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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 - Patrons Concert

Tuesday 20 February • Sandbach School. Crewe Rd, Sandbach CW11 3NS CW11 3NS


Regent Hall Concerts - RAF Chamber Ensemble

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


Marshfield Band - Marshfield Male Voice Choir

Saturday 24 February • Marshfield Community Centre. Hayfield. Marshfield SN14 8PG


The Brighouse & Rastrick Band - Chirst Church Ilkley

Saturday 24 February • Christchurch,. The Grove,. Ilkley LS29 9LW


Elland Silver Band -

Saturday 24 February • All Saints Church Savile Road Elland HX5 0NH


Thundersley Brass Band

February 20 • Thundersley Brass, a Championship section band based in Benfleet, Essex are welcoming applicants for the following positions (seats negotiable)from April 2018:. Eb Bass. BBb Bass.


The Corsham Band

February 20 • Having now been promoted to the 2nd Section for the forthcoming Contest season, the band are now looking for an experienced Front Row Cornet Player to join our friendly and enthusiastic team.


Waitakere Auckland Brass Band

February 20 • Ever fancied moving to New Zealand? Waitakere Auckland Brass is looking for players to join their ranks. Our friendly band meets twice a week at our Auckland band room. We have an exciting year ahead so get in touch and find out more.


David W. Ashworth

RSCM, ABBA Exec Member, NABBC PRO.
Conductor, Band Trainer and Adjudicator