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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.



Black Dyke Band - Huddersfield Town Hall - Massed Male Voice Choirs

Saturday 26 May • Huddersfield Town Hall, Corporation St, Huddersfield HD1 2TA


Foden's Band - Edwin Firth Commemoration Event - Sandbach

Friday 1 June • Sandbach School, Crewe Rd, Sandbach CW11 3NS


Contest: French Open Championships 2018

Friday 1 June • Amboise 37400


Contest: French Open Championships 2018

Saturday 2 June • Amboise 37400


Foden's Band - Edwin Firth Celebration Concert

Sunday 3 June • Sandbach Theatre, Crewe Rd, Sandbach CW11 3NS


Stretford Band

May 25 • Stretford Band has a vacancy for a drummer. Band kit available. We are a non contesting band but have a varied concert schedule planned throughout Summer. Come and meet us.


Stretford Band

May 25 • Stretford Band has a vacancy for a solo horn. We are a non contesting band but have a varied concert schedule planned throughout Summer. Come and meet us any Tuesday or Thursday night at Sevenways Methodist Church, Stretford, Manchester. M32 9RD


St Albans City Band

May 25 • Want a change from the norm? Or do you just fancy another blow each week? We are a friendly community band looking for new players to join our group. All welcome but especially Front & Back Row cornets, Eb / Bb Bass and Percussion.


Stuart Black

BA (Hons) Music
Conductor, Teacher, Flugel soloist