2016 4BR Award Winners

Drum roll please... the winners of the 2016 4BR Awards are...

  The winners of the 2016 4BR Awards have been announced.

2016 4BR Special Award:

Carole Crompton

Carole Crompton has been chosen as the recipient of the 2016 4BR Special Award.

It is given to a person or organisation who 4BR Directors Anthony Banwell and Iwan Fox believe have enhanced the brass band movement through their excellence over a significant period of time.

4BR Editor Iwan Fox said: "It is hard to think of anyone who has managed to develop, support and promote brass banding through their work as Carole has done with her remarkable achievements as Arts Development Officer at Bolsover District Council.

Her drive and determination is matched only by her passion for the brass band movement — one which she has been an integral part of throughout her playing and professional life. During an era when there has been increasing pressure on finances in the public sector and to justify spending on the arts and brass bands in particular, no one has done more to champion the cause.

Not only has she been instrumental in gaining essential support to run traditional contests, concert series, one off events and new music commissions, she has also fully understood the need to encompass innovation in reaching out to new audiences.

Each project — from the Bolsover Summer School and Bolsover Festival of Brass to the more recent Childs Play and forthcoming Tibshelf community projects have been thoroughly researched and minutely prepared to ensure success and a lasting legacy.

Carole will soon retire from her council role to start a new career that will embrace her passion for helping the brass band movement prosper. Her services will be in demand as brass bands the length and breadth of country get in touch. Carole is sure to bring further immense benefits to the brass band movement in the UK."

4BR Special Award:

2016: Carole Crompton
2015: Philip Wilby
2014: Mike Shenton
2013: John Berryman
2012: Howard Snell
2011: Philip Sparke
2010: Scottish Brass Band Association
2009: Ian Williams
2008: Norwegian Band Federation
2007: Peter Roberts
2006: Markus Bach
2005: David Gallaher
2004: David Read
2003: Salvationist Publishing & Supplies Ltd
2002: Frank Hodges
2001: Alan Jenkins

Individual Awards

After all the soul searching and head scratching, the recall mechanisms and memory re-boots, the panel of 4BR experts tasked with finding the various 2016 Award winners have come up with their results.

Overall it may not have been a vintage banding year, but it still contained plenty of truly fabulous performances and achievements.

The panel of experts consisted of Iwan Fox (Editor 4BR); Malcolm Wood (4BR Senior Contributor); Kenny Crookston (Editor British Bandsman); Chris Thomas (Brass Band World Chief Contributor); Tom Davoren (Composer); Alan Edmond (former Scottish BBA Development Officer); Jeremy Wise (Conductor); Owen Farr (Tenor horn soloist); Frode Rydland (Composer/soprano cornet player); Chris Fower (bass trombonist, consultant and educationalist); Geert Jan Kroon (Composer/euphonium player)

So without any further fuss and bother....

2016 Band of the Year:

The winner is...


The unanimous decision of all 11 judges in fact. A year in which they were defeated just the once on the contest stage, but still made history by claiming the European, British Open, National Championship of Great Britain and Brass in Concert titles.

All that and they released some splendid CDs, were in scintillating form on the concert stage and showcased their brilliance to our American friends as well. The number 1 brass band in the world by a veritable country mile...

There were deserved podium finishes for Swiss champion Valaisia with Paris Brass Band in third.


1. Cory
2. Valaisia
3. Paris Brass Band

2016 Conductor of the Year:

The winner is...

Philip Harper

No real surprise that the man that inspired the breathtaking success of Cory in 2016 also retains the title he won in 2015 — gaining 8 of the 11 first choice preferences from our judges.

Once again he brought a superb sense of musical vitality to every performance he directed — challenging his players to give of their all and engaging enthralled audiences with his sense of adventure.

Only occasionally was it not a success, but only by the merest of margins, but when it all came together he stood head and shoulders (literally as well as metaphorically) above his peers.

Two outstanding conductors in Arsene Duc and David Bremner of Valaisia and Wellington Brass Band took the podium positions.


1. Philip Harper
2. Arsene Duc
3. David Bremner

2016 Player of the Year:

The winner is...

Helen Williams

A year of performance superlatives for the Cory flugel player is rounded off with yet another personal accolade to add to the British Open and National Championship of Great Britain 'Best Instrumentalist' awards, the 'Best Flugel' title at the Brass in Concert Championship and the Cory Band 'Player of the Year' trophy.

A player reborn in the Rhondda Valleys, and one that shone on every possible stage on which she performed during the year.

Helen gained 5 first choice preferences from our experts, although she was in the top 3 in eight.

The superb trombonist Peter Moore gained three first choice preferences with two for Black Dyke's euph star Daniel Thomas as they filled the remaining podium slots.


1. Helen Williams
2. Peter Moore
3. Daniel Thomas

2016 Test Piece of the Year:

The winner is...

Fraternity by Thierry Deleruyelle

A wonderful, lyrically evocative work; a brass band tone poem for the 21st century inspired by a 100 year old French mining disaster, that made a huge impression on players, conductors and audience alike in Lille at the European Championships — and with our panel of judges.

