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2014 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 2014 — and it may not have been a winner

The nominations from the 4BR team for consideration are...

Black Dyke

Black Dyke: The Legend of King Arthur (Peter Meechan) 
Conductor: Prof Nicholas Childs
National Championships of Great Britain

There may have been debate about the piece itself - but there was none about the quality or substance of the winning rendition given by Black Dyke at the Royal Albert Hall.

Drawn last and with a seventh ‘Double’ up for grabs, they delivered a performance of such commanding authority that the judges could have just walked out of the box and presented them and their triumphant MD with the big silver pot therefore the last note finally died away in the vast expanse of the auditorium.


Dyke wait to go on

Black Dyke: The Triumph of Time (Peter Graham)

Conductor: Prof Nicholas Childs
Own Choice - European Championship

The performance that ignited Black Dyke’s year: Once again there was debate about the piece itself - but none about how it was delivered from the Perth Concert Hall stage.

It was showcase stuff - almost an arrogant display of sheer virtuosity that left the audience slack jawed in stunned appreciation: It was rather like a 21st century update on ‘Fireworks’, as soloists and sections displayed their full array of talents.  At its centre was the MD - the master manipulator of all he controlled that day.


Luzern

Band Burgermusik Luzern: Trance (Thomas Doss) 
Conductor: Michael Bach
Own choice - Swiss National Championship Brass 

There were rumours that Luzern were ‘going for it’ at Montreux this year - and by heck they did that and more with the latest supremely inventive work from the pen of Thomas Doss.

The MD was at his thrilling best, with his players responding with such sparkling virtuosity and deep seated musicality that it was little wonder that by its close the roof of the Stravinsky Auditorium was very nearly blown off in acclamation. This had it all with bells on too - and all inspired by the troubled thoughts of an unwanted pregnancy....


Taking the applause

Eikanger Bjorsvik Musikklag: Goldberg 2012 (Svein Henrik Giske)

Conductor: Prof David King
Own choice - Norwegian National Championship

Not perfect by any means - but still - what a deeply satisfying performance of such an immensely difficult work.

This was music the MD revelled in - and so did his players; illuminating its eclectic elements, from Bach to the Brekker Brothers in all their glory - including a central section of such melancholic beauty that it very nearly  froze the blood in your veins. They gave a technically safer performance at the Europeans, but for sheer musical intuitiveness this was hard to beat.


Siddis

Stavanger: ‘Sainteté: Difficile mais pas impossible’ (Simon Dobson)
Conductor: Allan Withington
Siddis Entertainment Championship

You have to hand it to Allan Withington: He doesn’t see musical boundaries, just exciting new possibilities to explore on the horizon. This time it was the story of Joan of Arc (created in partnership with composer Simon Dobson) - from saintly dreams and coffee house jazz, Marcel Marceau mime to flaming martyrdom.

Stavanger do this better than just about anyone around - and this mini masterclass (which won the title for a third successive year) was simply sensational. The Brits are still stubbornly waiting to be converted to Nordic entertainment genres, but more performances like this and it won’t be long.



Black Dyke Band - Gladstone Theatre

Sunday 26 January • Gladstone Theatre, Greendale Road,Birkenhead,. Wirral CH62 4XB


Contest: Brass in the Wire

Sunday 26 January • Pyramid and Parr Hall, Palmyra Square, Warrington WA1 1BL


Tredegar Town Band - RNCM Festival of Brass

Sunday 26 January • Royal Northern College of Music. 124 Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9RD


Regent Hall Concerts - Guards Virtuosi

Friday 31 January • Charlton House. Charlton Road. London. SE7 8RE SE7 8RE


Regent Hall Concerts - Countess of Wessex's String Orchestra

Friday 31 January • Regent Hall (The Salvation Army). 275 Oxford Street . (Opposite RESERVED). London. W1C 2DJ W1C 2DJ


Shipston Town Band

January 29 • We are looking for a Bb Bass and Eb Bass as we prepare for the Midlands Area Section 3 in March and the ODBBA Winter Contest in February. After qualifying for the finals at Cheltenham last September we are looking to make an impression in our new section


Haverhill Silver Band

January 29 • Haverhill Silver Band require first class players for the following positions: . 1st Horn, . Bass Trom. . To start following the area contest (22nd March)


Worsbrough Brass

January 28 • Worsbrough Brass needs YOU!. Our friendly 2nd Section band are looking for new players (Instrument and Positions negotiable).. We have our own band room 2 miles from M1 Jcn36 and practice Thu 7.30pm-9.30pm & Sun 6.30pm-8.30pm. All Welcome!


James Chamberlain

BMus (Hons) PGCE
Conductor, Teacher


               

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