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2011 4BR Awards — 4BR Special Award - Philip Sparke

In 2011 the 4BR Special Award goes to a musician who has provided the brass band movement with a treasure trove of quite brilliant compositions.

SparkeIt would be difficult think what the brass band world would have been like if Philip Sparke had decided that his compositional talents lay elsewhere.

Thankfully, he didn’t – although he has been just as successful when he has written for all sorts of other musical mediums.

Great works

He has given us a host of truly great major works – and many more just as memorable ‘minor’ ones too – from youth band level to the superstars of world of brass, and his unique ability to be able to write in any style or genre without ever losing his personal stamp of authenticity is remarkable.

His website lists around 200 original compositions and arrangements from brass – from solos and duets to concert repertoire and major test pieces.  It is hard to think of a composer whose work has been performed and enjoyed so much anywhere in the banding world.

Ask any brass band performers to list their favourite concert or contest works and the name of Philip Sparke appears time and time again. 

Outstanding

As a result he has notched up more awards in recognition of his excellence than even Sir Alex Ferguson along the way – all of which have been graciously accepted, whilst he is also an outstanding adjudicator, free minded thinker and opinion maker.

He has done more than any other composer to enhance the quality of contest repertoire than any other in the movement’s history – challenging musical and technical expectations with an unerring ability to push the boundaries for performers with tantalising, realistic ambitions.   

All that, and the audiences the bands perform too are not left feeling isolated or unengaged by the technical prowess that is displayed in the musical process.

For that alone we should remain forever in his debt.



Shrewsbury Brass Band - United Reformed Church Choir

Saturday 20 July • United Reformed Church. Coleham Head. Shrewsbury . Shropshire SY3 7BJ


Norfolk Wherry Brass - Norfolk Wherry Brass Memorial Concert

Sunday 21 July • Lingwood Village Hall. Station Road. Norwich. Norfolk. NR13 4AZ


Lewes, Glynde and Beddingham Brass Band - Eastbourne Bandstand - 1812 concert

Wednesday 31 July • Bandstand, Grand Parade, Eastbourne BN21 3AD


Lewes, Glynde and Beddingham Brass Band - Commercial Square Bonfire Society, The Jumping Jac

Saturday 3 August • The Paddock. Little Paddock Lane. Lewes BN7 1UU


Gresley Colliery Band - Byrkley Park Garden Centre

Saturday 10 August • Byrkley Drive, Rangemore St, Burton upon Trent . DE13 9RN


Stannington Brass Band

July 20 • A rare opportunity has arisen to join one of Sheffield's leading bands with a vacancy for an EEb tuba player to complete our bass section. We have a good band room atmosphere and a calendar of interesting concerts and contests.


Foss Dyke Band

July 20 • We are looking to strengthen for our return to the 1st Section next year. Under the direction of Michael Howley and assistant conductor Ian Scot. We require E flat and a B flat Bass, and a 2nd Trombone. Great band room atmosphere.


Foss Dyke Band

July 20 • We are looking to strengthen the band for our return to the 1st Section next year. Under the direction of Michael Howley and assistant conductor Ian Scott. We rehearse Wednesday nights 8-10 and Sundays 7-9. The band require a Solo Horn, 2nd Baritone.


James Chamberlain

BMus (Hons) PGCE
Conductor, Teacher