2017 4BR Awards: The Nominations

The 'long list' of 4BR annual award nominations that will be considered by our panel of judges have been released.

  The long list of nominations for the 2017 4BR Awards have been revealed.

The 'long list' of 2017 nominations for the various categories of the annual 4BR Awards have been released.

The expert judges will now cast their eyes over them to make their various personal choices, with the winners and podium finishers revealed on Christmas morning.

2017 Band of the Year:

Atlantic Brass Band
Brass Band Willebroek
Brighouse & Rastrick
Brisbane XLCR
Eikanger Bjorsvik
Fountain City
Italian Brass Band

The 10 bands have been chosen not just for their contest achievements, but also for their artistic ones — from concert performances and tours to recordings and projects.

The impact of bands from Europe, America and Australia has been keenly felt — from the momentous achievements of Eikanger and Valaisia to the imposing excellence of Willebroek and the emergence of the Italian Brass Band.

Atlantic Brass Band and Fountain City have shown that American brass banding is now a force to be reckoned with, whilst Brisbane continues to be the standard bearer in the southern hemisphere.

Cory remains the band to beat, Brighouse & Rastrick seem a band reborn and Whitburn had year to cherish.

2017 Conductor of the Year:

Ingar Bergby
Nicholas Childs
Florent Didier
Arsene Duc
Reid Gilje
David King
Joe Parisi
Lee Skipsey
Lee Rigg
Howard Taylor

The 10 conductors have been chosen not just for their impressive contest records during the past year, but also for their inspirational leadership qualities and progressive artistic outlooks.

The conducting nominations rather mirror those of the bands they lead, and there is little doubt that each of these MDs has been an inspirational figure.

The number of titles successes at different levels speaks for itself, but it's how they did it that has left the greatest impression — drawing out performances of character and musicality that drew admiration even from their most ardent critics and rivals.

2017 Player of the Year:

Tore Bryne Berg (Bass trombone — Eikanger Bjorsvik)
Giovanni Celestino (Bass trombone — Italian Brass Band)
Isobel Daws (Trombone — Fairey)
Kathleen Gaspoz (Cornet — Brighouse & Rastrick)
Dominic Longhurst (Soprano cornet — Brighouse & Rastrick)
Marielle Rey (Soprano cornet — Valaisia)
Glenn Van Looy (Euphonium — Valaisia)
David Morton (Cornet — Eikanger Bjorsvik)
Gyda Matland (Flugel — Eikanger Bjorsvik)
Lars Otto Torsvik (Euphonium — Eikanger Bjorsvik)

These are 10 players who made the most significant impact on us with their performances, both on and off the contest stages during the past year.

This was an almost impossible task, but these are the players who simply stood out from the rest.

The contribution made time and time again to their band's performances or as soloists in their own right was unquestionable in its excellence and artistry.

2017 Test Piece of the Year:

Eden (John Pickard): Swiss National Championship — Championship Section
Fraternity (Thierry Deleruyelle): British Open Championship
Gallery (Howard Snell): National Championship of Great Britain — Championship Section
Insomnia (Bart Picqueur): European Championship — Challenge Section
Pageantry (Herbert Howells): Regional Championships of Great Britain — Championship Section
Purcellian Fantasia (Jan de Haan): Dutch National Championships — Fourth Division
Smoke Sketches (Daniel Hall): National Youth Championships of Great Britain — Intermediate Section
Tournament for Brass (Eric Ball): National Championships of Great Britain — First Section
Tracking Time (Oliver Waespi): World Championship — Championship Section
Variations on a Theme of Michael Tippeatt (Ball/Gregson/Howarth/Tovey/Wilby): Norwegian National Championship — Elite Division

The 10 test pieces that made the greatest musical impact on 4BR this year — some old, some new, some contemporary and some a bit more traditional.

The major championships were blessed with fine choices this year, especially at the elite level, but elsewhere there were little gems to be heard too — and a reminder that not everything has to be crash, bang, wallop to test bands to the full and to engage an audience.

