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2014 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 2014 — and it may not have been a winner

The nominations from the 4BR team for consideration are...

Black Dyke

Black Dyke: The Legend of King Arthur (Peter Meechan) 
Conductor: Prof Nicholas Childs
National Championships of Great Britain

There may have been debate about the piece itself - but there was none about the quality or substance of the winning rendition given by Black Dyke at the Royal Albert Hall.

Drawn last and with a seventh ‘Double’ up for grabs, they delivered a performance of such commanding authority that the judges could have just walked out of the box and presented them and their triumphant MD with the big silver pot therefore the last note finally died away in the vast expanse of the auditorium.


Dyke wait to go on

Black Dyke: The Triumph of Time (Peter Graham)

Conductor: Prof Nicholas Childs
Own Choice - European Championship

The performance that ignited Black Dyke’s year: Once again there was debate about the piece itself - but none about how it was delivered from the Perth Concert Hall stage.

It was showcase stuff - almost an arrogant display of sheer virtuosity that left the audience slack jawed in stunned appreciation: It was rather like a 21st century update on ‘Fireworks’, as soloists and sections displayed their full array of talents.  At its centre was the MD - the master manipulator of all he controlled that day.


Luzern

Band Burgermusik Luzern: Trance (Thomas Doss) 
Conductor: Michael Bach
Own choice - Swiss National Championship Brass 

There were rumours that Luzern were ‘going for it’ at Montreux this year - and by heck they did that and more with the latest supremely inventive work from the pen of Thomas Doss.

The MD was at his thrilling best, with his players responding with such sparkling virtuosity and deep seated musicality that it was little wonder that by its close the roof of the Stravinsky Auditorium was very nearly blown off in acclamation. This had it all with bells on too - and all inspired by the troubled thoughts of an unwanted pregnancy....


Taking the applause

Eikanger Bjorsvik Musikklag: Goldberg 2012 (Svein Henrik Giske)

Conductor: Prof David King
Own choice - Norwegian National Championship

Not perfect by any means - but still - what a deeply satisfying performance of such an immensely difficult work.

This was music the MD revelled in - and so did his players; illuminating its eclectic elements, from Bach to the Brekker Brothers in all their glory - including a central section of such melancholic beauty that it very nearly  froze the blood in your veins. They gave a technically safer performance at the Europeans, but for sheer musical intuitiveness this was hard to beat.


Siddis

Stavanger: ‘Sainteté: Difficile mais pas impossible’ (Simon Dobson)
Conductor: Allan Withington
Siddis Entertainment Championship

You have to hand it to Allan Withington: He doesn’t see musical boundaries, just exciting new possibilities to explore on the horizon. This time it was the story of Joan of Arc (created in partnership with composer Simon Dobson) - from saintly dreams and coffee house jazz, Marcel Marceau mime to flaming martyrdom.

Stavanger do this better than just about anyone around - and this mini masterclass (which won the title for a third successive year) was simply sensational. The Brits are still stubbornly waiting to be converted to Nordic entertainment genres, but more performances like this and it won’t be long.



Reading Spring Gardens Brass Band - Reading Festival of Brass: Open Workshop Rehearsal

Saturday 27 April • St Laurence Church, Reading RG1 3EJ


London Central Fellowship Band - Hemel Hempstead Salvation Army

Saturday 27 April • Waterhouse St, Hemel Hempstead HP1 1ES


Haverhill Silver Band - Friends' Requests

Sunday 28 April • Haverhill Arts Centre, High Street, Haverhill, Suffolk CB9 8AR


Boarshurst Silver Band - Sunday Brass Concert - Stockport Silver Band

Sunday 28 April • Boarshurst Band Club, Greenbridge Lane OL3 7EW


Contest: European Brass Band Championshiips

Friday 3 May • Palanga Konsortu, Vytauta st. 43, LT-00135, Palanga 43, LT-00135


Chinnor Silver

April 23 • We are looking to strengthen our team ready for 2025 and require Bass (Bb or Eb), Bass trombone, Soprano and percussion players. We are a very friendly, progressive 2nd section band who will start next year at the top of their regional rankings table.


Sandhurst Silver Band

April 23 • Sandhurst Silver Band have vacancy for a Front row cornet player to complete our line-up. Ambitious and community minded championship section band looking to build on recent Area and LBBA successes. Rehearsals every Tuesday 8-10pm


Croy Silver Band

April 23 • We currently have several seats available across the cornet, tenor horn, trombone and bass sections - positions negotiable. These come with the opportunity to compete at Cheltenham this September!


Andreas Kratz

Mus.B (hons)
Conductor, Adjudicator, Teacher


               

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