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2011 4BR Awards — Lower Section Band of the Year

So many bands had a 2011 to remember — so which one deserves the accolade as Lower Section/Youth Band of the Year?

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4barsrest awardsGiven the number of contests there were during 2011, it was an almost impossible task to select just five bands to highlight for consideration. 

From Butlins in January to the Scottish Open in November with all stops in between – and not just in the UK, it was a busy and somewhat unpredictable season.

There were a whole host that could look back on 2011 with a great deal of satisfaction – not just these five. 

So if you think your band deserves the accolade, then why not give them a vote?


CarnoustieCarnoustie & District Youth Band

Once again the leading youth band around, despite being knocked off their domestic perch at the Scottish Youth Championships in November. 

Perhaps that was the first real hint that a new generation will have be moulded into championship winning form by the inspirational MD, Michael Robertson – but you wouldn’t want to bet against doing just that once more. 

Outstanding winners of the Premier Section National Youth title in Manchester and deserved recipients of the Radio 2, Young Brass Award as Youth Brass Band of the Year. 

They remain the standard bearers of youth banding excellence in the UK.


AldbourneAldbourne

What a year for the West of England band. 

To win three major titles – the West of England Area, Senior Trophy and First Section National Finals was remarkable enough, but to do so in such a thrilling, almost cavalier fashion made them a delight to listen to.

The flamboyant musical personality of their MD, David Johnson permeated through his band to such an extent that they performed with a sense of free flowing bravura that was the very antithesis of the boring, risk free performances of many their rivals.


BradfordCity of Bradford

Ambitious, thrilling, idiosyncratic – everything a good brass band should be like in fact. 

Former Black Dyke percussionist Lee Skipsey has totally reinvigorated – make that re-invented - the former YBS Concert Band into a organisation that must be an absolute joy to be part of.

He leads from the front with a degree of showmanship that combines style as well as substance – and his players follow suit. 

Started the year off solidly at Butlins and the Yorkshire Area, before putting on the turbo boosters to fill the coffers at Whit Friday and local march contests, and winning the Third Section National title and the Northern Open.


BjorsvikBjorsvik Brass

Without doubt the best non championship section band in the world in 2011. 

Hearing them at the Norwegian Nationals where they jaw –dropping rendition of ‘Essence of Time’ under the baton of Russell Gray that would have won the vast majority of elite standard contests anywhere on the banding globe, was one of the real highlight of this, or any other year.

It does help that the ranks are full of some of Norway’s finest ‘semi retired’ performers’, but reputations alone don’t make you play like this. 

A band to savour and enjoy, they rounded off the year by winning the SIDDIS title too.


BrunelBrunel Brass

The continued rise of Brunel Brass should be the blueprint of inspiration to any band in the UK and beyond. 

Led by the outstanding John Winterflood, 2011 saw them not only claim the West of England Area title in Torquay, but go on to claim the National title in Cheltenham too. 

They have come such a long way since they were formed in 2006 that it is easy to forget just how much they have achieved in such a short space of time – and all on the basis of one quality rehearsal a week.

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The Fairey Band -

Sunday 20 October • . The Hawth,. Hawth Avenue, Crawley. RH10 6YZ RH10 6YZ


Regent Hall Concerts - Fulham Brass Band

Friday 25 October • Regent Hall (The Salvation Army). 275 Oxford Street Opp. RESERVED. London . W1C 2DJ


Haverhill Silver Band - Best of Brass

Saturday 26 October • Thaxted Parish Church,. Thaxted. Dunmow,. CM6 2PL


Foden's Band - Victoria Hall, Hanley

Sunday 27 October • Victoria Hall, Bagnall Strett, Stoke on Trent, ST1 3AD


Regent Hall Concerts - Royal Greenwich Brass Band

Friday 1 November • Charlton House. Charlton Road. London. SE7 8RE SE7 8RE


Waltham St. Lawrence Silver Band

October 20 • Our friendly non-contesting band, within easy reach of Maidenhead, Bracknell and Reading, seeks 2nd & 3rd cornets, a trombone player and Bb bass. Other players also welcome!


Upper Rhondda Brass Band

October 19 • Principle Cornet - We have a new vacancy for this position. We are a 3rd section band, with a full schedule coming up over the rest of the contesting season, into the Christmas period and onward into the New year.


Upper Rhondda Brass Band

October 19 • As one of our young players is leaving to further his Education in America, we are looking for a Sop player. We also have Vacancies for Principle and assistant Solo Cornet, for B-flat and E-flat Basses and a Tuned Percussionist.


Darren R. Hawken

PGdip, BMus(hons) PGCE, dipABRSM, LRSM
Conductor, Arranger, Teacher, Adjudicator, Band Trainer


               

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