2009 4BR Awards - Newcomer of the Year


Which talent do you think made the biggest new impression on the banding scene during 2009? Lots to choose from as someone or something have created a real impression in the last 12 months.

4barsrest awardsIt is always a joy to see new and exciting talents make their mark in the banding movements each year, and 2009 was no exception, with blossoming reputations for a host of burgeoning bands, players, conductors, composers, brass band events and even adjudicators. 

It left us with plenty to look at and a huge selection became apparent.

These were the five that caught our eye in 2009: Smithy Bridge Primary School, Michael Bach, Lode Violet, Lucy Pankhurst and the FABB- Australian Open

There were of course plenty of others too. There are literally thousands out there who have made their first mark on the banding world in 2009 – so why not give them a vote if you feel we have missed them out.    

Smithy Bridge Primary School Band

It’s always great to see young players being encouraged with a keen eye to long term development – and that is certainly the case with Smithy Bridge Primary School under the expert tuition and leadership of Lee Rigg.

Each time we have seen them in action the emphasis has been on good basic playing allied to encouragement and fun – the MD smiles from start to finish and so do his players.

They are successful as well – winning the Junior Band Section of the National Youth Championships in Manchester with a wonderful performance of enthusiasm and talent.

bACHMichael Bach

Watch out for this young man. Michael Bach has the right pedigree – the family business is music making in just about every facet you can think of, but there is something about the way in which he approaches his work that fills you with admiration.

The talent is a given – the discipline to hone it to a high degree of professionalism and polish, quite another. He has already made a mark in his home country (leding Luzerne to the Swiss Open title) and beyond. 

Switzerland may well have found the leader of a new generation of top class home grown conductors.

VioletLode Violet

Another young man with a musical pedigree that has thoroughbred blood running through it.

He really is a chip of his father’s old block too (Frans Violet being the man in question of course) and the way in which he won the Intermediate Slow Melody Section of the British Open Solo Championship in Dukinfield was a revelation.

Here was a player with musicality flowing through the veins, and a technique to hone it to perfection in the years to come.

PankhurstLucy Pankhurst

Lucy Pankhurst has been producing outstanding pieces for brass in recent years, but until 2009 had gone somewhat unnoticed. No longer.

Recently recorded works such as ‘Wicked’, and ‘Jigaligaliga Shine’ by Wingates and Scherzo Brass, as well the performance of ‘Wired’ by Leyland at Brass in Concert this year have showcased an original, freethinking talent.
The banding movement should do everything it can to nurture and support a musical voice of the future.

FABBFABB- Australian Open

Now in its second year, the Federation of Australian Brass Bands, Australian Open came of age in

Well thought out, excellently run, and with the interests of the bands at its heart, there was plenty to admire about the engaging spirit of adventure and long term endeavour of a contest that has dared to try something different.  

A cracking venue and a liberal contesting attitude made for a competition that with support could flourish into a real world banding event.


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