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David Read announces retirement

The brass band world's leading adjudicator David Read MBE announces his decision to retire in 2014.

David Read and judges at 2013 Open


The brass band world’s most experienced judge, David Read MBE (above left), has announced that he has taken the decision to retire from contest adjudication after completing his current list of commitments.

Over 600 appointments

It will mean the end to a career both in and out of the box that has spanned five decades and over 600 appointments—from the European Championships to youth contests, as well as countless solo, festival and ensembles engagements.

Right time

Speaking to 4BR, David said that he felt that the time was right to bow out whilst still in demand throughout the banding world at the very top level of contesting.

"I have decided to call it a day," he said. "After much thought I have decided that after I have fulfilled my outstanding commitments in 2014 I will retire as an adjudicator."

He added: "There is no ulterior motive in this decision, only that I will then have completed 40 years adjudicating.

I think it better to go when I am still in demand for my services and still adjudicating at the top level, rather than wait until the phone stops ringing or until I am unable to do the job properly."


The decision will not mean however that he will not disappear from the contesting scene he loves so much and which he has enhanced with his respected decision making.

"I would like to thank all the promoters and organisers who have had faith in me to adjudicate at their contests over many years.

When I have finished my outstanding commitments, I will be around at the various contests hopefully for a long time yet, but as an interested observer, rather than as a participant."

I think it better to go when I am still in demand for my services and still adjudicating at the top level, rather than wait until the phone stops ringing or until I am unable to do the job properlyDavid Read MBE

Incredible record

In total David Read will notch up well over 600 adjudication appointments by the time he finally takes his leave of the adjudication box, with his incredible record testament to the respect and expertise that has been recognised by promoters as well as bands over the past 40 years.

Top level

He will make the last of 23 Royal Albert Hall National Final adjudications this October, whilst he can also boast no less than 20 British Open appearances, 21 All England Masters appointments, although strangely, only the one European appearance in the box in London in 1997.

In addition he appeared 25 times as a player at the National Finals, once as a conductor and was principal cornet of the GUS Footwear Band when they won the World Championship in 1971. In total his top level involvement in banding both as a player and adjudicator spans over 60 years.

World's best

As one leading conductor told 4BR after the British Open in Birmingham on the weekend: "You felt you were always in with a chance with David in the box. He always rewarded good musical playing.

That was why everyone has regarded him as the world’s best."

National trophies

2018 National Finalists confirmed

March 19 • The list of bands who will challenge for National honours in the autumn is now complete following the last round of 2018 Regional contests on the weekend.

Friary Guildford

Result: 2018 London & Southern Counties Regional Championship: Championship Section

March 18 • Frairy Guildford make it four wins in a row as they retain their top-flight title and are joined at the Albert Hall by Thundersley.


Result: 2018 London & Southern Counties Regional Championship: Fourth Section

March 18 • Bradwell Silver strikes gold to take Fourth Section title and head to Cheltenham alongside Regent Community Brass and Great Yarmouth Brass.


Result: 2018 North of England Regional Championship: Championship Section

March 18 • NASUWT Riverside makes it a North of England Area double as they head back to the Albert Hall as champions again with Reg Vardy in tow.

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

Hitchin Band

March 20 • BASS TROMBONE VACANCY - Hitchin Band (promoted to Championship as of 2019) are looking for a bass trombone player to fill our vacancy. We are a friendly and sociable band with a busy and varied concert programme throughout the year.

Milnrow Band

March 20 • 2nd EUPHONIUM and 2 FIRST CLASS CORNET PLAYERS. We have immediate vacancies for a 2nd Euphonium & 2 Cornet players (positions negotiable). We rehearse Mon/Thur 8pm-10pm in our own bandroom in Milnrow, situated just off J21 M62 and accessible via Metrolink.

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.

Phil Lawrence

Composer and conductor