2006 4BR Awards - Lower Section Band of the Year


Who was the best Lower Section/Youth Band in 2006 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.

AwardsThis should in no way be seen as a lesser award than the ‘Band of the Year' title, as the bands who perform below Championship level put in every bit as much effort as those who tend to get the glory and extended coverage for their achievements at the major contests of the year.

Again in 2006, this has been a very difficult category to agree upon our nominations as once more in the real world, the triumph of trying to keep a non sponsored band on the road deserves an award in itself. Well done everyone them for that.

Plenty to choose from – both Lower Section and Youth Bands come into this category, but we went for a five of: Pennine Brass; Oldham (Lees) Band; Dodworth Colliery MW; Brass Band Oberosterreich; Mount Charles Youth.

That said we could have had a choice of literally hundreds of bands with the likes of the Greater Gwent Youth Band, Smithills Schools, Kibworth, Long Eaton, Tomra Brass Band, Kopervik Musikorps, Rochdale Borough Youth, Haverhill, Gwynedd Mon Senior, Camborne Youth, Marsden Silver…the list goes on and on.

Please, remember these are just our nominations, so if you think your band had a great year, make sure you stick in your vote. We have not left out any band deliberately and we tried to cover as many bands as possible. 

Pennine Brass

It would be very hard on Pennine Brass to describe that accurately as a lower section band, but on paper at least, that is what they are. On the contest and concert platform this year, they have certainly shown that they are not though.

Robbed of success at Bradford, they have gone on to show that they are now a band of maturity, talent and no little ability either, and that culminated by winning the Pontins title at Prestatyn late last year by a clear head and shoulder from a hard nosed field of bands – many with considerably more top level experience over the past few years.

If they play to that form in 2007 they could well clean up the prizes wherever they go.   

Oldham LeesOldham (Lees) Band

It has been a real pleasure listening to the Oldham (Lees) Band this year. Excellently directed by John Collins they have grown in maturity and delivered a whole host of performances that would have more than held their own at a level way above the Fourth Section.

They just missed out at Harrogate, but won Pontins in fine style with a combination of well drilled basics, excellent tuning and a real understanding of what they were playing on the stands.

Hard work and perspiration of course, but talent and inspiration by the bucket load too.

DodworthDodworth Colliery MW

Yorkshire can lay claim to perhaps the two very best Fourth Section band in the country in 2006, and the friendly rivalry between Dodworth and Oldham (Lees) was one of the most enjoyable features of the whole year. It pushed both bands to new heights.

Dodworth also had a trump card in the form of their MD, Eliot Darwin, but he was only as good as the players beneath him, and throughout 2006, as the triumphs of Bradford and Harrogate showed that meant that his players we all little crackers too.

Great to see them back, and great to hear a band that works their socks off to showcase their talents. 

Brass Band Oberosterreich

A bit like Pennine, it would really be a bit unfair to describe Brass Band Oberosterreich as a lower section ensemble.

What they showed at Belfast once again, was that when you bring together world class (and we do mean world class) playing talent together under a sympathetic and highly respected conductor, the results can be spectacular. They were: It was stunning playing.

Hopefully we may get to hear more of them in 2007. If you get the chance, do not miss them.  

Mount CharlesMount Charles Youth

There really must be something in the water in Cornwall at present, because the area is producing a whole crop of talented young performers that is the envy of the rest of the brass band world.

In 2006 that talent was undoubtedly led by Mount Charles Youth who won the National Youth Championships and Pontins British Open Championships – two outstanding achievements in an outstanding year.

They were a credit to their conductor, Richard Marshall, their teachers, parents and supporters. But most of all – to themselves.  


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