Articles & features: 2004 / International
Who came top of the 4BR Awards for 2004 then? If you are ready, we shall reveal the long awaited list of winners.
How have the class of 2004 done at the year long slog of examinations that were put in front of them by the musical inspectors throughout the UK and Europe this year. And what will the 4BR Headteacher write on their annual reports back to their parents.
So after another year of some fine contesting around the globe, who are the 2004 winners and losers in ther 4barsrest world rankings?
Who are the players (and conductor) who we have chosen as the 4BR Band of the Year for 2004? Some great performers from all around the world have made it into our band for us, but do you agree with our choices?
Composer Philip Lawrence gets on his soapbox and gives a quite surreal blast from his spleen about our approach in the brass band movement to the works of hard working, underated and underpaid composers.
In the third part of his current series of masterclasses, Roger Webster gives you tips on how to improve by practice (something we all need to do more of!).
Chris Helme looks at the third and final part of the remarkable story of one of the movements greatest ever brass banding families - the Oughtons who can claim over a century of brass players in their ranks.
Chris Helme looks at the second part [of 3] of the remarkable story of one of the movements greatest ever brass banding families - the Oughtons who can claim over a century of brass players in their ranks.
Legends in Brass: Chris Helme looks at the first part [of 3] of the remarkable story of one of the movements greatest ever brass banding families - the Oughtons who can claim over a century of brass players in their ranks.
We first produced our list in 2002, but who are the 10 most influential people around in the movement as we enter 2005, and have any or all of the class of 2002 survived or have some fallen away?
It’s award time again! We know everyone else gets in on the act at this time of year, but 4BR has been making these nominations for you, our readers to vote on (or not as the case may be) since we started in 2001, so we think they are of some importance.
Every year we make a special award to someone, or an organisation who we believe has enhanced the brass band movement, not only in the past 12 months but perhaps throughout their lifetime. This year we are proud to make that award to David Read.
What was the best piece any band performed during 2004 then? Lots of stuff played - some great, some good, some not worthy of a mention maybe?
Which talent do you think made the biggest new impression on the banding scene during 2004? Lots to choose from.
Who were the best Lower Section/Youth Band in 2004 then? Some quite brilliant achievements during the past 12 months from lots of bands, so if you think your band were the best, then get voting.
Here is a real tricky one for you to vote on. What was the very best contest performance you heard during 2004 - and we don'y just mean one that took the winners prize either. There is a possible endless selection to choose from...
Some of the very best performers in the movement have released CDs this year, and all have been of fantastic quality. It's going to be a pretty difficult choice for you to make.
There have been some fine recordings released by numerous band during the past 12 months, but which one did you think was the best of the lot. There was plenty to choose from.
We have some of the greatest talents in the world within our movement, but who do you think was the one absolute star of the year.
Who do you think should gain the accolade as the best stickman (or woman) for 2004. There have been some pretty exciting talents on show on the podium in the past 12 months.
Who do you think shoud be awarded the accolade as the 4BR Band of the Year for 2004. Plenty to choose from isn't there?
It wasn't just the top bands battling it out in Glasgow last weekend as the very best Youth bands north of the border entertained as well at the Scottish Youth Brass Band Championships.
4BR looks back at Hepworth (Persimmon Homes) triumph in Glasgow, as a well organised event still needs support - both financial and human if it is to flourish.
David Read, Dr. Roy Newsome and Christopher Wormald are the three men in the box this year. We have their details.
We have a look at the form of the 16 bands hoping to to win the title of Scottish Open Champions and the £3,000 top prize on offer.
Royal Concert Hall Glasgow Sunday, 28 November 2004
Support by Amicus, TUC, World of Brass Spennymoor Leisure Centre Sunday 21st November 2004
Who's won what and when. Winners and conductors, best soloists, march prize and all the awards fromth the UK's premier entertainment competition.
We cast our eyes over the 10 bands competing this year, look at their past records, and the programmes they have used to try and impress the judges.
