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2013: November

The 4BR editorial opinions on appreciating our composers, a welcome return to the box and in praise of the Welsh...

Appreciating our composers

The news that major works by Edward Gregson, Nigel Clarke and the quartet of Simon Dobson, Lucy Pankhurst, Paul McGhee and Gavin Higgins have been shortlisted for 2013 British Composer Awards, will hopefully provide the high profile stimulus contest promoters require to use their compositional talents on a more regular, rather than occasional ad hoc, basis at major competitions.

The diversity of musical language they (and others) offer is remarkable for the brass band medium - from Gregson’s expertly realised homage ‘Of Distant Memories’ to Clarke’s extraordinary ‘When World’s Collide’ and any number of inventive and highly original pieces from Dobson, McGhee, Pankhurst and Higgins.

However, a lack of planning, foresight, inherent conservatism and at times, downright musical ignorance have meant that the we have yet to hear Edward Gregson’s ‘Symphony in Two Movements’ or Paul McGhee’s ‘Waiting for a Pain Hit’, Nigel Clarke’s ‘Earthrise’ or Simon Dobson’s ‘Symphony of Colours’ amongst others, performed as set works in a major competitive environment.

As the British Composer Awards show - perhaps others currently appreciate them more than we do at present.

What do you think?
Send an email to: comments@4barsrest.com 


 A welcome return

Stan Lippeatt will be making a welcome return to the Nationals adjudication box at the Yorkshire Regional Championships in 2014.

Following his misplaced actions at the Bolsover Contest in 2012, he fully accepted his censure from the Association of Brass Band Adjudicators as well as its recommendation that he seek and undertake diversity and equality awareness training.

He has quietly and professionally done this with an open minded willingness at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust that he has stated was something of a revelation - and all undertaken through an extended period of recovery through ill health.

As a result, a fine bandsman, conductor, adjudicator and contest organiser returns with even more to offer the brass banding movement than ever before.

What do you think?
Send an email to: comments@4barsrest.com 


In praise of the Welsh

It’s not often a small nation like Wales gets the chance to boast about its achievements, but at present there is little doubt that banding in the Principality has plenty to shout about. 

Four of the five senior National Championship of Great Britain, European, British Open, Brass in Concert and Masters trophies are now to be found nestling in display cabinets in Wales - not forgetting two National Youth Championship titles.  

Why Wales has become such a powerhouse remains something of puzzle though. 

There is no all-powerful national body that officiates and administers, no single person that dictates, no hidden group or cabal that works in secret looking after its own interests. 

Perhaps more by accident than design, the various component parts that make up Welsh banding have found a way to work together as well as on their own – at times in more effective close harmony than its nation’s best male voice choirs.

A sense of collective pride in its conductors and players, bands and administrators, educationalists and contest promoters is now the overriding ethos - and perhaps offers an explanation to why at present Welsh banding is enjoying such success.

The only problem for the future of Welsh banding, is that if they can do it, then so can others, so they may have to savour their sucess for now.

What do you think?
Send an email to: comments@4barsrest.com 



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.


Craig Roberts

BA (Hons), MA
Conductor / Adjudicator