2021 4BR Special Award

This year's 4BR Special Award goes to Denis Wick — a man who revolutionised the way modern brass band sounds.

Special AWARD
  The 4BR Special Award this year goes to Denis Wick

There are very few people associated with the brass band movement who can genuinely be described as architects of revolution.

Denis Wick

One such is Denis Wick, the recipient of the 2021 4BR Special Award.

His remarkably informed musical insight linked to an equally refined business acumen revolutionised the sound of the modern, low-pitched brass band. It continues to this day.

Denis Wick's professional playing career spanned well over 40 years; from his first appointment at the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra in 1950, to encapsulate a 31-year tenure at the LSO (1957-1988).

His sound was heard on iconic recordings such as the premiere of the Gordon Jacob 'Trombone Concerto' to the soundtrack to the Star Wars films, whilst his pedagogy has also left a lasting influence — from the publication of his 'Trombone Technique' to his teaching at the Guildhall School of Music.

Countless players have benefited from his expertise — literally so in respect to his mouthpieces (mutes and accessories), which first appeared around 1968.

His name is to be found on the lips of players — from beginners to the world's greatest exponents, all around the musical world. It has become a gold plated marker of excellence.


All the accolades have been richly deserved — from fellow players to former pupils, industry pioneers and entrepreneurs to a citation from Her Majesty The Queen on being presented with a 'Queen's Award for Enterprise in International Trade' in 2014.

Now aged 90, when asked about the impact he had on the brass band world, he said: "I was once told that our mouthpieces had revolutionised the sound of the modern brass band. It's such a wonderful musical ensemble, so it should always embrace innovation. Hopefully, we can do more to help that in the years to come."

Just look around the ranks of any brass band — from youth to elite level and you both see and hear the influence of Denis Wick in action.

That is the mark of a musician of true revolutionary spirit and a man committed to excellence in all the things he has done during his professional life.

He is the worthiest of recipients of the 4BR Award — and long may he continue to inspire further revolutions in the years to come.

Iwan Fox

Just look around the ranks of any brass band — from youth to elite level and you both see and hear the influence of Denis Wick in action4BR

Find out more

To find out more about Denis Wick go to:

4BR Special Award:

2020: Brass Bands England
2019: Lito Fontana
2018: Allan Withington
2017: Paul Hindmarsh
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

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    


Downunder link for Denis Wick Products

June 5 • A new agreement confirms exclusive distribution in Australia for its products.


Stavanger announce new conducting duo

June 5 • Frederic Theodoloz and Ian Porthouse will lead Stavanger in their major championship appearances in 2023 and 2024.

Downshire Brass

Final chord approaches for Alcorn and Downshire

June 4 • The successful musical partnership between Prof Michael Alcorn and Downshire Brass is to come to an end.

Socail Media

BBE to help bands master social media

June 4 • If you want to be much better at using social media to benefit your band, Brass Bands England will be hosting a special webinar to help you along.

Regent Hall Concerts - RAF Salon Orchestra

Friday 9 June • Regent Hall (The Salvation Army). 275 Oxford Street. London. . W1C2DJ

Leicestershire Co-op Band - The Great British Music Hall concert

Saturday 10 June • The Palace Community Centre. Ibstock . Leicestershire LE67 6LG

Besses Boys' Band - Besses Boys' Band Summer Concert

Saturday 10 June • St Mary's Church, Prestwich, Greater Manchester M25 1AN

Newtown March Contest - Newtown (Mid Wales) March and Open Air Contest

Sunday 11 June • Newtown Town Hall Grounds. Back Lane. Newtown. Powys SY16 2NZ

Regent Hall Concerts - Sun Bones Trombone Trio

Tuesday 13 June • Regent Hall (The Salvation Army). 275 Oxford Street. London

Mereside Brass

June 5 • MERESIDE BRASS (Northwich, Cheshire) are looking for a front row CORNET, possibly PRINCIPAL for the right player and a PERCUSSIONIST. We are a friendly 4th Section band, currently not contesting but with a sensible calendar of jobs and band social events

Besses Boys' Band

June 5 • Besses Boys' Band (2nd Section NW) are looking for a TUTTI SOLO CORNET to join the band. Rehearsals take place Monday and Friday, 19:30-21:30 in Simister, Prestwich, Manchester, M25 2SB

Grange Moor Brass Band

June 4 • Eb/BBb bass, percussion (tuned or kit) & baritone are Grange Moor Brass Band's current vacancies. All of these sections are populated at the moment, but due to various reasons, we are looking to bolster each of these positions.

Ian Porthouse

Cornet soloist, clinician, conductor and adjudicator


 © 2023 4barsrest.com Ltd