We look at this years 28th running of the premier brass band entertainment contest in the UK, where 10 top class bands line up to showcase their talents.
With the 90th anniversary of the Great War just passed, Allan Littlemore pays tribute to one of the numerous bandsmen to give their lives for our freedom - the great Edwin Firth.
British Open Solo & Quartet Championships Supported by Tameside MBC Hyde Town Hall, Sunday 7th November 2004
As the song goes: Chicago is 4BR's sort of town...
4BR looks back at the 2nd US Open - an event that has made steady start and that seems to have a very bright future ahead of it - although not as bright as the smile of the winning MD from Florida!
4BR will be off to the USA this weekend to report on the US Open Championships. We are looking forward to it - as long as they have sorted out that Presidential thing.
A wonderful contest in the Fourth Section kick started the whole weekend - great music, great performers and a great winning show as well.
A very difficult test for the Third Section, but two bands proved that they were a class above the rest in a contest that all the bands impressed the judges.
"The Deep" proved to be a perilous journey for nearly all the bands in the Second Section - some drowned, some took on water, but the winners totally commanded the waves
The First Section proved a difficult test for the bands who had to overcome Philip Sparke's set work. In the end though it was Wrexham Brass who do it in some style.
4BR looks back at a the The Harry and Margaret Mortimer Championship contest which was won by a pair of up and coming stars of the brass band movement.
4BR was not only there for the bands and the music. We also cast our eye around to take in the full Pontins experience as well. Well you would want us to wouldn't you?
Just in case you wondered who was the bloke in the box who either thought you were brilliant, or sunk your chances quicker than the Titanic, then we have looked back over the 30 years found out who was where and when.
Saturday 30th October Venue: Lunars Hall Test Piece: Attleborough Suite - Malcolm Arnold Adjudicators: Roy Sparkes and Christopher Wormald Commence: 9.00am
Saturday 30th October Venue: Lunars Hall Test Piece: Prelude and Jubilate - Darrol Barry Adjudicators: Malcolm Brownbill & David Read Commence: 2.00pm approx
Sunday 31st October Venue: Lunars Hall Test Piece: The Deep - Bram Wiggins Adjudicators: Colin Hardy and Raymond Tennant. Commence: 9.00am
Saturday 30th October Venue: Fun Factory Ballroom Test Piece: A London Overture - Philip Sparke Adjudicators: Colin Hardy and Raymond Tennant Commence: 10.00am
We take a closer look at the 6 men in the box for this year's Pontins Brass Band Championships. These are the chaps the bands will have to impress.
Harry and Margaret Mortimer Championship Test Piece: Dances and Arias - Edward Gregson Adjudicators: David Read and Malcolm Brownbill Sunday 31st October Commence: 10.00am
This weekend sees the 31st running of the Pontins Brass Band Championships - so plenty of bands, beer and bad weather is guarenteed.
4BR looks back at the thrills and spills of the 2004 Nationals and the 20th victory for Black Dyke - just in time for their 150th birthday celebrations.
Roger looks at the somewhat neglected art of "warming up".
4BR looks at those little moments of incidents, accidents, of the inspired and perspired, the winners and losers of the Nationals weekend.
We have the written remarks from Dr. Michael Ball, David Read and Malcolm Brownbill on the bands who came in the top six at the Royal Albert Hall. Find out exactly what they thought.
Here's the list they don't like you looking at. Each of the 20 conductors will have some sort of form at the Royal Albert Hall – some good, some nearly great and more than a few with entries that list them as making up the numbers.
The 2004 National Finals sees 20 bands once more try and win the coveted title of Champion Brass Band of Great Britain.
We take a closer look at the three men in box for this year's Nationals.
"…all the flowers of the mountain…" by Dr. Michael Ball
Can Fairey FP (Music) become the latest member of a very elite club. 4BR looks at those who have made it onto the select club membership list and those who have just missed out.
Royal Albert Hall, London 16 October 2004
We had to think long and hard about our top ten for this, especially as in reality any band that has actually won the title could in theory say they won it with a "great performance".
