facebook twitter rss vimeo shop label support us


Masters Brass claims annual University of Salford Ensemble prize

The inventive brass and vocal ensemble Masters Brass has won the prestigious University of Salford Ensemble Competition.

Salford University
  The University of Salford award was won by Phonics Brass

The University of Salford recently held its prestigious annual Ensemble Competition sponsored by the Geneva Group.

An adjudication panel of Dr. Brett Baker, Tom Davoren and recently retired Principal Director of Music of the Royal Air Force, Duncan Stubbs, were presented with wide a variety of student ensembles including brass, wind and chamber choir.

High quality

In what was a high quality competition, an inventive brass and vocal presentation from The Masters Ensemble brass group claimed the main award, closely followed Phonics Brass, the contemporary brass and narrator group The Darren Gibson Ensemble and the tuba quartet, Tubas of the Apocalypse.

The 'Best Arrangement' prize went to MA student and Black Dyke cornet player Ryan Coates for his version of the Leonard Cohen classic 'Hallelujah'.

Difficult decision

With the competitors showing a level of innovative musical thinking behind their presentations, Tom Davoren told 4BR that it proved to be a difficult decision picking a winner.

"It was. The competition continues to provide a great opportunity for students to showcase their composing, conducting, arranging and organisational skills — and they never disappoint us.

This year we were presented with a wide selection of original and arranged music, with some really creative ideas explored in both presentation and pairing traditional ensembles with pop style vocals and percussion."

The competition continues to provide a great opportunity for students to showcase their composing, conducting, arranging and organisational skills — and they never disappoint usTom Davoren


He added: "We are very grateful to Geneva Group who have supported this event for the past three years and to their representatives Robin Winspear and Simon Miller who presented the certificates and cash prizes."

The winning ensemble will now have their name written on the honours boards lining the corridor walls of Salford's famous Peel Hall.


An earlier report contained the wrong information given to 4BR by the competition organisers. This has now been rectified.

Support us for less than a cup of coffee...

4BR wants to ensure that the brass band movement remains vibrant and relevant. We also want to be able to question, challenge and critically examine those who run and play in it, producing high quality journalism that informs as well as entertains our readers.

So if like us you value a strong, independent perspective on the brass band world - then why not consider becoming a supporter and help make our future and that of a burgeoning brass band movement more secure.

So one less cappuccino then?

Support us    


Adjudicators to offer test-piece, percussion and conducting insight

November 16 • The Adjudicator's Association is offering something extra to their annual test-piece workshop day


Hammonds receive experienced Sage assistant

November 16 • The highly respected Jason Evans has joined Hammonds Band in time to make his bumper-up debut at Brass in Concert.


Check in with Pennine at Leicester

November 16 • If you are at the LBBA Contest in Loughborough this weekend, then make sure you check out what's on offer at Pennine Music and the Brass Band Music Shop.


Trio of signings at Crofton

November 16 • Ambitious Yorkshire band look ahead to life in the First Section in 2019 boosted by a trio of new signings.

Foden's Band - Brass in Concert Gala Concert with Matt Ford

Saturday 17 November • Sage Gateshead, St Mary's Square, Gateshead Quays, NE8 2JR

Contest: Youth Brass in Concert

Saturday 17 November • St Mary's Square, Gateshead Quays NE8 2JR

Regent Hall Concerts - Royal Greenwich Brass Band

Sunday 18 November • St Alfege Church. 3 Greenwich Church Street. London SE10 9BJ

Contest: Brass in Concert

Sunday 18 November • St Mary's Square, Gateshead Quays NE8 2JR

Meltham and Meltham Mills Brass Band - Atlantic Brass - No1 Brass Band from the USA!

Tuesday 20 November • Huddersfield Parish Church Office, Byram Street, Huddersfield, HD1 1BU. HD1 1BU

Cleobury Mortimer Concert Brass

November 16 • Cleobury Mortimer Concert Brass (3rd section) require a bass trombone, Eb bass, Euphonium (seat negotiable to the right player) and solo cornet player, but we welcome all players.

The Cobham Band

November 16 • Vacancies for Flugel, Baritone, Bass Trombone and Assistant Percussion exist in this friendly band. We have a good programme of band stand and concert engagements. The band contests in SCABA events and welcomes players of all standards and experience.

Weymouth Concert Brass

November 16 • Weymouth Concert Brass have vacancies on Cornet and Flugel (positions negotiable). We are a friendly and sociable band currently competing in the third section. We rehearse once a week and hold additional rehearsals in the run up to contests and concerts

Phil Lawrence

Composer and conductor