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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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The Marple Band - The Marple Band presents Music from Musicals

Saturday 23 June • Stockport Grammar School. Buxton Road. Stockport SK2 7AF


Elland Silver Band - Elland Silver Band

Saturday 23 June • Blackley Blackley Church Prospect View Elland HX5 0TD


Blidworth Welfare Band - Organist Keith Hearnshaw

Saturday 23 June • St Andrews Church, The Green, Swanwick, Derbys DE55 1AN


Besses o' th' Barn Band - Charity Celebration Concert

Saturday 23 June • St Thomas Church, Warrington Road, Ashton-in-Makerfield WN4 9PL


York Railway Institute Band - Dan Thomas - Euphonium

Saturday 23 June • Central Methodist Church. St Saviourgate. York. YO1 8NQ YO1 8NQ


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.


Lydbrook Band

June 22 • Lydbrook Band are recruiting a 2nd Trombone to our join our Championship section band . This is a great opportunity to be part of the premier band in the Royal Forest of Dean.


Sarah Groarke-Booth

BA (Hons) MA
Conductor, Adjudicator, Compere, Actor