facebook twitter rss vimeo shop label support us


Ray Farr and Brad Turnbull to be awarded Iles and Mortimer Medals

Two outstanding musicians are to be presented with the 2019 Iles and Harry Mortimer Medals by the Musicians' Company for their contributions to the brass band movement.

Farr and Turnbull
  Ray Farr and Brad Turnbull will be the 2019 recipients of the Iles and Mortimer Medals

The Musicians' Company has announced that Ray Farr and Brad Turnbull will be the respective recipients of the 2019 Iles and Harry Mortimer Medals.

Ray Farr

The Iles Medal is awarded annually to musicians who have made a significant contribution to the brass band movement. It was established in 1947 by John Henry Iles, the founder of the National Brass Band Championships, who had been Master of the Company in 1932-33.

Ray Farr has enjoyed a wide-ranging and hugely successful professional musical career serving the brass band movement as a player, conductor, composer, arranger, teacher, academic and historian.

A professional trumpet player, he was appointed resident conductor of Grimethorpe Colliery Band in 1979, initiating a period of high profile artistic success, whilst he also made pioneering links to European banding, most notably in Norway where he also studied orchestral conducting at Helsinki's Sibelius Academy.

He has worked with a number of Norwegian bands at all levels — including Eikanger Bjorsvik, who led to success at the 1985 Norwegian Championship and three Siddis victories. He also worked extensively in the Stavanger area and enjoyed conducting appointments with the Trondheim Military Band, the National Youth Wind Band of Norway, and with symphony orchestras in Sandnes, Stavanger and Kristiansand.

He also led Lyngby Taarbaek Band to the Danish National title in 2004.

During his brass band career in the UK he has worked successfully with the likes of Foden's, Yorkshire Imperial, Jaguar Cars (City of Coventry), Stocksbridge, Newtongrange, Newham and many others, including a long and fruitful spell in the North-East of England where he enjoyed considerable success with the likes of Reg Vardy, NASUWT Riverside and Fishburn.

He was appointed as Conductor in Residence at Durham University in 2003, teaching conducting and arranging as well as engaging in important research about the origins of brass banding and continues to exert his hugely respected musical influence musical in all areas of his wide ranging interests, leading Brottum Brass to the Norwegian Second Division National title earlier this year in Bergen.

Ray Farr has enjoyed a wide-ranging and hugely successful professional musical career serving the brass band movement as a player, conductor, composer, arranger, teacher, academic and historian4BR

Brad Turnbull

The Harry Mortimer Medal will this year be presented to Brad Turnbull.

The medal recognises service in fostering new generations of brass band musicians, having been endowed in 1995 by Margaret Mortimer in memory of her husband.

Brad has been particularly successful in nurturing young brass players from their first experience in whole class Wider Opportunities/First Access projects, many of whom have progressed through group tuition in school into the local music centre in Kettering and beyond — becoming members of the County Youth Brass Band and the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain.

The Northamptonshire Music Education Hub works in partnership with 90% of local brass bands, and a significant number of former students play in community bands in the region.

Brad also teaches brass and conducts the brass band at Bishop Stopford School in Kettering, where James and Thomas Fountain were among his students.

For fourteen years, he has been the conductor of the Northamptonshire County Youth Brass Band, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.

Under his direction the band has enjoyed consistent success at the National Youth Brass Band Championships and the National Festival of Music for Youth and has represented England at the European Youth Brass Band Championships as well as making tours to Poland, Hungary, Germany, Spain, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Italy.

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    


National Final judges announced

July 15 • The team of adjudicators who will decide on the destination of the 2019 National titles have been revealed.


Report & Results: 2019 New Zealand National Championships

July 14 • Wellington Brass defends it New Zealand title with a clean sweep display of musical authority in Hamilton as section awards got to Nelson City Brass, Tauranga City Brass, Matamata Brass and Takapuna Youth Band.


Instrument donations welcome at Jazz mecca

July 13 • If you have an unwanted musical instrument and are anywhere near the famous Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club, then you can donate it to some great national and international musical causes.

Band of the Year

Bands still waiting for UK Band of the Year payments

July 13 • 4BR has been informed that competing bands at the inaugural BrassPass.tv UK Band of the Year contest are still waiting for their prize money and entry payments.

Norfolk Wherry Brass - Norfolk Wherry Brass Memorial Concert

Sunday 21 July • Lingwood Village Hall. Station Road. Norwich. Norfolk. NR13 4AZ

Lewes, Glynde and Beddingham Brass Band - Eastbourne Bandstand - 1812 concert

Wednesday 31 July • Bandstand, Grand Parade, Eastbourne BN21 3AD

Gresley Colliery Band - Byrkley Park Garden Centre

Saturday 10 August • Byrkley Drive, Rangemore St, Burton upon Trent . DE13 9RN

Foden's Band - Matt Ford - Gawsworth Hall, Macclesfield

Sunday 11 August • Gawsworth Hall, Church Lane, Gawsworth SK11 9RN

Foden's Band - Snape Maltings

Saturday 17 August • Snape Maltings, Suffolk IP17 1SP

Shirley Band

July 15 • Shirley Band (MD David Hirst) has vacancies for Tenor Trombone and Bass Trombone. . . We rehearse Wednesday and Friday evenings in Hockley Heath, situated within 5 minutes of J4 of the M42 and J16 of the M40, easily accessible from across the Midlands.

City of Hull Band

July 15 • Current North of England Champions require Tutti Cnt and Solo Baritone to start after the Summer Break. National Finals and Brass in Concert to look forward to. Rehearsing in our own band room near the Humber Bridge Sunday and Wednesday evenings.

Freckleton Band

July 15 • We have a vacancy for a 2nd Baritone player. The band currently competes in the Championship section and have a balanced concert and contest programme. Rehearsal nights are Mondays and Thursdays.

Ian Porthouse

Cornet soloist, clinician, conductor and adjudicator