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2013: November

The 4BR editorial opinions on appreciating our composers, a welcome return to the box and in praise of the Welsh...

Appreciating our composers

The news that major works by Edward Gregson, Nigel Clarke and the quartet of Simon Dobson, Lucy Pankhurst, Paul McGhee and Gavin Higgins have been shortlisted for 2013 British Composer Awards, will hopefully provide the high profile stimulus contest promoters require to use their compositional talents on a more regular, rather than occasional ad hoc, basis at major competitions.

The diversity of musical language they (and others) offer is remarkable for the brass band medium - from Gregson’s expertly realised homage ‘Of Distant Memories’ to Clarke’s extraordinary ‘When World’s Collide’ and any number of inventive and highly original pieces from Dobson, McGhee, Pankhurst and Higgins.

However, a lack of planning, foresight, inherent conservatism and at times, downright musical ignorance have meant that the we have yet to hear Edward Gregson’s ‘Symphony in Two Movements’ or Paul McGhee’s ‘Waiting for a Pain Hit’, Nigel Clarke’s ‘Earthrise’ or Simon Dobson’s ‘Symphony of Colours’ amongst others, performed as set works in a major competitive environment.

As the British Composer Awards show - perhaps others currently appreciate them more than we do at present.

What do you think?
Send an email to: comments@4barsrest.com 


 A welcome return

Stan Lippeatt will be making a welcome return to the Nationals adjudication box at the Yorkshire Regional Championships in 2014.

Following his misplaced actions at the Bolsover Contest in 2012, he fully accepted his censure from the Association of Brass Band Adjudicators as well as its recommendation that he seek and undertake diversity and equality awareness training.

He has quietly and professionally done this with an open minded willingness at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust that he has stated was something of a revelation - and all undertaken through an extended period of recovery through ill health.

As a result, a fine bandsman, conductor, adjudicator and contest organiser returns with even more to offer the brass banding movement than ever before.

What do you think?
Send an email to: comments@4barsrest.com 


In praise of the Welsh

It’s not often a small nation like Wales gets the chance to boast about its achievements, but at present there is little doubt that banding in the Principality has plenty to shout about. 

Four of the five senior National Championship of Great Britain, European, British Open, Brass in Concert and Masters trophies are now to be found nestling in display cabinets in Wales - not forgetting two National Youth Championship titles.  

Why Wales has become such a powerhouse remains something of puzzle though. 

There is no all-powerful national body that officiates and administers, no single person that dictates, no hidden group or cabal that works in secret looking after its own interests. 

Perhaps more by accident than design, the various component parts that make up Welsh banding have found a way to work together as well as on their own – at times in more effective close harmony than its nation’s best male voice choirs.

A sense of collective pride in its conductors and players, bands and administrators, educationalists and contest promoters is now the overriding ethos - and perhaps offers an explanation to why at present Welsh banding is enjoying such success.

The only problem for the future of Welsh banding, is that if they can do it, then so can others, so they may have to savour their sucess for now.

What do you think?
Send an email to: comments@4barsrest.com 



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

Wednesday 29 May • Bandstand, Grand Parade, Eastbourne BN21 3AD


Black Dyke Band - George Lawton Hall, Mossley

Thursday 30 May • George Lawton Hall, Stamford St, Mossley, Ashton-under-Lyne OL5 0HR


Clifton International Festival of Music - Let Trumpets Sound - Crispian Steele-Perkins

Saturday 1 June • Clifton Cathedral, Clifton Park, Bristol BS8 3BX BS8 3BX


Foden's Band - St Andrews Hall

Sunday 2 June • St Andrews Plain, Norwich, Norfolk NR3 1AU


East Anglian Brass Band Association - Concert by the Fodens Band

Sunday 2 June • St Andrew's Hall. St Andrew's Plain. Norwich NR3 1AU


Bollington Brass Band

May 25 • Bollington Brass Band require a Kit and a tutti cornet player to complete our line up. We will be playing at the 2nd section National Finals this September before promotion to the North West 1st section..


Dobcross Silver Band

May 25 • Dobcross Silver Band are looking for a B FLAT BASS player for Whit Friday.. Come and join a Saddleworth band, playing the Saddleworth circuit, including our very own Dobcross contest.. . A great chance to come and enjoy an unforgettable experience!


Stannington Brass Band

May 25 • 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.


John Ward


Conductor, Adjudicator