Hanson's winning composition lights up Foden's competition

A new work written by the Aurora Borealis wins the inaugural Foden's Composer's Competition for 21 year old Dave Hanson.


Dave Hanson from Derby was declared the inaugural winner of the Foden's Under 23 Composer Competition at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester on Sunday evening.


In a highly enjoyable evening of premieres by six talented young writers for brass band, Dave’s colourful evocation of the famous Northern Lights beat off high class competition from Nic Mills, Matthew Brett, Aaron Wolfe, Matthew Eden and Daniel Hall.

The 21 year old’s work entitled, ‘Aurora Borealis’ will now be commercially published as well as being performed by Foden's on their forthcoming Allan Withington Conducting School and at a high profile Foden's Youth Band Concert.

New compositional talent

Launched in January, the Foden’s competition was run in conjunction with the RNCM, and was devised to unearth and encourage new compositional talent, with a second, ‘Open’ category to be held later this year.

On Sunday evening, Foden’s performed each work in turn to an appreciative audience, with each composer receiving invaluable feedback from judges Philip Sparke, Michael Fowles and Dr Peter Meechan, who gave his opinions ahead of the night from his current home in Canada.


Philip Sparke was certainly fulsome in his praise when offering his thoughts, advice and opinions, whilst MD Michael Fowles also declared himself to be deeply impressed as he assessed each composition from a conductor’s perspective.

With Foden’s still in celebratory mood following their record-breaking Whit Friday winning efforts, the band still had just enough stamina in the tank to dust off a rousing performance of ‘The President’ march — in case any fans had missed their remarkable Tameside efforts.


Speaking to 4BR after the announcement of the results, Foden's Mark Wilkinson said: "We had an outstanding entry from all around the banding world, with the three judges cutting the list down to just six very fine works which we enjoyed performing with Philip and Michael in an excellent workshop.

We now hope that these talented composers will take further invaluable insight with them from the event in what promises to be exciting compositional futures."

We had an outstanding entry from all around the banding world, with the three judges cutting the list down to just six very fine worksMark Wilkinson, Foden's Band


He added: "We would like to thank all the composers who submitted entries. We are now looking forward to working on the entries for the Open category of the competition, which will see the panel joined by the highly respected Paul Hindmarsh."

Open competition

4BR was informed that the winner will have their work published by Prima Arts, receive £500 prize money awarded by the Wilfred Heaton Trust and have the piece performed by Foden’s in concert, played at the RNCM Festival of Brass and recorded for a future CD release.

Become a supporter and help make our future secure.

4barsrest continues to be a proudly independent voice. There are no paywalls to overcome to be able to enjoy what we do to keep our journalism at the heart of the brass banding world. Support us with a one-off donation or subscribe from just £2.50 per month.

Support us    


Cobalt Brass help support World Mental Health Day

October 21 • A virtual concert by the Cobalt Brass quintet has helped to raise over £1900 for the mental


Hepworth gain funding for innovative projects

October 21 • Performances linked to the world renowned sculptor Dame Barbara Hepworth will provide the centrepiece of a successful grant funding projects by Hepworth Band.


Radio: Sunday Bandstand

October 21 • More great music from Chris Helme in the heart of Yorkshire.

Denis Wick

Denis Wick retains gold standard with latest covers

October 21 • The popularity of Denis Wick stretchable bell covers is down to a combination of respect, trust and excellence according to one its of its leading retail sellers.

The Marple Band - Marple Band Autumn Concert

Friday 16 October • Marple Methodist Church, Church Lane, Marple SK6 6AY

The Marple Band - Marple and Hawk Green Bands Concert Compstall

Saturday 7 November • St Pauls Church, Compstall Rd, Compstall, Stockport, Cheshire SK6 5HU

The Marple Band - Marple Band Family Christmas Concert

Friday 18 December • Marple Conservative Club, church Lane, Marple, SK6 6AY

Contest: Butlins Mineworkers Festival

Saturday 9 January • Roman Bank, Ingoldmells, Skegness PE25 1NJ

Contest: Butlins Mineworkers Festival

Sunday 10 January • Roman Bank, Ingoldmells, Skegness PE25 1NJ

Amesbury Town Band

October 21 • Players and beginners of any standard are always warmly welcomed especially some more solo cornets and a spare percussionists to help out existing players. Feel free to drop in even if you just fancy a blow or want to try another instrument. After Covid!

Shipston Town Band

October 8 • We are currently looking to recruit a Bass Trombone BBb bass and EEb bass to bring the band up to strength ready for when things return to normal. We are graded section 3 in the Midlands taking part in a good range of concerts and contests,

Milton Keynes Brass

October 5 • Applications are invited for a baritone player for Milton Keynes Brass. We are a friendly 1st section band based in Milton Keynes and rehearsals take place on Tuesday evenings, 7:45pm-10:00pm, with additional rehearsals before contests.

Dr. Stephen Arthur Allen

D. Phil. (Oxon) [Ph.D Oxford University], GBSM, LTCL, ABSM, ALCM, Cert. Ed.


 © 2020 4barsrest.com Ltd