2014 4BR Awards — The Results

The votes have been counted and the 2014 winners can be revealed...

4barsrest awardsThe ballot boxes have been emptied and the votes counted - and the winners for 2014 are as follows.

Thanks to everyone for taking the time (and as always we had yet another huge response this year) for voting. 

We had our biggest ever turn out with votes cast for players, bands, music, performances, soloists, newcomers, old stagers and just about everything else you can think of from all over the banding globe - including China, Vietnam and Iceland. It appears there are brass band lovers in the most unexpected of places...

Drum roll please... and get ready for those tearful acceptance speeches...

Band of the Year: 

And the 2014 winner is…

Black Dyke


The Queensbury resurgence that saw the Yorkshire band complete a historic seventh British Open/National Championship ‘Double’ was certainly appreciated by fans and supporters all over the world.

It is their second 4BR Band of the Year award - following their success in 2005. 

Black Dyke bagged 36.4% of the votes to head home a strong challenge from European champion Brass Band Burgermusik Luzern (29.1%) and Norwegian champion Eikanger Bjorsvik Musikklag (14.9%)

There were notable mentions for Cory, Flowers, Willebroek, Stavanger, Grimethorpe, and Manger amongst a host of others.

Conductor of the Year: 

And the 2014 winner is…

Prof Nicholas Childs

Prof Nicholas Childs

Perhaps not surprisingly, the man who led Black Dyke to their ‘Double’ triumph claims the Conductor of the Year award. It is also the Welshman’s second success, following his previous win in 2005.

Under the most intense of pressure, he joined a very select group of Queensbury MDs to record victories at the British Open and National Championship in the same year.

He took 34.9% of the votes, but was pushed all the way to the finishing line by Michael Bach (33.7%) who led Brass Band Burgermusik Luzern to their historic European title victory, and James Gourlay (13.0%), who oversaw the superb Swiss Open and Swiss National successes in 2014 of Brass Band Treize Etoiles.

There were notable votes polled for Paul Holland, Allan Withington, Chris Jeans, Philip Harper, Robert Childs and Frans Violet amongst a huge list of other successful MDs during 2014 - including 1 vote for a certain Simon Rattle (last year it was Gustavo Dudamel).

Player of the Year: 

And the 2014 winner is…

David Childs

David Childs

A fourth 4BR Player of the Year award for the virtuoso euphonium star - in a year in which he has showcased his brilliance on the contest, concert and recording stages throughout the world.

David gained 30.7% of the votes, but was pushed hard in adding to his 2004, 2005 and 2010 wins by the fantastic flugel playing of Zoe Hancock of Black Dyke (24.7%), who took the Best Instrumentalist awards at both the British Open and National Championships in 2014. The remarkable Swiss cornet star, Vincent Bearpark came a fine third (18.3%)
Once again there was support for players from all over the brass band globe, with notable mentions for Gary Curtin, Pippa Scourse, Torstein Holmås, David Thornton, Gary Curtain, Owen Farr, Richard Marshall and Iain Culross amongst others.

GaiaCD/DVD of the Year: 

And the 2014 winner is…

Gaia Symphony
Eikanger Bjorsvik Musikklag
Conductor: Andreas Hanson
BIS Recordings: BIS: BIS2061
Total Playing Time: 81.09

Eikanger’s remarkable recording of the music of John Pickard under the baton of Andreas Hanson takes the award with 31.1% of the votes.

It joins a growing list of awards for the outstanding release on the BIS Recordings label, and is the third time the Norwegian champion has claimed the honour following successes with ‘Tales & Stories’ in 2005 and ‘Romeo & Juliet’ in 2010. 

‘Gaia’ was a very clear winner, although it was a much closer battle behind, with ‘The Triumph of Time’ by Black Dyke in second place (16.3%), followed by ‘Abbadon’ from Noord-Limburgse Brass Band (13.1%) in third. 

Right on their heels came Cory’s ‘Transmogrifying Brass’ and Manger’s ‘Mangernetisk! - The Music of Martin Winter’, with further notable mentions for the likes of ‘Travels’ by Tredegar, ‘Stratos’ by Flowers, ‘By Request Vol 2’ by Grimethorpe, ‘Black Dyke Gold Vol 3’, ‘Cory in Concert Vol 4’ and Foden’s ‘Patron’s Choice Vol VII’ amongst many more.


Solo CD of the Year: 

And the 2014 winner is…

The Symphonic Euphonium
David Childs
BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Conductor: Bramwell Tovey 
Chandos: CHAN10830
Total Playing Time: 78.44 mins

The 2014 ‘Player of the Year’ makes it a personal ‘double’ with the masterly recording of a quartet of iconic concertos with the National Orchestra of Wales under the baton of Bramwell Tovey.

It is the second time David Childs has won the honour following his 2010 success with ‘Moto Perpetuo’ and gained 36.4% of the votes. Not surprisingly, the recording has already gained a plethora of recording awards.

Richard Marshall’s excellent showcase of cornet virtuosity with ‘The Cornet Heritage Collection - Volume II was second (25.0%), with David Thornton’s outstanding ‘Sempre Libera’ in third (15.7%), whilst there were notable mentions for Sebastien Rousseau’s ‘Flight’, John Barber’s ‘Barber’ and Owen Farr’s ‘A New Dawn’ amongst others.

Lower Section/Youth Band of the Year: 

And the 2014 winner is…

Manger Skulemusikklag


Yet more proof positive that the Norwegians really do know how to produce a brilliant youth band - and one that gains widespread appreciative support.