2017 Lower Section Band of the Year:

1st Old Boys Youth (Northern Ireland)
BD1 Brass (England)
Boorondara Brass (Australia)
Elland Silver Youth (England)
Ensemble de Cuivres Euphonia (Switzerland)
Hinterlander Jugend Brass Band (Switzerland)
Newmains & District (Scotland)
Tertnes Brass (Norway)
Wardle Academy Youth (England)
Young Brass Band Willebroek (Belgium)

Having been fortunate to travel the world this year, we got to hear bands at all levels in very many different countries — and the standard at times was remarkable.

These bands not only enjoyed considerable contesting success, but have done it with a sense of musical energy, communal vibrancy and long term commitment to grow with players nurtured themselves.

The results have been stunning to hear — and a blueprint for others in their home countries to try replicate.

2017 Contest Performance of the Year:

BD1 Brass (Third Section National Championships of Great Britain — 'Hinemoa')
Black Dyke (Yorkshire Regional Championship — 'Pageantry')
Brighouse & Rastrick (National Championships of Great Britain — 'Gallery')
Cory (British Open — 'Fraternity')
Eikanger Bjorsvik (Norwegian National Championship — 'Fraternity')
Eikanger Bjorsvik (European Championship — 'Fraternity')
Eikanger Bjorsvik (Brass in Concert Championship)
Valaisia (Swiss National Championship — 'Eden')
Valaisia (Swiss National Championship — 'The Turing Test')
Wardle Junior Blast (National Youth Championships of Great Britain — Beginners Section)

The 10 'stand out' contest performances of the year heard by 4BR — and the ones that left a lasting impression on the musical mind.

We are sure plenty of people will disagree with our choices, as the listening experience is a very personal one, but each of these performances were not only technically brilliant, they brought the music to life thanks also to interpretations that were always engrossing — even if they were in case of 'Fraternity' with Eikanger and Cory, very different indeed).

And just in case you are wondering why a Beginner Band has made it onto our list — their performance (all from memory) was jaw dropping in its own way too.

2017 Newcomer of the Year:

Andy Wareham (Composer: RWCMD Composer Award winner with 'Tarot! Tortuous Tarot!')
Antonia Kapelari (Tenor horn: RET Brass Band Innsbruck)
Brass in Concert Audience Prize
Ingar Bergby (Conductor: Eikanger Bjorsvik)
Kathleen Gaspoz (Principal cornet: Brighouse & Rastrick)
Lode Violet (Conductor: Young Brass Band Willebroek)
Luciano De Luca (Euphonium: Italian Brass Band)
Matt Ford with Foden's Band (Christmas Concert Tour)
Pimpanit Karoonyavanich (Composer: 'A Journey to the Bermuda Triangle' — Third Section Dutch National Championship)
Portraits of Tibshelf (Community Project featuring Black Dyke Band)

Always a difficult one to select, but these 10 people, bands, innovations or projects all made a significant impact critically and artistically during the past year.

The reasons are varied — from two young composers who made a mark with compositions that revealed so much free thinking potential to a trio of immensely talented players who may well become superstars in their own right.

Foden's and Black Dyke undertook projects that certainly reached out to new audiences, whilst Brass in Concert connected in an innovative way to an existing one. Two conductors at different ends of the experience spectrum also showcased their talents.

2017 CD of the Year:

Fair Peched (Alba Brass):

Dances & Arias (Black Dyke):

Fairey Tales (Fairey Band):

Tubular Bells (Tubular Brass):

Verdi Overtures (Italian Brass Band):

Patrons' Choice X (Foden's Band):

Music for Brass Septet — 5 (Septura):

Storytelling (Cory):

Destination Moon (Cory):

Hypercube (Paris Brass Band):

The 10 CDs which have made the most impact not just on the brass band world with their overall quality, musical outlook and artistic importance but with a much wider audience.

2017 Solo CD of the Year:

Debut 2 (Joseph Cook):

Definity (David Childs & Philip Cobb):

Doux — Ellis Island (Harmen Vanhoorne & Stan Nieuwenhuis):

Fantasque (Alexis Demailly):

Love's Joy (Steven & Misa Mead):

Over the Horizon (Steve Stewart):

The Demonic Virtuoso (Owen Farr):

Tradition (Patrick Vergeres):

United (Peter Steiner):

Vox (Robbert Vos):

The 10 CDs which have made the most impact not just on the brass band world with their overall quality, musical outlook and artistic importance but with a much wider audience.

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