We've been trawling through the record books once more and have updated those types of details that keep your Band Secretary awake at night with nightmares. Yes – the draw.
You never know – there may be something in here to get you boring your friends (if you have any) down the pub after practice. Just wait for the first remark of "... get a life". 105 facts and figures - 1 for every year since 1900
4BR looks back at the 19 performances that made up the 152nd British Open and tries to decide why come results time the image of Nicolae Ceaucescu came to mind.
John James looks at the bare stats from the 2004 British Open and tries to explain how and why it all worked out as it did.
4BR looks at the spirit of the Foden's Richardson Band which was the defining hallmark of their 10th British Open title.
If you want to know what the three men in box thought of the top six performances then read on. 4BR has the official adjudications from the Open.
Iwan Fox looks back at the Fourth Section where the Londoners of Potters Bar took the honours in what was a very difficult and stressful days work for the vast majority of the competitors and their MDs.
John James looks back over the Third Section and two superb performances from bands that took the subject matter of Darrol Barry's test piece and made it an easy days work for the judges.
Malcolm Wood looks back at the contest when Michael Ball's "Chaucer's Tunes" gave plenty of the bands problems to get to grips with - except the sexy bits of course!
Malcolm Wood looks back at the First Section, where Rodney Newton's "Elfland" Fantasy proved a test piece too far, for far too many.
4BR takes an overall look back at Harrogate 2004 and declares it a success (with a couple of reservations of course).
4BR looks at the three test pieces for the bands this year, and finds out a little more about the composers who wrote them.
We have once again trawled through the record books to find out who have been the most successful Musical Directors (or conductors as they should really be called) at the British Open since the first contest in 1853 to the 153rd this year.
Allan Littlemore profiles the story of William Halliwell, the most successful conductor at the British Open Championships in the 20th Century. 17 times he was a winner over a 26 year period. Will anyone beat that in the next 100 years?
4BR has updated our useless facts and figures again to give you 153 pieces of absolutely pointless pieces of trivia (one for every year) to bore the pants off your friends down the pub (if you really have any left that is).
4BR has further updated its stats file to reveal what are the best draws to gain a win for the bands at the Open. Guess what? You won't be suprised at what we've found.
4BR updates the record of how the qualifiers from the Grand Shield Contest have done at the Open since 1972. It makes sobering reading.
4BR looks at the track records of the 19 men who will take to the stage this year to try and get their name on the most famous trophy in the banding world.
4BR looks at the 19 contenders from the UK and New Zealand, who will be trying to put their names on the famous Gold Trophy for all eternity.
4BR previews the 152nd British Open Championships and the issues it has once more brought to the fore. All that and then we give our predictions as well.
4BR looks at each of the set works for this years contests. Some great works and some very descriptive writing is one offer for the payers and the audience alike to enjoy.
4BR has made its scientifically proved, state of the art predictions of who we think is going to win in Harrogate on the weekend. Not even the jockey Keiran Fallon could pick more winners than us could he?
We take a closer look at the men in box for this year's Nationals in Harrogate.
Band by band analysis of all the competitors battling it out for the crown of Second Section Champions of Great Britain 2004.
Band by band analysis of all the competitors battling it out for the crown of Third Section Champions of Great Britain 2004.
Band by band analysis of all the competitors battling it out for the crown of First Section Champions of Great Britain 2004.
Harrogate Conference Centre, Harrogate, Yorkshire, 11-12 September 2004.
Band by band analysis of all the competitors battling it out for the crown of Fourth Section Champions of Great Britain 2004.
Dave Payn, Principal Cornet of the Fulham Brass Band and conductor of the Merton Concert Band gets on his soapbox and gives his fourpenneth worth on adjudication at lower section contests.
Roger Webster starts his series of masterclasses on the topics of Preperation, Practice and Performance as a taster for his forthcoming study book.
In the second of her series of "Brits Down Under", Amanda Casagrande catches up with Andrew Snell, ex Grimethorpe Bass Trombone, 3500km in the Outback.
