2006 4BR Awards - Newcomer of the Year


Which talent do you think made the biggest new impression on the banding scene during 2006? Lots to choose from as someone or something have created a real impression in the last 12 months.

AwardsIt is always a joy to see new and exciting talents make their mark in the banding movements each year, and 2006 was no exception, with talents blossoming in terms of bands, players, conductors, composers and even brass band events.

It left us with plenty to choose from ourselves and a huge selection became apparent.

These were the five that caught our eye in 2006: Yorkshire Youth Brass Band; Belfast European Championships; Elaine Agnew; Richard Kidd; English Nationals.

There were of course plenty of others, what with the likes of the new look British Bandsman; Paul Hindmarsh at BBW; Pontins British Open Youth Championships; European Youth Brass Band; the new LMI instruments; the new Virtuoso euphonium; the brass and percussion day at Brass in Concert; Alan Morrison's new adjudication directions to marking; Derek Broadbent new tenure as Chairman of the ABBA, and a whole host of talented young players such as Vicki Reynolds, Peter Moore, Danie Powell, Steven Haynes, Kate Eggleshaw and loads and loads more…  

Yorkshire YouthYorkshire Youth Brass Band

Someone recently wrote to 4BR to ask why is it that England has no National Youth Band? Well, in a strange way it has – The Yorkshire Youth Brass Band. Set up through the work and association with Black Dyke and its artistic partners it held its first rehearsals on the Leeds Metropolitan University Campus earlier this year.

It has captured the imagination of the banding movement in the White Rose county and those further a field and it is a great idea that has finally been brought to life in the heartland of the brass band movement.     

EbbaBelfast European Championships

The European Championships broke new ground, literally, in 2006 when it crossed the Irish Sea to Belfast. Much was anticipated and promised and Joe Cassells and his excellent team delivered it all and more besides.

The organisation was excellent, the enthusiasm unbridled, the music making outstanding and the sense of re-ignition for the contest, palpable.

Any doubts anyone had that the European Contest was floundering post Besson were put to rest as quickly as some of us put the local Guinness in our bellies. It was a joy.     

AgnewElaine Agnew

One of the real joys of the whole Belfast experience was meeting up with the composer of the B Section set work, Elaine Agnew.

Not only was she a convert to the brass band movement, her ‘Little Christmas' showed us that we had found a new, exciting, colourful and original compositional voice for brass too.

The piece was a cracker and in the composer the movement had found an authentic original too. She should be approached for more works forthwith.   

KiddRichard Kidd

Another young man whose potential is only limited to how far he wants to go himself.

Still young enough to play for the Aberdeen City Youth Band he was also mature enough to display his exceptional talents at Championship level with the Whitburn Band and BBC Radio 2 Young Brass Musician Contest throughout the year. 

Whitburn may not have had the best of years, but this lad did and was something of a focal point of classiness every time we heard him play.  

English NationalsEnglish Nationals

Perhaps picking the day England played Portugal in the quarterfinals of the World Cup rather set the tone when minds were elsewhere, but overall the inaugural English Nationals promised much and delivered quite a lot against the odds.

This is the way forward for the English and their relationship with the Europeans and if they can finally rid themselves of the little gremlins and patch up their differences with a couple of competitors then it will a worthy addition to the contesting calendar.


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