2009 4BR Awards - Band of the Year


Who do you think should be awarded the accolade as the 4BR Band of the Year for 2009. Plenty to choose from isn't there?

4barsrest awardsOnce more it has been a difficult choice to put forward just five bands worthy of taking the most prestigious 4BR title. 

There was less sharing out of the major titles this year, but the eventual winners did come from the elite group of bands that have dominated the contesting scene since the turn of the Millennium. 

As last year, the usual suspects have had good seasons, whilst others have also forced their way up the rankings by virtue of their contest performances and into the consciousness of the banding public with high quality recordings and concerts. 

Consistency is the name of the game though and some bands have shone brightly only on a sporadic basis, whilst the real class has done the business again and again.

It is a difficult task this year, but we have opted for a five of Cory, Fountain City,Rothwell Temperance, Black Dyke and Foden's. 

Other contenders for us though were plentiful, with the likes of Eikanger, Treize Etoiles, Redbridge, Scottish Co-op, Marsden, United Co-op Milnrow, Woolston Brass, Laganvale, Windcorp Brass, Concord, De Waldsang,  Buizingen, Pemberton Old, BTM, Desford, Camborne, EYMS,  ashton, Gunnedah Shire, Brass Band Rijnmond, Kirkintilloch, Beaumaris, Tredegar, Bugermusik Luzern - and that is justy a few of the winners this year...   


Hard to muster any sort of argument for not including them in the short list of names to consider for the top prize this year.

The record of 2009 speaks for itself: World, European, British Open and Welsh Champions, podium finishes at London and Brass in Concert.

Much is expected of Cory, but they still have to produce the goods, and their playing at times during the year (their 125th no less) was exceptional in anyone’s book.

Fountain CityFountain City

Hard to think of another overseas band to have made such an impact on the British banding public since the National Band of New Zealand won the British Open in 1953.

The rumours about their quality were well founded after their domestic ‘double’ and after a brace of thrilling performances at Brass in Concert, it was just about confirmed.

Any doubters were left with little to quibble over after their victory at the Scottish Open. A new banding power has arrived.

RothwellRothwell Temperance

The rise and rise of Rothwell was one of the real stories of 2009 – from their wins at the Yorkshire Regional Championships and the Grand Shield to their excellence at the National Finals.

They did have the occasional contesting hiccup on the way (and were brave enough to make the odd hard nosed contest decision too), but their progress has been real and long term and is a credit to the conductor, players and the band’s self funded organisation.

No longer a well backed dark horse, Rothwell is now a pedigree thoroughbred on any major contesting stage.

Black DykeBlack Dyke

The demands are such at Black Dyke that even retaining the National title and winning the English National this year may not have put a smile on everyone’s face at Queensbury. 

However, they were a gnat’s hair away from winning the British Open and they produced a number of concert performances (most notably at Brass in Concert) that were simply thrilling.

All that and they managed to squeeze in an outstanding tour to Australia, record some top notch CDs and produce the innovative Black Dyke Festival too.


Foden’s had to wait a long time in 2009 to walk away with major silverware to their name, but it would be churlish to think that their season was all about that fine win at Brass in Concert.

They were a class apart at the Masters and at the Area and walked away with the Tameside loot for an 8th successive year, but they also popped in classy accounts at the British Open and English Nationals and just missed out by the narrowest of margins at the Nationals.

They also produced the single outstanding brass band concert of the entire year at the Royal Northern College Festival of Brass.


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