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2011 4BR Awards — 4BR Special Award - Philip Sparke

In 2011 the 4BR Special Award goes to a musician who has provided the brass band movement with a treasure trove of quite brilliant compositions.

SparkeIt would be difficult think what the brass band world would have been like if Philip Sparke had decided that his compositional talents lay elsewhere.

Thankfully, he didn’t – although he has been just as successful when he has written for all sorts of other musical mediums.

Great works

He has given us a host of truly great major works – and many more just as memorable ‘minor’ ones too – from youth band level to the superstars of world of brass, and his unique ability to be able to write in any style or genre without ever losing his personal stamp of authenticity is remarkable.

His website lists around 200 original compositions and arrangements from brass – from solos and duets to concert repertoire and major test pieces.  It is hard to think of a composer whose work has been performed and enjoyed so much anywhere in the banding world.

Ask any brass band performers to list their favourite concert or contest works and the name of Philip Sparke appears time and time again. 

Outstanding

As a result he has notched up more awards in recognition of his excellence than even Sir Alex Ferguson along the way – all of which have been graciously accepted, whilst he is also an outstanding adjudicator, free minded thinker and opinion maker.

He has done more than any other composer to enhance the quality of contest repertoire than any other in the movement’s history – challenging musical and technical expectations with an unerring ability to push the boundaries for performers with tantalising, realistic ambitions.   

All that, and the audiences the bands perform too are not left feeling isolated or unengaged by the technical prowess that is displayed in the musical process.

For that alone we should remain forever in his debt.



St Pinnock Brass Band - Rock Choir Cornwall

Sunday 26 May • Sterts Theatre, . Sterts, . Liskeard, . PL14 5AZ PL14 5AZ


Contest: All England International Masters

Sunday 26 May • The Lighthouse Theatre, Kettering Conference Centre, Thurston Drive NN15 6PB


Lewes, Glynde and Beddingham Brass Band - Eastbourne Bandstand - 1812 concert

Wednesday 29 May • Bandstand, Grand Parade, Eastbourne BN21 3AD


Black Dyke Band - George Lawton Hall, Mossley

Thursday 30 May • George Lawton Hall, Stamford St, Mossley, Ashton-under-Lyne OL5 0HR


Clifton International Festival of Music - Let Trumpets Sound - Crispian Steele-Perkins

Saturday 1 June • Clifton Cathedral, Clifton Park, Bristol BS8 3BX BS8 3BX


Bollington Brass Band

May 25 • Bollington Brass Band require a Kit and a tutti cornet player to complete our line up. We will be playing at the 2nd section National Finals this September before promotion to the North West 1st section..


Dobcross Silver Band

May 25 • Dobcross Silver Band are looking for a B FLAT BASS player for Whit Friday.. Come and join a Saddleworth band, playing the Saddleworth circuit, including our very own Dobcross contest.. . A great chance to come and enjoy an unforgettable experience!


Stannington Brass Band

May 25 • A rare opportunity has arisen to join one of Sheffield's leading bands with a vacancy for an EEb TUBA PLAYER to complete our bass section. We have a good band room atmosphere and a calendar of interesting concerts and contests.


Rob Nesbitt

BSc, PG Cert. Ed.
Cartoonist , illustrator, writer