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2011 4BR Awards — Contest Performance of the Year

Perhaps the most difficult of all the categories to choose the best from? Which contest performance stood out for you in 2011 — and it may not have been a winner?

4barsrest awards

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With so many contests to choose from, which performances lingered longest in the memory banks, and which ones faded quicker than Blackburn Rovers’ attempt to stay in the Premiership?

These were the five that made us sit back and enjoy the most in 2011 – but we are sure there are plenty more that are worthy of a vote or two?


MangerManger Musikklag
Old Licks Bluesed Up (Torstein Aagaard-Nilsen)
Conductor: Peter Sebastian Szilvay
European Brass Band Championships
 

After delivering a truly outstanding performance of the work at the Norwegian National Championship in February, Manger managed to top it with this rendition in Montreux.

Free of any domestic rivalries, they played their hearts out for the banding honour of their country, fronted by an MD who drew out a sense of emotive musicality that by its close left you physically drained.


EikangerEikanger Bjorsvik
Spiriti (Thomas Doss)
Conductor: David King
Norwegian National Championship


Eikanger back to their very, very best – all thanks to a MD in David King who revelled in the opportunity presented to him to create a definitive performance of a work of immense stature. 

Layer upon layer of detail was revealed in all its glory, whilst the sense of musicality elicited from the players was a thing of rare beauty. 

At its close you knew you had just heard one of the truly great brass band contest performances.


CoryCory
Red Priest (Philip Wilby)
Conductor: Dr Robert Childs
British Open Championship


Cory was a class apart at the British Open in 2011, thanks to a performance that was not only nigh on technically perfect, but was also musically on a different level too. 

It was as if Dr Robert Childs had finally liberated his centralised technocratic control impulses and had become the high priest of laissez-faire contest music provision. It was glorious.


BrighouseBrighouse & Rastrick
Paganini Variations (Philip Wilby)
Conductor: David King
Yorkshire Regional Championship
 

The most visceral, gut wrenching, emotion soaked contesting performance since Grimethorpe won the National title in 1992. 

It didn’t matter that it was by no means technically perfect – David King ripped out the beating heart out of Wilby’s magnificent score and presented to the adoring masses in the hall like an Aztec priest appeasing the contesting Gods.

And the mere mortals sat in the plush seats of St George’s Hall late that Sunday night in March went stark raving bonkers.


Bjorsvik BrassBjorsvik Brass
Essence of Time (Peter Graham)
Conductor: Russell Gray
First Division Norwegian Championships


The single contest performance of 2011 that put the biggest smile of musical satisfaction on the faces of the conductor, performers and lucky listeners alike. 

Bjorsvik Brass is some band – but this was some performance even by their standards. 

Played with such relaxed insouciance, borne of artistic musical integrity than artisan contest winning workmanship, Russell Gray moulded the intricate detail of Peter Graham’s score into the musical equivalent of a Faberge Egg – a thing of priceless, completely redundant beauty. 

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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


Shrewsbury Brass Band

July 19 • Percussionist required to join our outstanding percussion team. Must be able to play tuned and untuned percussion to a good


Harlow Brass Band

July 18 • Musical Director required. Harlow Brass are looking for a new musical director. We are a very friendly band who perform at various local events and hold our own concerts throughout the year. We rehearse on a Thursday evening in Harlow.


Amesbury Town Band

July 18 • Players and beginners of any standard are always warmly welcomed, especially solo cornets, Eb horns, trombones and percussionists. We don't contest, so feel free to drop in if you just fancy a blow or want to try another instrument. See our Learners' page


Jonathan Pippen


Conductor, Adjudicator, Trombone Soloist & Clinician