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The 2002 4BarsRest awards:

Newcomer of the Year

A new award for 2002 – and something of an eclectic one at that. We have seen quite a few newcomers arrive on the scene this year, from new conductors, new up and coming players, new composing talents and even some new prize winning bands and faces that have caused a bit of a stir or two.

It is therefore difficult to choose who deserves the honour, but we have tried to pick five who we think have made a fresh mark on the banding world in 2002. Some may have been around for a while, but during the year the have made their mark – possibly for the first time in quite a while. See what you think and have your own vote. New talent needs nurturing and encouragement.

Cwmaman Institute Silver (Tower Colliery)

It is a fair bet that not many people outside of Wales had even heard of this band before 2002, but given their fine achievements in winning the Grand Shield and then following this up by coming 5th at the British Open (and off the number 2 draw), you can bet your bottom dollar people know who they are now.

John Hudson made his pilgrimage back to the UK for the Grand Shield and where others just shot themselves in the foot, Cwmaman stepped lightly through the carnage of “Checkmate” to win by a short nose from Besses O’ th’ Barn and a host of so called more “fancied” bands. And just when the chorus of “one hit wonder” jibes were at their height they go along and come 5th at the Open. Even though they have struggled a little in other contests during the year, these two achievements alone are more than worthy of a very strong and deserved nomination.

Ian McElligottMajor Ian McElligott

Hands up who ever heard of this bloke then prior to the Open? A few hardy ex military bandsmen and the players of the Staines Band for sure, but the rest of us?

From Major Who? to Major Talent in the space of two contests – Ian McElligott has been the new conductor of 2002 who for us has made the biggest impression. A beautiful military style of baton work – technically correct, clear as my Grans front window and with no afflictions of ego on stage. The Major was a delight to observe and his charges a revelation to listen to as Brighouse and Rastrick finally found a worthy successor to Allan Withington. The performances in coming 4th at the Open and 6th at the Nationals (where they gave a corker of a show off number 1) was very much a product of a man who knew his business and demanded respect. Watch out for the combination in 2003.

Simon DobsonSimon Dobson

We first came across this very talented young man at the European Brass Band Championships in Brussels in May, when we heard his composition entitled “Four Britten Sketches” win the 2nd European Composers Competition.

This was a superbly crafted piece and showed that here was a man with an innate knowledge of the medium. Therefore we were delighted to see (and hear) that his “Lydian Pictures” had been chosen as the Fourth Section set work for the Regional Championships on 2003. This too is a very special work – three movements crafted with wit and pathos with plenty for the players and audiences to enjoy. If only all test pieces were as good as this. If you are at a loose end come the Regionals, take the chance to get up early and listen to a lovely bit of writing, whilst we think it worth a bet that by 2012 he may be the man writing the test piece for the Championship National Finals themselves.

Natsumi InabaNatsumi Inaba

The new British Open Solo Champion and a young talent with a huge future ahead of her. Natsumi won the title in Dukinfield with a breathtaking performance of Peter Graham’s “Brilliante” that had many wise old heads taking some very short intakes of breath.

In 2001 she had come close, being runner up to Andrew King, but this year she displayed her full range of euphonium talents to beat a very strong field. In addition she has played a central role in the resurgence of Besses O’ th’ Barn with some lovely solo and ensemble playing in each of the bands performances at top level contests throughout the year. All this and she makes it sound and appear so easy. Some player in the making and the Aussies better watch out come the Ern Keller contest in February.

BreathlessCornelia Parker

If anyone in the banding world made a bigger impression in 2002 we would like to meet them. Remember “Breathless” – no, not the crap film with Richard Gere – but the brilliantly inventive and quite beautiful sculpture that created so much of a storm in the tea cups of the blue rinse, hang ‘em high, Daily Mail brigade?

For those who have seen the sculpture, it remains a thing of beauty and more importantly asks questions of our so-called proud “heritage”. The ill informed conservative right had a bit of a field day, until it was pointed out it was the very organisations who they felt were losing out on the destruction of the instruments were in fact the ones who had provided them for the work itself. Brilliant bonkers stuff from the stuffed shirts – where would we be without them. Go and see it and smile.

How to vote....

Make sure you read all the articles for each category before going to the voting form.

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