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Take 5: The Best Concert Performances of the Year

4BR picks the five concert performances of 2016 that lived longest in the memory banks.

Take Five
  We reveal our 5 Best Concert Performances of 2016

Plenty of bands and soloists gave concerts and recitals at various events and venues during 2016, but these where the five (in date order) that stood out for us — and not just for the brilliance of the playing.

Best 5:

Peter Moore
RNCM Brass and Festival
Sunday 31st January

A simply awe inspiring display of musicality encapsulating works by Beethoven, Stojowski, Mahler, Deparc, Dobson and Pryor.

A remarkable musician: The first four notes of Mahler's 'Urlicht' from 'Das Knaben Wunderhorn' were as close to perfection as you could ever wish to hear.


European Youth Band
European Youth Championship
Sunday 1st May

An absolute jam-packed dollop of fun inspired by Dutch conductor Erik Janssen and a multi-lingual set of players who were a credit to themselves, their bands and their nation's of origin.

A disappointing contest day (the organisers meanly charged the players to come in and listen) was forgotten as they delivered a stomping set that culminated in the entire audience (let in for free for the results) on their feet doing a European version of the conga around the hall to the sounds of Thrift Shop's rather fruity pop song.

Foden's Band
Regent Hall, London
Friday 7th October

Foden's inspired by Bramwell Tovey. A combination that has produced some of the most memorable concerts of recent years delivered another absolute bobby dazzler at Regent Hall — and all less than 24 hours before they took to the stage at the Albert Hall at the Nationals.

Perhaps they had a point to prove to both themselves and their critics — and by heck didn't they do just that and more.


Super Slow Way: A Rhapsody to the Leeds & Liverpool Canal
King Georges Hall, Blackburn
Sunday 16th October

A reminder of just how important, as well inspiring, investment in an ambitious community based musical project can be — especially with a brass band right at the heart of it.

At times simple and reflective, at others colourful and exotic. Like its inspiration, it was deliberately slow and meandering, with the focus always headed in the same direction. A triumph for everyone involved.


Big Fat Brass
Royal College of Music Brass Ensemble
Featuring: Mike Lovatt and Matthias Hofs
Royal College of Music
Wednesday 19th October

Stunning: Simply, bloody well stunning. Two performers touched by genius, backed by a splendid ensemble.

This was about style — oh my word it was. Those lucky enough to be there went home with smiles on their faces like Cheshire Cats. The 4BR Editor's didn't wear off until he reached Newport train station back in Wales.


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.

Paul Andrews

Conductor, Band trainer, Adjudicator, Instrument Repairer - Brasstoff