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."
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.