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2013: November

The 4BR editorial opinions on appreciating our composers, a welcome return to the box and in praise of the Welsh...

Appreciating our composers

The news that major works by Edward Gregson, Nigel Clarke and the quartet of Simon Dobson, Lucy Pankhurst, Paul McGhee and Gavin Higgins have been shortlisted for 2013 British Composer Awards, will hopefully provide the high profile stimulus contest promoters require to use their compositional talents on a more regular, rather than occasional ad hoc, basis at major competitions.

The diversity of musical language they (and others) offer is remarkable for the brass band medium - from Gregson’s expertly realised homage ‘Of Distant Memories’ to Clarke’s extraordinary ‘When World’s Collide’ and any number of inventive and highly original pieces from Dobson, McGhee, Pankhurst and Higgins.

However, a lack of planning, foresight, inherent conservatism and at times, downright musical ignorance have meant that the we have yet to hear Edward Gregson’s ‘Symphony in Two Movements’ or Paul McGhee’s ‘Waiting for a Pain Hit’, Nigel Clarke’s ‘Earthrise’ or Simon Dobson’s ‘Symphony of Colours’ amongst others, performed as set works in a major competitive environment.

As the British Composer Awards show - perhaps others currently appreciate them more than we do at present.

What do you think?
Send an email to: comments@4barsrest.com 


 A welcome return

Stan Lippeatt will be making a welcome return to the Nationals adjudication box at the Yorkshire Regional Championships in 2014.

Following his misplaced actions at the Bolsover Contest in 2012, he fully accepted his censure from the Association of Brass Band Adjudicators as well as its recommendation that he seek and undertake diversity and equality awareness training.

He has quietly and professionally done this with an open minded willingness at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust that he has stated was something of a revelation - and all undertaken through an extended period of recovery through ill health.

As a result, a fine bandsman, conductor, adjudicator and contest organiser returns with even more to offer the brass banding movement than ever before.

What do you think?
Send an email to: comments@4barsrest.com 


In praise of the Welsh

It’s not often a small nation like Wales gets the chance to boast about its achievements, but at present there is little doubt that banding in the Principality has plenty to shout about. 

Four of the five senior National Championship of Great Britain, European, British Open, Brass in Concert and Masters trophies are now to be found nestling in display cabinets in Wales - not forgetting two National Youth Championship titles.  

Why Wales has become such a powerhouse remains something of puzzle though. 

There is no all-powerful national body that officiates and administers, no single person that dictates, no hidden group or cabal that works in secret looking after its own interests. 

Perhaps more by accident than design, the various component parts that make up Welsh banding have found a way to work together as well as on their own – at times in more effective close harmony than its nation’s best male voice choirs.

A sense of collective pride in its conductors and players, bands and administrators, educationalists and contest promoters is now the overriding ethos - and perhaps offers an explanation to why at present Welsh banding is enjoying such success.

The only problem for the future of Welsh banding, is that if they can do it, then so can others, so they may have to savour their sucess for now.

What do you think?
Send an email to: comments@4barsrest.com 



Foden's Band - Matt Ford - Lichfield Cathedral

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


Enfield Citadel Band -

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


Contest: Swiss National Championships

Saturday 25 November • Stravinski Hall, Montreaux. Claude-Nobs 5, 1820 Montreaux, Switzerland 1820


Newstead Brass -

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


Lofthouse Brass Band - Lofthouse Christmas Fair

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


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.


Blidworth Welfare Band

November 21 • The Blidworth Welfare band, Midlands Championship section, require a 2nd cornet player to join our friendly but ambitious and hardworking band. A good programme of concerts, recordings and contests will provide an enjoyable challenge.


Blidworth Welfare Band

November 21 • The Blidworth Welfare band, Midlands Championship section, require a principal cornet player to join our friendly but ambitious and hardworking band. . A good programme of concerts, recordings and contests will provide an enjoyable challenge.


Paul Andrews


Conductor, Band trainer, Adjudicator, Instrument Repairer - Brasstoff