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2012 4BR Awards — Conductor of the Year

Which conductor made the biggest impression on the collective consciousness in 2012? There were hundreds of them plying their trade for certain.

4barsrest awards

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There were plenty of conducting performances to savour during 2012 – even though not all of them resulted in steering bands to victory.

Some of the best conducting we witnessed during the year wasn’t even on the contest stage – although in banding terms, that was where the vast majority needed to perform to keep their jobs.

Our nominations were certainly successful on the contest, concert and recording stages, and all seemed to have that little ‘extra’ about themselves this year – although there was a list as long as your arm to think about...


ChildsNicholas Childs 

The conductor who is under the most intense day to day scrutiny in the banding world once again showed that he revelled in the spotlight.

The victories he engineered with Black Dyke at Bradford, Rotterdam and Preston were as commanding as any in his 12 year Queensbury tenure – especially at the English Nationals.

All this and his appetite for contesting success remained undimmed as was shown by additional included wins with Co-operative Funeralcare and Reg Vardy.


Philip HarperPhilip Harper

Philip Harper came of conducting age in 2012 and emphatically rebuffed the critics who felt his appointment at Cory was doomed to failure.

His subsequent success was an immense achievement – especially as his first three major contest outings were at the British Open, National Championships and Brass in Concert. 

Not afraid to be bold either with Tongwynlais and Mount Charles at the beginning of the year, he ended it conducting the number 1 ranked band in the world.


Erik JanssenErik Janssen

Perhaps the most impressive conducting talent in European banding at the moment, the tall Dutchman is also one of the most elegant and successful too.

He has moulded Brass Band Schoonhoven into a commanding top class outfit – leading them to success at the Dutch Nationals for a third year in a row, as well as winning the Euro Brass title and coming third at the Europeans in Rotterdam. 

Add to that a very impressive Nationals debut with Whitburn at the Albert Hall, and you can see why he is now in such demand.


RitterGareth Ritter

Is there really a more inspirational young conductor around at the present time than this bloke?

The amazing development of the City of Cardiff (Melingriffith) organisation stems from his infatigable work, whilst he has also managed to reinvigorate banding in one of the most socially deprived areas of South Wales – with the formation of the successful Ebbw Valley Brass. 

Add to that his award winning playing, teaching and his ability to fight musical causes close to his heart and you get to see why he is a conductor to keep a very close eye on.


WithingtonAllan Withington

If the historic achievement of leading Foden’s to the double of British Open and National Championship in 2012 wasn’t enough, the most Europhile of all conductors also delighted the musical senses on his world travels too.

The likes of Stavanger, Krohnengen, Co-operative Funeralcare and Brisbane Excelsior all benefitted from his impeccable direction, whilst his ever inventive Conducting Course in Leeuwarden continues to inspire a host of budding top class conductors.

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Grimethorpe Colliery Band -

Saturday 20 April • Hull Truck Theatre, 50 Ferensway, Hull HU2 8LB HU2 8LB


Regent Hall Concerts - Regent Hall Band & Regent Brass

Saturday 20 April • Regent Hall (The Salvation Army) . 275 Oxford Street Opp. RESERVED. London . W1C 2DJ W1C 2DJ


Gresley Colliery Band - A George's Day Concert

Saturday 20 April • The Gresley Old Hall, Church Gresley DE11 9QW


Contest: European Brass Band Championships

Friday 26 April • 2m2c Montreux Music & Convention Centre,Stravinski Hall, Montreaux. Claude-Nobs 5, 1820 Montreaux, Switzerland  . 1820


Regent Hall Concerts - Celebrity Recital - Brett Baker (trombone) Elliot

Friday 26 April • Regent Hall (The Salvation Army). 275 Oxford Street Opp. RESERVED. London . W1C 2DJ W1C 2DJ


The Wigston Band

April 19 • Musical Director Vacancy: Second Section Wigston Band are looking to welcome an enthusiastic Musical Director to help develop our senior band. Rehearsals are Tuesday and Thursday in South Wigston, Leicester - just 10 minutes from Junction 21 of the M1.


Stannington Brass Band

April 18 • 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.


Johnstone Band

April 18 • Due to circumstances outwith our control, we find ourselves looking for a new conductor, with immediate effect. Are you looking for a new challenge?


Andrew White

MA(Ed Man), B Ed (Hons), BBCM, ADNCB, PGCE, Cert Ed
Conductor, Arranger, Adjudicator & Educationist