that he has finally been able to fire up the heart throbbing boosters of his Saturn V rocket on full power.  

At London in particular, he simply blasted rivals into oblivion.


Paul Holland

A conductor who has used his musical intelligence to the full to plant the solid foundations on which he has built his band’s success.

2014 was a special year for Flowers, but it wasn’t just the his star players that caught the imagination. The impressive early season victories saw a band flexing its muscles without ever being in danger of losing control, whilst the Open podium finish was very much due to his finely shaped reading.

The National and Brass in Concert results simply confirmed the excellence of the job he has done.

Chris Jeans

Chris Jeans

For over a decade now, Chris Jeans has combined his outstanding trombone playing with Virtuosi GUS with his equally outstanding leadership of Youth Brass 2000.

2014 saw him lead his young band to yet another Butlins Youth Championship title, victory at the British Open Brass at the Guild Hall contest and first prize in the Championship Section of the National Youth Championships.  Just the Action Research title eluded them - but what a year - and what an inspiring MD.

James Gouraly

James Gourlay

Say it quietly, but ‘Jim Boy’ is back.

To be fair he’s never really been away (despite his American zip code), but on his annual return to Swiss shores he continued to show what the rest of the banding world has been missing for far too long.

Bold, charismatic, risk taking - the man bubbles with spontaneous musical combustion - and at the Swiss Open and Nationals in 2014 he almost sent the contest venues up in fire. 

Contest: London & SC Regional Championships

Saturday 17 March • Stevenage Arts & Leisure Centre, Lytton Way, Stevenage SG1 1LZ

Contest: Welsh Regional Championships

Saturday 17 March • Brangwyn Hall, The Guildhall, Swansea SA1 4PE

Contest: North of England Regional Championships

Saturday 17 March • The Gala Theatre, 1 Millennium Place, Durham DH1 1WA

Black Dyke Band - Victoria Hall, Bolton

Saturday 17 March • 37 Knowsley St, Bolton BL1 2AS

Contest: London & SC REgional Championships

Sunday 18 March • Stevenage Arts & Leisure Centre, Lytton Way, Stevenage SG1 1LZ

Wakefield Metropolitan Brass Band

March 17 • Musical Director due to work commitments, the Wakefield Metropolitan Band seeks applications for this position. 1st section band with a 5th place at the areas. We require someone with the drive and ambition to take us to the next level is this you ?

Walsall Brass Band

March 17 • WALSALL BRASS BAND are looking for Cornets, 1st Baritone, 2nd Euphonium, Bb Bass and Percusion.

Cheshire Constabulary Band

March 17 • We are urgently looking for a Tenor Horn, Cornet and snare drummers (for our Corps of drums). Smart friendly well run band with varied engagements, just one rehearsal a week. Open to all walks of life ( you do not need to work for the Police!)

Ian Holmes

BA (hons), PGDip (RCM), ARCM, ALCM
Conductor, piano accompanist and educator