It gained six first choice preferences and two other top 3 votes — and will surely gain many more from listeners and performers when it will be heard again at the 2017 British Open Championship.

It was very close for the podium slots, with Simon Dobson's 'Journey of the Lone Wolf' gaining two first choice preferences to finish just ahead of 'Ballet for Band' by Joseph Horovitz.


1. Fraternity (Thierry Deleruyelle)
2. Journey of the Lone Wolf (Simon Dobson)
3. Ballet for Band (Joseph Horovitz)

2016 Lower Section/Youth Band of the Year:

The winner is...

Youth Brass 2000

The youth banding world's equivalent of Cory in 2016 — as they triumphed in all but one contest they entered.

Inspired by their superb MD Chris Jeans they notched up victories at the Butlins Mineworkers Championship followed by the British Open Youth Championship, Action Medical Research Youth Entertainment Festival and National Youth Championships of Great Britain. They only missed out on a 'Grand Slam' of their own by being piped at the European Championships by the equally remarkable Young Brass Band Willebroek.

They gained 5 first preference choices from the panel and were in the top 3 from seven in total.

In a hard fought battle for the podium slots, the Young Brass Band Willebroek of Belgium eventually came second just ahead of Tertnes Skoles Musikkorps from Norway.


1. Youth Brass 2000
2. Young Brass Band Willebroek
3. Tertnes Skoles Musikkorps

2016 Contest Performance of the Year:

The winner is...

Cory — 'The Triumph of Time' (British Open Championship)

The performance that brokered no argument — even from the most fervent of rival fans at Symphony Hall. It was in a time dimension only the likes of Albert Einstein and Dr Who could better and it was hard to think of a clearer winner at the contest in recent memory.

In a year when Cory touched musical heights others simply found were out of their grasp, this was them at their very, very best — something that five of the judges agreed with as their first choice — with all 11 picking at least one of their trio from Symphony Hall, the Albert Hall or Brass in Concert in their top three.

Valaisia's remarkable rendition of 'Fraternity' at the Europeans was not forgotten however and was the first choice of two judges and gained three other podium nominations to pip Cory's own rendition in Lille which gained one first choice nomination.


1. Cory — 'The Triumph of Time' (British Open Championship)
2. Valaisia — 'Fraternity' (European Championship)
3. Cory — 'Fraternity' (European Championship)

2016 Newcomer of the Year:

The winner is...

Thierry Deleruyelle

The composer of the stunning European Championship set work 'Fraternity' made his mark on the brass band world in remarkable fashion in Lille.

This was a test piece for the modern age, but one that somehow was connected by a mass of musical umbilical chords to the movement's birthright. It was a passionate, moving tribute to the 1,000 and more lives lost in the 1906 mining disaster in Douai that explored every emotion befor emerging triumphant and uplifting.

If you don't believe us, then make sure you book your ticket for the British Open now.

He was the first choice preference of four of the judges in a very close battle, to pip the innovative Tubular Bells project and the inaugural Italian National Championship.


1. Thierry Deleruyelle
2. Tubular Bells
3. Italian National Championship

2016 CD of the Year:

The winner is...

War Memorials (Tredegar Town Band & Cory Band)

Conductors: Ian Porthouse, Philip Harper, Robert Childs
NMC Recordings

An outstanding release produced by Paul Hindmarsh that broke free of the confines of the brass band movement to make a significant artistic and critically acclaimed impression on the wider musical world.

The performances of works of deep resonance and meaning were superb, and were recognised as such in a five star review by The Guardian newspaper and a highly complimentary podcast review on the BBC Music Magazine website. That was some achievement in itself.

The first choice preference of seven judges and three others in their top three, it has won the 'CD of the Year' award from British Bandsman, Brass Band World and now 4BR.

Foden's excellent 'Gods and Kings' release was second with the highly enjoyable 80th Birthday Tribute to Howard Snell featuring Foden's and Desford in third.


1. War Memorials (Tredegar Town and Cory Bands)
2. Gods and Kings (Foden's)
3. An 80th Birthday Tribute to Howard Snell (Foden's and Desford Colliery Bands)

2016 Solo CD of the Year:

The winner is...


Philip Cobb
Featuring: The Central Band of the RAF and Sam Walton
Doyen Recordings: CD366

The first choice preference of 10 of the eleven judges — and unquestionably a simply stunning display of complete musicianship from the Principal Trumpet of the London Symphony Orchestra.

Hard to find the superlatives to describe playing of such artistry and refinement, brilliance and bravura — backed by wonderfully sympathetic accompaniment from all concerned.

Ostensibly something of a tribute by the performer to his musical hero Wynton Marsalis (who provides a wonderful sleeve note introduction) — "His playing elevates our instrument, and elevates us,"he says. Too right it does.

No shame in coming second to this epic, as it also adds the 4BR accolade to that already picked up from British Bandsman and Brass Band World magazines. Hearty congratulations then to 'Affinity' by Les Neish and 'Lyrical Virtuoso' by Steven Mead.


1. Fantasy (Philip Cobb)
2. Affinity (Les Neish)
3. Lyrical Virtuoso (Steven Mead)

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