The 2014 Development Section European Youth Champion notched up a remarkable 33.6% of the votes to join Bjorsvik Brass (2011) in becoming only the second Norwegian band to claim the award.

They also beat an impressive list of rival contenders too - with a photo finish battle between Youth Brass 2000 (17.4%), Beaumaris Youth (16.6%) and Ebbw Valley (15.9%) for the other podium places.

As always there were so many nominations made that we nearly lost count, with notable mentions from the likes of Smithills Schools Senior Band, Tullis Russell Intermediate, Elland Silver Youth, BML Talents and the National Youth Bands of Wales, Great Britain, and National Children’s Band amongst others.

Newcomer of the Year: 

And the 2014 winner is…

The Band of the King’s Division

Kings Division

A 20 gun salute for the Corps of Army Music, as the most high profile of their three brand new professional brass bands takes the award.

Capt Justin Matthews and his band at Weeton have worked their socks off this year in doing the PR performance stuff and showcasing their impressive talents, so little wonder then that they claimed the award with a highly impressive 37.3% of the votes.

The inaugural Austrian Brass Band Championships (24.3%) and the European Youth Championship (18.1%) certainly showed that they had made a mark in filling the podium places, with notable mentions for Besson’s ‘Urban Play’ app, the Huddersfield Marathon Band and composer Rory Boyle amongst others.

Test Piece of the Year: 

And the 2014 winner is…

Vita Aeterna Variations (Ed de Boer)
British Open Championship

Ed de Boer

Ed de Boer’s beautifully constructed work with its reflections on the deeply emotive feelings that encompass the loss of a loved one, was a triumph when it was first used at the European Championships in 2012, and once again at Symphony Hall in 2014.

The very best bands at Birmingham did a magnificent brass band work full justice - much to the enjoyment of a packed audience sat rapt in the music throughout the day.

It gained 34.2% of the votes, to push two magnificent works from the pen of Oliver Waespi (‘As if a voice were in them’ - Swiss National Championship) - 19.6%, and Simon Dobson (‘Journey of the Lone Wolf’ - Dutch National Championship) - 18.8% into second and third place.  That says something.

Honourable mentions for ‘The Legend of Curupira’ by Stephan Hodel, ‘Energy’ by Robert Simpson, ‘A Tale of Sorcerers’ by Oliver Marquis, ‘Mutant Sonorities’ by Torstein Aagaard Nilsen, ‘The Legend of King Arthur’ by Peter Meechan, ‘The Triumph of Time’ by Peter Graham. ‘*****’ by Ludovic Neurhor and ‘St Magnus’ by Kenneth Downie amongst others.

Contest Performance of the Year: 

And the 2014 winner is…

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


The closest of all the categories - but a most deserved winner none the less.

As we said in our write up - there were rumours that Luzern were ‘going for it’ in Montreux at the Swiss National Championship  - and by heck they did that and more with the latest supremely inventive work from the pen of Thomas Doss.

It was electrifying stuff - and despite not quite doing enough to see the band retain its overall title, it still topped the own choice discipline and sent a huge shockwave of musical intent across the continent to rival bands.

It was a work that took us into thrilling new territory - inspired by the darkest and most disturbing of troubled thoughts. Luzern were simply sensational.

The Swiss gained 25.4% of the votes to just finish a nose in front of Black Dyke’s title winning performances at the British Open on ‘Vita Aeterna Variations’ (23.7%) and National Championship on ‘The Legend of King Arthur’ (22.2%)

Other notable mentions for Black Dyke’s ‘Triumph of Time’ at the Europeans, Stavanger at Siddis, Grimethorpe at Brass in Cocnert, Cory at the Welsh Area on ‘St Magnus’, and Willebroek at the Europeans on ‘Muckle Flugga’ amongst plenty more personal favourites from voters. 

Derwent Brass - THIS IS DERWENT 30! Gala Concert

Saturday 9 July • Allestree Woodlands School Theatre, Blenheim Drive, Allestree, Derby DE22 2LW

Lofthouse 2000 Brass Band - Summer Music Sunday - RHS Harlow Carr Gardens

Sunday 10 July • RHS Harlow Carr Gardens. Crag Lane. Harrogate. HG3 1QB HG3 1QB

Thundersley Brass Band - 'Best of British' themed Summer Concert

Sunday 10 July • Richmond Hall,. Richmond Avenue. Benfleet. Essex SS7 5HA

Boarshurst Silver Band - Milnrow Band

Sunday 10 July • Boarshurst Band Club. Greenbridge Lane. Greenfield. Saddleworth OL3 7EW

Otterbourne Brass -

Sunday 10 July • Chandlers Ford Methodist Church so532gj

Enderby Band

July 5 • We are looking for a cornet player (position negotiable). We have a variety of concerts/contests scheduled to continue our journey in the Championship Section. We use social events to create fantastic team working, so you would be joining a fab group.

Enderby Band

July 5 • We are looking for a soprano cornet player! We have a wide variety of concerts/contests planned to continue our journey in the Championship Section. We also like to socialise as it helps create fantastic team working, so you would be joining a fab group.

Enderby Band

July 5 • We are looking for a solo horn player! We have a wide variety of concerts/contests planned to continue our journey in the Championship Section. We also like to socialise as it helps create fantastic team working, so you would be joining a fab group.

Stuart Black

BA (Hons) Music
Conductor, Teacher, Flugel soloist


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