The various winners of the 2015 4BR Awards have talking about their delight at gaining world-wide recognition for their talents and efforts during the past year.
It comes after the results were announced on Christmas Day after a panel of nine brass band experts was given the difficult task of selecting their top three from a 'long list' of 10 nominations in each category, chosen by 4BR Directors Anthony Banwell and Iwan Fox.
And it was a difficult task, as not one winner gained their victory with a complete clean sweep of the votes cast — a real reflection of the excellence and strength of their rivals.
Cory did come close though in becoming the 2015 'Band of the Year'.
"It was a wonderful way to end a memorable year,"Cory MD Philip Harper told 4BR when we told him the news that his band had been declared the winner for the second time in three years.
Cory also claimed the 'Contest Performance of the Year' award for a third time, whilst Philip deservedly once again took the 'Conductor of the Year' accolade to add to his success in 2013.
In addition, the band's principal cornet Tom Hutchinson was runner-up in the 'Solo CD of the Year' category for his excellent 'In Principal' release, Cory's own 'Neglected Treasures' was third in the 'CD of the Year' and solo euphonium Glyn Williams gained a fine podium finish in the 'Player of the Year' category.
Philip added: ""Personally I'm delighted for everyone associated with Cory Band. I think it shows why they are the undisputed number 1 ranked band in the world."
Player of the Year
For 'Player of the Year' David Childs it was the fifth time he had won the award — adding to his successes in 2004, 2005, 2010 and 2014.
"It means a great deal to be appreciated in this way,"he said. "I'm very fortunate to be in a position where I can balance my solo commitments with my banding ones with Flowers — and I also get amazing support from my family."
David was also delighted that the playing of Flowers soprano player Paul Richards was recognised by the panel as he came a close runner-up. "Paul is a special talent and his performances all year would be worthy of taking the award himself."
Tredegar double top
The ground breaking artistic endeavours of Tredegar Band in 2015 were certainly appreciated by the panel.
Their 'Dark Arteries' release was 'CD of the Year' (adding to the awards from British Bandsman and Brass Band World magazines), with the remarkable week long collaboration with the Rambert Dance Company's ballet production featuring Gavin Higgins's music, being declared 'Newcomer of the Year'.
The significance of the artistic achievements also saw the band come runner-up in the 'Band of the Year' category.
"We are thrilled by the awards,"MD Ian Porthouse told 4BR. "The collaboration with Gavin and Rambert was an immense undertaking and one we are very proud of. The awards should really be shared between the band, Gavin and Rambert."
Clean sweep for Thornton
David Thornton's 'Parallel Realities' also claimed a clean sweep of the major CD awards this year, adding the 4BR accolade to that already won from British Bandsman and Brass Band World.
However, the euphonium virtuoso admitted that he even more pleased that the CD has been recognised for showcasing the talents of new composers.
"I'm obviously very happy,"he said. "But I'm delighted that I was able to persuade some brilliant composers to write for me — and that their work has been acknowledged by the award."
David was also nominated in the 'Player of the Year' and 'Best Newcomer' categories. "I was up against some brilliant players, so I wasn't too disappointed,"he added. "I was really pleased though that I got a mention for my adjudicating. It's an area of my career I want to develop more in the coming years."
Another title for Ebbw Valley
Despite winning just about every competition they entered during 2015, the award of 'Lower Section Band of the Year' did come as a surprise to Ebbw Valley — as their MD, Gareth Ritter told 4BR.
"It's been an amazing year. The band works so hard, so to gain their award tops it all off. It's great to know that the efforts of a band like ours are appreciated. It means a great deal.
Our congratulations also go to Goodwick who was runner-up. They are a brilliant band and their National win at Cheltenham was yet another fantastic achievement."
Thanks to God
Finally, composer Rolf Rudin was also taken aback by his European set-work, 'The God Particle' winning the 'Test Piece of the Year' category.
In an e-mail 4BR he stated: "Thanks so much. I am really very surprised and it makes a fine Christmas Gift!"
