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2011 4BR Awards — Newcomer of the Year

There was plenty of new talent on show in 2011 from players, conductors and bands, to composers, instruments and even new ways of presenting brass band contests.

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4barsrest awardsAlways an interesting category this one, with such a diverse list of potential winners to choose from.

Although there was plenty of doom and gloom to report on, there were also plenty people prepared to take a punt on doing something innovative too. 

Our five come from differing areas of the banding movement.


FodensFoden’s Solo & Quartet Competition

Not often top level brass bands decide to really invest in grass roots banding, but Foden’s is leading the way – especially with this new solo & quartet competition in their home town of Sandbach. 

The format may have been traditional, but the link to local businesses (including the chance to have a spin in a top of the range Audi sports car), the sense of inclusiveness and constructive competition was the key to its undoubted success.

A foundation stone was laid on which a major event can be built. 


X FactorBrass Factor 

Now in its second year, ‘Brass Factor’, promoted and organised by Alex Bray, has the real potential to provide an easily copied blueprint of brass band entertainment to a new audience.

The success does depend on the competitors, judges, presenters and the audience buying into the ‘all inclusive’ concept – but as Alex showed once again in Holmfirth, when they do, it’s a fantastic family night out, which sees everyone having plenty of quality fun.

The lad could well become the brass band movement’s version of a cross between John Henry Iles and Simon Cowell.


VenuzualaVenezuelan Brass Ensemble

It’s not often you get to hear brass playing of this quality anywhere in the world – but to find it on your own doorstep in 2011 as part of the Royal Northern College of Music Festival of Brass was a sensation. 

This was much, much more than the fabulous performances of everything from Bernstein to Mussorgsky – however mind bendingly brilliant they were under the baton of Thomas Clamor. 

It was also music making as a political tool – a showcase of all that is good about the fabulously bonkers government of Hugo Chavez and his desire to make its provision a central tool of empowerment for his people.

It was awesome and awe inspiring.


CentuarNational Finals - Cheltenham 

Kapitol Promotions certainly took a punt on a long shot in moving the Sections 1- 4 National Finals from Harrogate to the famous racecourse in Cheltenham – but it paid off handsomely.

For the first time in many a year the Centaur Centre provided the competitors with the type of facilities they deserved – modern and compact, with a decent acoustic, plenty of food and drink outlets, slick organisation and an early finish each day.

Even the hard pressed traders were given an ideal spot to be busy and some sensible pricing meant supporters came and listened to the bands.


BrighouseBrighouse & Rastrick and The Unthanks

The National Champions achieved plenty of success on the contest stage during 2011, but it is doubtful if even their twin Yorkshire/National double will have created as much of an impression with the general public as their series of concerts with the folk group The Unthanks. 

Sandy Smith spearheaded their involvement which saw them provide a wonderful accompaniment to very demanding, serious artists.

It was a musical triumph on more ways than one – and in the long term, even more important than the victories at Bradford and London.

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Regent Hall Concerts - Ensemble Sauterelle (french horns and male voices)

Friday 23 August • Charlton House. Charlton Road. London. SE7 8RE SE7 8RE


Sandhurst Silver Band - Music in the Memorial Park

Sunday 25 August • Sandhurst Memorial Park, Yorktown Road, Sandhurst GU47 9DP


Foden's Band - Sandbach

Monday 26 August • The Wheatsheaf, Sandbach, 1 Hightown, Sandbach CW11 1AG


Black Dyke Band - Scarborough Spa

Saturday 31 August • South Bay, Scarborough YO11 2HD


Woodfalls Band - Proms in the Park Concert - FREE

Sunday 1 September • Redlynch Social Club. The Ridge,, SP52LN Salisbury, Wiltshire SP5 2LN


Mid-Rhondda

August 19 • An immediate vacancy exists for a Bb Bass player. Join a very experienced band that has well attended rehearsals on Thursday at 7.30pm at the Band Hall Dunraven St. Tonypandy. CF40 1AL


Shipston Town Band

August 19 • We require Bb Bass to complete our team for the forthcoming 4th Section Finals at Cheltenham Racecourse on Saturday 14th September Regular rehearsals are Wednesday 7.30 to 9.30 and Sunday 7 to 9 Rehearsals are our own band room in Shipston South Warwicks


Chadderton Brass Band

August 19 • Chadderton Band is a non-contesting band and welcome players of all ages and abilities on all sections. Solo Euph and MD required. We are a friendly band and enjoy performing at various concerts throughout the year. Come along for a blow.


Rob Nesbitt

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


               

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