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2012 4BR Awards — Contest Performance of the Year

Perhaps the most difficult of all the categories to choose the best from? Which contest performance stood out for you in 2012 — and it may not have been a winner.

4barsrest awards

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With so many contests to choose from, which performances lingered longest in the memory banks, and which ones faded quicker than QPR’s attempt to stay in the Premiership?

These were the five that made us sit back and enjoy the most in 2012 – but we are sure there are plenty more that are worthy of a vote or two?


Black DykeBlack Dyke
Conductor: Dr Nicholas Childs
Vitae Aeterna Variations – Variations and Fugue on an Original Theme
Alexander Comitas (Ed de Boer)
European Brass Band Championships

This was the performance that won Black Dyke the 2012 European Championship title in Rotterdam; one based around a central core of velvet middle band timbres that gave the MDs intuitive interpretation a more considered, less intense sense of emotional style than any of his rivals could manage.

It was stunning in its technical execution, sublime in its musicality.

It was a performance that left you with a deep sense of admiration for all that is beautiful about high class brass band playing.


BBlack Dykelack Dyke
Conductor: Dr Nicholas Childs
Revelation (Prof Philip Wilby)
English National Championship
 

An awesome display of heavyweight juggernaut playing that simply crushed the opposition at Preston.

This was perhaps the musical pinnacle of Black Dyke’s contesting year – a performance that didn’t contain a blemish from soloists or ensemble.  

It would have been almost impossible for any band to have touched these heights again.


EikangerEikanger Bjorsvik
Conductor: David King
Goldberg 2012 (Svein Henrik Giske)
Norwegian National Championships

Only a combination of such strong willed musical individuality could produce a performance like this on a contest stage.

It was playing that made you completely rethink, reappraise and made you question again your own musical understanding of a work that encompassed such diverse influences as Bach to the funk jazz of the Brekker Brothers.

Only Eikanger – and only David King could do that.


FodensFoden’s
Conductor: Allan Withington
Daphis et Chloe (Ravel arranged Howard Snell)
National Championship of Great Britain

A performance that was in a different sphere of musical class to any of its rivals on the day.
 
It was inspired by the MDs innate understanding of both the composer’s and arrangers intentions.

This was superb playing – underpinned by an aching sense of melancholic detachment that allowed the elegant musicality to shimmer magically before exploding to glorious fulfilment.


MangerManger Musikklag
Audivi Media Nocte (Oliver Waespi)
Conductor: Peter Sebastian Szilvay
European Brass Band Championships

The contesting equivalent of injecting crack cocaine straight into the frontal lobes of your brain.

This was the provision of feral musical electricity: From the very moment the MD raced onto the stage to start pumping 20,000 volts through the bodies of the audience sat transfixed in the De Doelen Hall to the light bulb busting finale that sent a shock wave through Rotterdam and beyond.

Only the judges were immune – everyone else was left pole axed by its brilliance. 

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Black Dyke Band - Wigan with Russ Abbott

Sunday 24 June • Wigan Youth Zone, Parson's Walk, Wigan WN1 1RU


The Fairey Band -

Sunday 24 June • Subscription Rooms. George St. Stroud. GL5 1AE. United Kingdom GL51AE


Regent Hall Concerts - Royal Greenwich Brass Band

Friday 29 June • Regent Hall (The Salvation Army). 275 Oxford Street Opp. RESERVED. London . W1C 2DJ W1C 2DJ


Thundersley Brass Band - TBB Summer Concert

Friday 29 June • Richmond Hall, Richmond Avenue, South Benfleet, Essex SS75HA


PEMBERTON OLD WIGAN DW BRASS BANDS - WIGAN YOUTH JAZZ ORCHESTRA

Friday 29 June • Mount Zion hall. Pemberton. Wigan WN5 8DZ


The Marple Band

June 24 • Lonely, single 2nd man down seeks her principal right hand man to accompany her at rehearsals, concerts, contests and more. Must be able to perform quality solos and be sociable too. Date nights are Friday night with occasional/regular weekends.


Frampton on Severn Silver Band

June 22 • We are a friendly non-contesting band in Gloucestershire looking for players, particularly cornets, baritone and basses, but all are welcome. We play at many local events and bandstand jobs, and practice on Tuesday evenings just off Junction 13 of the M5.


Crewe Brass

June 22 • Crewe Brass currently have vacancies for Eb and BBb Bass, Baritone, and Cornet. We are a friendly, social first section band with a good mix of concerts and contests, and rehearse on Monday and Friday evenings in Shavington, Crewe.


Craig Roberts

BA (Hons), MA
Conductor / Adjudicator