2004 4BR Awards - The Results


Who came top of the 4BR Awards for 2004 then? If you are ready, we shall reveal the long awaited list of winners.

We hope you all had a fantastic Christmas, and that you are full up with turkey, sprouts and Christmas pudding. And, if you are loggin in to look at the results of the 2004 4BR Awards then you must be desperate to avoid the washing up, the Queen's Speech or a game of Twister with your Grandmother, or you could also be one of the 7500 people who took the time to vote in all categories.  That's was over 60,000 votes we had to look at and put through our abacus!

Many thanks to everyone for taking the time to vote (and we did pick up a few who tried to circumvent the process by a bit of unsubtle cheating!) and many thanks for making nominations (when given the choice) that had so much merit to them.

Still, enough of the small talk, and our scantily clad assistant will now open the envelopes to reveal the 2004 winners.

The winners will be getting a wonderful certificate to proudly display on their bandroom or bedroom wall in the early part of the New Year.

David King2004 4BR Band of the Year:

And the winner is….
The Yorkshire Building Society Brass Band - conductor Professor David King.

They may know be known as the YBS Band, but you gave them the recognition they deserved for a year of achievement that saw them win the European Championships, the All England Masters and the Yorkshire Regional title, as well as come runners up at the Nationals, release some wonderful recordings and take part in some ground breaking concerts. They picked up 36% of the votes cast.

Close behind them came Black Dyke with 28% of the votes and then Reg Vardy (Ever Ready) with 22%.

Worthy mentions should also be made for the votes cast in respect to Sellers International, Willebroek, Foden's Richardson, Buy As You View, Staffordshire, Stavanger and Dalewool Auckland,  but it was really a fight between the big two with YBS coming out on top for the third time since these awards were initiated in 2001. Congratulations to them. 

Ray Farr2004 4BR Conductor of the Year:

And the winner is… Ray Farr.

What a great line up of talent we had on show here, but it was perhaps something of a surprise to us that the winner in a very close four way scrap was in fact the elder statesman of them all. His work in revitalising the Reg Vardy (Ever Ready) Band into an outfit that challenged strongly for major honours this year and could be the form horse to look out for next, won a huge army of admirers, whilst his educational work at Durham University has also won over critics and a new audience for serious brass music in the North East.

Ray polled 26% of the votes cast, just ahead of Professor David King in second place with 24%, Dr. Nicholas Childs in third with 21% and Garry Cutt in fourth with 18%.  

There was a whole batch of other nominations as well (with some favouritism we detect from a couple of crawlers in certain bands looking to keep in with their MDs in some, not mentioned cases!). Worthy mentions though to Steve Bastable, Chris Wormald, Frans Violet, Frank Renton, Mark Peacock, Robert Childs and Morten E. Hansen among others.

Well done Ray Farr though – a worthy winner indeed.

David Childs2004 4BR Player of the Year:

And the winner is… David Childs.

And a clear winner he was too, polling 58% of the votes cast. His performances on the concert and contest stage certainly made a huge impression not only with his fans in the brass band movement, but also with a new and expanding audience who have come to be enthralled by his talent and personality. His playing this year has been nothing short of phenomenal, and although he has won recognition from adjudicators and his peers, it was fitting that brass lovers overwhelmingly voted for him as the Player of the Year as well.

In second place came the tremendously talented Alex Kerwin with 12%, with Roger Webster in third place with 11% and Raf Van Looveren in fourth with 10%.  Worthy mentions must also go to Katrina Marzella, Kirsty Abbotts, Steve Stuart, Peter Roberts, Robert Westacott, David Thornton and  Sheona White.

However, in a year in which he pushed the profile of the euphonium further in the public consciousness than perhaps anyone has ever done, David Childs is a most deserved winner. 

Music of the Spheres2004 4BR CD of the Year:

And the winner is…
‘Music of the Spheres' by the Yorkshire Building Society Band.

There were only two releases in it; and YBS and their amazing display of virtuosity in performing four major test pieces on a single release pipped Black Dyke and their equally fantastic achievement with ‘The Trumpets of the Angels' featuring major compositions of Edward Gregson.

'Spheres' polled 46% of the votes cast – just two points ahead of ‘Trumpets' on 44% and never have two releases so dominated both peoples thoughts and preferences, whilst we are sure that serious brass music lovers will have both in their CD collections.

Still, the wonderful monument to Professor David King and his band fully deserved to take the award, and it is a release that will live long in the collective memory of those who have either purchased it or just listened to the breathtaking paying it contains.

Worthy mentions though to ‘Brass Band Classic. Vol. 3' from the BAYV Band, as well as to Grimethorpe and their ‘History of Brass Band Music' and the DVD of the European Championships from Glasgow.

Legend - Peter Roberts2004 4BR Solo CD of the Year:

And the winner is…'Legend' by Peter Roberts.

