2008 Spring Festival - The Adjudicators


Here are the six men who will decide the banding fates on the weekend in Blackpool.

ParkesPeter Parkes

Peter Parkes came to brass bands from the army where he directed many famous bands. This period included many years in London directing the Band of the Grenadier Guards. His transition from military to brass bands began in 1975 when he was invited to become the professional conductor of the Black Dyke Mills Band.

His 14 years with Dyke saw a period of unrivalled success – 35 contest appearances led to 18 wins and 12 runner-up prizes including hat tricks in the National and European Championships, a record three doubles of National and British Open, and in 1985 a clean sweep of all the major titles.

1989 saw the beginning of six very successful years with Williams Fairey Band. This happy association led to their winning together in 1993/4 the treble of Open, National and European Championships.  

Peter Parkes is the only conductor to have achieved this treble on two occasions.

Peter Parkes has been for many years the President of the British Federation of Brass Bands. 

WhithamGeoffrey Whitham 

Geoffrey Whitham was born in Queensbury, in the heartland of brass banding, and started playing with the Black Dyke Junior Band at the age of 11 on the euphonium. After a year with the band he moved to the Canal Ironworks Band and returned to Black Dyke Mills Band on baritone at the age of 15. He later took over the solo euphonium position at the age of 18 and held this position for 13 years.

As a player he was regarded as one of the greatest players of his generation, whilst his performance as solo euphonium during Black Dyke's win on "Le Roi D'Ys" at the Royal Albert Hall in 1959 has become the stuff of legend. Besides his work in the brass band world he also gained considerable experience playing tenor and bass tuba with some of the country's leading orchestras including the Liverpool Philharmonic, the City of Birmingham and the Halle, where he played under the famous Sir John Barbirolli.

Following this period he took over as bandmaster at Black Dyke and in 1966 he was appointed as Musical Director of the Hammonds Sauce Works Band (the now Yorkshire Building Society) and this was the start of another period of high profile success in the banding world. He was the Musical Director there for 18 years during which the band won prizes at the British Open and many other leading contests in the UK.

After leaving the band he conducted the James Shepherd Versatile Brass for a short period before returning to Hammonds Sauce to direct them for another 5-year period in 1988. During this time the band won the Grand Shield contest, came second at the British Open and became the first band to complete a tour to Lithuania.

Although now semi retired he is stil busy passing on his expertise and advice to numerous bands and players. He was for some time the co – conductor of the "Kings of Brass".  In 1979 he was awarded the Iles Medal by the Worshipful Company of Musicians for his outstanding contribution to the brass band movement, and in 1999 he received the All England Masters Dedicated Service Award. 

ChildsDr Robert Childs 

Dr. Robert Childs is an associate of the RCM, a Fellow of the LCM and gained a distinction in a Masters Degree from the University of Leeds.

He also holds a PGC in Education from the Open University. His status as a professional musician encompasses many fields of music making.

He is Director of Brass Band Studies at the WCMD, Professor of Euphonium at the RNCM and the University of Leeds. He is a tutor and council member to the National Youth Bands of Wales and Great Britain and of the National Youth Wind Orchestra of Great Britain.

In 2000, he became the MD of the Buy As You View Cory Band and won the British Open Championship, the National Championship and runner-up at the European Championship in a single season.

In 2002, he became MD to the NYBB of Wales and Cory became British Open champion again – a feat repeated in 2007. In 2002, he was awarded 'Doctor of Musical Arts' from the University of Leeds. 

BroadbentDerek Broadbent 

Derek commenced playing the cornet at the age of 9 with the Thornton Cleveleys Silver Band. After a services career spanning almost nine years, during which time he studied at Kneller Hall, the Royal Military School of Music, he returned to civilian life as a professional arranger. 

He returned to the world of brass bands as a conductor in 1966 and in 1973 became Resident conductor of the internationally famous Brighouse and Rastrick Band. In his ten years with Brighouse, Derek enjoyed enormous success and in 1980 conduction them to a premier place in the National Championships. He was also responsible for their chart topping success of "The Floral Dance".