David Caldwell looks at the intriguing history of perhaps the most famous trophy in the history of the brass band movement, which today resides in the Museum of Welsh Life near Cardiff.
Alpe d'Huez, France 18th - 26th July 2004
Amanda Casagrande continues her look at the brass band scene in Australia with a profile of one of the many "ex pats" who has been making a name for himself out there - Peter "Monkey" Younghusband.
Young composer and conductor James McFadyen explores the art of conducting technique.
The start of a new series from 4BR sees different people in the brass band world given the chance to air their opinions about the big questions of the day. We start off with David Ashworth giving his two penny worth.
Roger Webster has brought out a brand new range of Eco-lube instrument lubricants.
The Midlanders have just returned from a very enjoyable tour of France. This is their very personal account of the trip to enhance the "Entent Cordiale" between our two great nations.
Amanda Casagrande gives a personal overview of the current brass band scene in Australia, where size really does matter!
"Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Brett...": Katrina Marzella sends us the second part of her Aussie experience.
The Australian National Band Championships 2004 – Launceston, Tasmania. Katrina Marzella sends us the third part of her Aussie experience.
27th June 2004 Howden Park Centre Livingston.
Black Dyke's David Thornton starts his new series of masterclasses on the art of euphonium playing. It all starts with Back to Basics.
Our man Malcolm Wood was out and about on the longest and most enjoyable day of contesting in the brass band calendar.
Legends in Brass: Arthur Laycock "…Trumpeter - what are you sounding now…" By Chris Helme
Find out what Messers Newsome, Read and Scott thought of the performances of the prize-winning bands.
4BR looks back on a day when YBS sunk the opposition on Harrison's Dream
4BR pays its own tribute to John Berryman, who is the recipient of the 2004 All England Masters Dedicated Service Award. A tremendous musician and a very fine man to boot.
We look at Peter Graham's fine set work for this years contest - Harrison's Dream.
4BR updates its 50 facts about the All England Masters. You will be surprised what we have come up with - honestly!
All the records you need to know about the All England Masters Contest this weekend. It's anorak heaven.
We cast our beady eye over the men in charge this weekend to see which of them have done well here, and those who haven't quite hit the heights.
4BR casts its eye over the 19 contenders for the Masters Crown. Who will travel in hope and who will travel with real expectations.
4BR looks at the forthcoming 2004 Masters in Cambridge and take a bit of a punt on who we think might well come up trumps on Sunday.
Live band by band coverage from Blackpool's Winter Gardens
Live band by band coverage from Blackpool's Winter Gardens
Live band by band coverage from Blackpool's Winter Gardens.
John James gives his own retrospective view on the Senior Trophy and wonders if he was the only one who got things wrong.
4BR looks back at the Senior Cup contest and the win from the dreaded number 1 spot for Ransomes on a day when only one other band really pushed them close.
4BR looks back on a Grand Shield which saw Sellers, Rothwell and Desford make it out of the contesting scrum and to Birmingham and the British Open.
Live coverage of the own choice pieces from Glasgow's Royal Concert Hall. Regular band by band updates.
Live coverage of the set test piece St. Magnus, by Kenneth Downie, from Glasgow's Royal Concert Hall. Regular band by band updates.
An enjoyable First Section Contest provided further evidence that the European brass band movement is alive and well, but just needs a little bit of a helping hand.
We have a quick look back on the evening when three tremendous solo players gave us a feast of quality playing and Stavanger showed us how to entertain.
Our man John James was on hand to hear the very interesting presentation given by Nigel Boddice. Here are his thoughts.
John James was on hand to hear the illuminating talk given by the composer of St. Magnus, Kenneth Downie.
4BR looks back at the Championship Contest, which saw victory go once more to the Yorkshire Building Society Band and Professor David King
4BR casts its eye over the bands trying to get one of the four promotion places up for grabs in the Senior Trophy. These are the 19 bands taking part on Saturday.