A really close run thing this, with all five of the nominations put forward by 4BR dominating proceedings. It was however, the brilliant release from the greatest soprano player the world has ever known that won the day.

Perhaps it was because it was a release so eagerly awaited by his legion of fans and admirers, but we also think it was something more to do with it being a masterful display of the full facets ogf his undoubted talent. In the end he polled 32% of the votes cast, with Alex Kerwin's fine, ‘The Kerwin Sound' coming a close second on 28% with David Thornton's ‘Three Worlds' a couple of points further back on 25%. Worthy mentions also for Roger Webster's ‘Passport' release and a couple of new releases from Stephen Mead, which had more than a few admirers. Other than that though it was a field dominated by these brilliant virtuoso players and the amazing Peter Roberts in particular. 

2004 4BR Newcomer of the Year:

And the winner is …
The National Children's Brass Band of Great Britain.

Congratulations to everyone involved in the fantastic project and it is a delight that voters realised that looking after the future generations of potential long term lovers of brass band performers is something that should be recognised in full.

The NCBB polled over 66% of the votes cast – well ahead of the other newcomers who were certainly not disgraced on this occasion. It was an inspired decision to set up this organisation and with wonderful support and teaching this could be one of the most important innovations in our movements recent history. Worthy mentions though should still be made to Nick Walkley who came second in the polling with 15% of the votes cast and third placed Ulf E Rosenburg with 8%. Other well deserving of their nominations and votes were Michael J. Garassi, Paul Lovatt Cooper, Mark Peacock , Peter Meechan and Daniel Powell. 

Chris Wormald2004 4BR Lower Section/Youth Band of the Year:

And the winner is… Smithills School Senior Band.

Plenty of nominations in this category (and lots for Youth Bands), but it was the continued great work of the school and primarily of its conductor Chris Wormald which won the admiration and the votes this year and gave then the title for the second successive year in a row. 

Smithills polled 34% of the votes and although there was a close run battle for second place that went by a hairs breath to Hoover (Bolton) just ahead of Dearham on 20% to 19% respectfully, the winners were clear cut.

Worthy nominations and plenty of votes for the likes of Pemberton Old, Potter Bar, Hathern, Parc and Dare, Young Brass Band Willebroek, Mount Charles Youth, Beaumaris Youth, Boarshurst, Uppermill, Kilmarnock, Wrexham and many, many more.

Kenneth Downie2004 4BR Test Piece of the Year:

And the winner is… 'St. Magnus' by Kenneth Downie.

What a fantastic piece of music. Beautifully realised by the composer to enable bands to showcase their technical and musical abilities and detailed to such an extent that little subtle nuances continually appear the more you delve into the score. It takes a superb band to play it as it should be and we were lucky enough to hear a small handful of such performances at the European and British Open Championships. It has already become a classic.

Such was its impact with listeners and voters that it polled 38% of the votes cast, beating the amazing ‘Music of the Spheres' by Philip Sparke into second place with 33% of the vote.  Behind these two major compositions of the year came ‘Contest Music' - which showed that it has lost none of its popularity by gaining 18% of the votes. Worthy mentions too for ‘Tristan Encounters', ‘Montage', ‘Dances and Arias', ‘Vizcaya', ‘…all the flowers of the mountain…', ‘King of Elfland's Daughter' and 'Attleborough Suite'.

Nick Childs2004 4BR Contest Performance of the Year:

And the winner is…
‘Montage' by Black Dyke at the British Open - conducted by Dr. Nicholas Childs.

This really was a category that got you mentioning just about every performance under the sun, but just like the CD category, it was a huge scrap between the Yorkshire Building Society and Black Dyke once more for the award.

In the end it was another close run thing, but that mesmerising performance off the number 6 draw at Birmingham's Symphony Hall on the 18th September was the one that you felt sent the tingle down the spine the most, and it gained 37% of the total votes cast. Just behind came YBS and their electric performance of ‘Music of the Spheres' at the European Championships in May, which gained 35% of the votes cast.

Worthy mentions though to BAYV at the Europeans themselves on ‘St. Magnus' which gained 10% and again at the British Open, whilst there were plenty of votes for YBS at the Regionals on ‘Tristan Encounters', Brighouse and Rastrick on ‘Harrison's Dream' at Cambridge, YBS again at Cambridge on the same piece, Foden's winning performance at the Open on ‘Contest Music', Willebroek playing ‘Music of the Spheres' at the Belgium Nationals, Brass Band of Central Florida at the US Open and Grimethorpe at Spennymoor. Other nominations included Hathern at the Lower Section Finals, United Norwest 2000 at Pontins, Reg Vardy (Ever Ready) at London… the list was near endless, but it was Black Dyke and the reaction their great performance received from the audience when it was announced only as the sixth best on the day that triggered the most responses.   


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