In 1984 he moved to the equally famous Black Dyke Mills Band and played an integral part in their 1985 "Grand Slam", a year which saw them take every major title in brass band contesting. Since 1990 Derek has worked as a freelance conductor, composer, arranger and adjudicator not only in the United Kingdom but all over the world. He was also Associate Professional Conductor with the Williams Fairey Band who also won every major title in the years 1993/1994.

His association with the Manx Youth Band commenced in 1984 and has been relatively unbroken ever since. He conducted the band on their successful tour of New Zealand's North Island in 1990 as Ian Clague was unavailable owing to the illness of his father. Apart from composing the Youth Band's signature March, Derek has also produced two major works commissioned by the Douglas Corporation "Music for a Centenary" for the 1996 Centenary of the Corporation and "Millennium Fanfare and Variations" premiered in 1999, both these works being for Band and Choir.

Derek now spends much of his time training bands all over the globe. Much of his time is devoted to the youth of the brass band movement. He is also the Music Editor for Wright and Round Ltd. and in 1988 was awarded the prestigious Isle's Medal from the Worshipful Company of Musicians for his services to brass music and youth education. 

RobertsPeter Roberts

Peter Roberts needs no introduction to brass band audiences all over the World. He has long been regarded as the finest exponent of the soprano cornet in the history of the brass band movement and his talents have seen him perform on all the major contesting and concert stages in the UK, Europe and abroad.

He was born in Grimethorpe in 1950 and his early musical career was linked that famous band, where he played soprano cornet for many years. A miner by trade, he lost his job following the end of the pit closures, but immediately retrained himself in music to gain professional qualifications and an honours degree from Barnsley College under Major Peter Parkes. 

His roll of honour of contesting wins reads like no other – 7 British Open victories, 1 National Championship, 7 European titles, 2 All England Masters titles, 2 British Open Solo Championships, 6 Granada Band of the Year titles, 4 British Open Eb/Bb solo titles, 1 Granada Band of the Year Soloist Award, 1 Swiss Open Soloist award, 2 Brass in Concert Soloist awards, 3 Mineworkers Senior Solo Champion titles and 1 New Zealand Champion of Champion s title.

Recently he released his eagerly awaited solo CD, entitled appropriately "Legend" which has become a phenomenal best seller by brass band standards. The book of the same name has also been bought by his legion of many fans.

Since 1997 he has been part of the amazingly successful Yorkshire Building Society Band and was a member of the famous Virtuosi Brass Band of Great Britain and the Kings of Brass, whilst in the USA he has been a member of the famous Brass Band of Battle Creek. In 2005 he joined the Black Dyke Band, retiring from playing at the end of 2007.

WormaldChris Wormald 

Chris Wormald became Director of Arts College at Smithills School and Bolton Sixth Form College in September 2003 and prior to that had been the Head of Music there since 1990. In December 2003 he also made his debut in the horn section of the Philharmonia Orchestra at the Barbican Hall in London. 

As a teenager Chris was a member of the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain under Harry Mortimer. On successfully achieving a degree as a French Horn player and completing his postgraduate teacher training at the University of Hull, Chris was appointed Head of Brass Instrumental Teaching for Bolton LEA from 1983 to 1990, the year he also joined the world famous James Shepherd Versatile Brass. 

He has been presented with the Mortimer Medal from the Worshipful Company of Musicians. 

Chris is a member of the National Association of Brass Band Conductors and Association of Brass Band Adjudicators and in 2003 was elected onto the British Federation of Brass Bands Official List of Adjudicators for all major national contests. Chris is a regular adjudicator at the Rhyl Festival of Brass in North Wales and will once again preside over the Championship Section in 2004. 

Chris was Classic FM Music Teacher of The Year in 2001 and remains a judge for the Classical 'Brit Awards' televised annually on ITV1 from the Royal Albert Hall in London.

In 2002 was presented with both the Gerald Taylor Vocational Award and the Brian Hicks Memorial Award for his continued success and dedication to music education.

His brass band arrangements continue to be published by both Wright & Round and Studio Music (London) and having worked on the Associated Board Brass Instrumental Examination Syllabus over fifteen years ago, Chris recently completed work on the new 2004-2005 Trinity College Brass Instrumental Examination Syllabus.

In January 2004 he was the principal guest speaker at the International Conference of Trinity College Music Examiners held in Hinckley, Leicestershire.


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