The most junior of the Spring Festival contests, the Senior Trophy returned to the fold in 2002 and provides ambitious bands the first opportunity to climb up the ladder towards the British Open Championships.
4BR take a closer look at this year's test pieces. They are Les Préludes, Liszt, arranged Bram Gay (second edition); Journey into Freedom - Eric Ball and Concerto for Band - John Golland.
Six men will make the decisions that will make or break the bands this weekend. Nice to see some fresh new faces to add to the undoubted experience of the likes of Roy Newsome, James Scott, Geoffrey Whitham and Derek Broadbent.
4BR takes a look at how the qualifiers from the Grand Shield to the British Open have done since 1991.
The Grand Shield came into being in 1921 and has a history and heritage that is inextricably linked with the British Open Contest and the Belle Vue Gardens in Manchester.
4BR casts its eye over the bands trying to get one of the four promotion places up for grabs in the Senior Cup. These are the bands taking part on Saturday.
The Senior Cup should prove to be a very interesting competition. Plenty of good bands and a great test piece to listen to. This is what we think may happen.
We cast our eye over the 22 bands on show this Saturday in Blackpool. Plenty of talented players, determined MDs and lots and lots of pure unbridled ambition to get to Birmingham.
This Saturday sees the 84th running of the Grand Shield Contest - the hardest brass band contest in the world to win. 22 bands will be trying to book a place at Symphony Hall in Birmingham in September, and we will be there to report on how they do.
Results archive for the First Section contest
The Europeans is not just about the very best bands slugging it out against each other. Since 1994, there has been a First Section Contest, primarily set up to encourage and develop brass banding in countries that did not have a strong historical base.
4BR looks at the men and women of the current European Champions, the Yorkshire Building Society Band, with a little self deprecating help from the players commenting on each other.
What does the 1991 European Championships in Rotterdam have in common with the British National Championships of 1973? Well the answer is that both contests rejected the original choices of test pieces that were made for them for that year.
Royal Albert Hall, London Sunday 8th October 1978
The European Championships like any other institution has had its memorable moments. We have therefore cast our very selective memory over events since 1978 and picked the 5 best and the 5 worst moments.
4BR has updated our useless facts and figures for you to cast an eye over and inwardly digest. You can amaze your friends with all the trivia here (if you have any left that is).
Over the years this has proved to be the most fascinating aspect of the contest as bands have tried to "showcase" their talents to impress the judges. Sometimes though the music loses out as the bands try to bring the house down.
4BR has updated all those records that are so essential to bore the pants off your friends down the pub. Here's the full list of who has won what and how many times, who was in the box etc - we can hear some people starting to yawn already.
4BR has delved into the archives to unearth three photos of winning bands from three different decades. These would have laid gathering dust until we did our Lord Caernavon/Howard Carter impression and did a bit of music archaeology.
Kenneth Downie has decided to test the bands at the European Championships with a set work entitled "St. Magnus" Variations for the European. It is available from SP&S publihsers. Study scores will be available on the day of the contest.
Six men (no women) will this year make the decision to choose the 27th European Champions. No notes will be produced to scrutinise afterwards, so clear heads and lots of musical experience will count.
4BR casts it eye over the bands who will be locking horns at the Royal Glasgow Concert Hall on the weekend. This year there is a fantastically strong line up of bands from around Europe who will compete to become the 27th Champion Brass Band of Europe.
4BR starts its coverage of the 27th European Brass Band Championships with a look at the fair city of Glasgow and then a look at who we think may come out on top on the weekend itself.
Cold Ash Brass
Cold Ash Brass (5 mins from J13, Newbury, of M4), Musical Director Jemma Evans, require PRINCIPAL CORNET. After fifth and fou...
SEWBBA Ebbw Vale
Venue: Ebbw Vale Leisure Centre, Municipal Offices, Civic Centre, Gwent. NP23 6XB
Regent Hall Concerts Academy Trombone Choir
Venue: Regent Hall (The Salvation Army). 275, Oxford Street - opposite BHS. London W1C 2DJ