It was a wonderful way to end a memorable yearCory MD. Philip Harper
These are the winners since we started the 4BR Awards in 2001
Band of the Year:
2014: Black Dyke
2011: Brighouse & Rastrick
2007: Grimethorpe Colliery Band
2006: Grimethorpe Colliery (UK Coal) Band
2005: Black Dyke
2004: Yorkshire Building Society
2003: Yorkshire Building Society
2002: Foden's Richardson
2001: Yorkshire Building Society
Conductor of the Year:
2015: Philip Harper
2014: Prof Nicholas Childs
2013: Philip Harper
2012: Allan Withington
2011: David King
2010: Ian Porthouse
2009: Robert Childs
2008: Robert Childs
2007: Allan Withington
2006: Allan Withington
2005: Nicholas Childs
2004: Ray Farr
2003: David King
2002: Russell Gray
2001: David King
Player of the Year:
2015: David Childs
2014: David Childs
2013: Glenn Van Looy
2012: Steve Stewart
2011: Glenn Van Looy
2010: David Childs
2009: Mark Wilkinson
2008: Peter Moore
2007: Hans Gansch
2006: Katrina Marzella
2005: David Childs
2004: David Childs
2003: Martin Winter
2002: Morgan Griffiths
2001: Peter Roberts
CD of the Year:
2015: Dark Arteries (The Music of Gavin Higgins) — Tredegar Band
2014: Gaia Symphony — Eikanger Bjorsvik Musikklag
2013: When Worlds Collide (The Music of Nigel Clarke) — Brass Band Buizingen
2012: Masquerade — Foden's
2011: Only for You: The Music of Paul Lovatt-Cooper — Black Dyke
2010: Romeo & Juliet — Eikanger Bjorsvik
2009: Maestro — Foden's
2008: New Music for Brass Band — Foden's
2007: Vienna Nights — Black Dyke
2006: Heaton: Volume 4 — Black Dyke
2005: Tales and Stories — Eikanger Bjorsvik
2004: Music of the Spheres — Yorkshire Building Society
2003: Bourgeois in Brass — Yorkshire Building Society
2002: The Heaton Collection — Black Dyke and the ISB
2001: Butterworth — Black Dyke
Solo CD of the Year:
2015: Parallel Realities — David Thornton
2014: The Symphonic Euphonium — David Childs
2013: Stories of Life — Glenn Van Looy
2012: Diamonds — Steven Mead
2011: Dreaming of the Masters — Jens Lindemann
2010: Moto Perpetuo — David Childs
2009: Salt of the Earth — Les Neish
2008: Audacious — Steven Mead
2007: Eminence — Richard Marshall
2006: The World of the Euphonium: Volume 5 — Steven Mead
2005: Blaze — Richard Marshall
2004: Legend — Peter Roberts
2003: A Winters Tale — Martin Winter
Lower Section/Youth Band of the Year:
2015: Ebbw Valley
2014: Manger Skulemusikklag
2013: National Children's Band of Great Britain
2012: National Youth Band of Great Britain
2011: Bjorsvik Brass
2010: Hazel Grove Band
2009: Oldham (Lees) Band
2008: Smithills Schools Senior Band
2007: Sellers International Youth Band
2006: Pennine Brass
2005: Marsden Riverhead Brewery
2004: Smithills School Senior Band
2003: Smithills School Senior Band
2002: St. Dennis Band
2001: Peter Hawke Garages Lindley Band
Newcomer of the Year:
2015: Dark Arteries Ballet — Rambert Dance Company/Tredegar Band
2014: The Band of the King's Division
2013: Korpsfiksert! — Eikanger Bjorsvik tevelvision series
2012: Brass in Concert
2011: Venezuelan Brass Ensemble
2010: Exit Brass
2009: Lucy Pankhurst
2008: Paul Duffy
2007: Proms Brass Day
2006: English National Championships
2005: Brass Band Aid
2004: The National Children's Band of Great Britain
2003: Emma Farrow
2002: Simon Dobson
Test Piece of the Year:
2015: The God Particle — Rolf Rudin
2014: Vita Aeterna Variations — Ed de Boer
2013: Of Distant Memories (Music in an Olden Style) — Edward Gregson
2012: Goldberg 2012 — Svein Henrik Giske
2011: Breath of Souls — Paul Lovatt-Cooper
2010: Saint Saens Variations — Philip Sparke
2009: Titan's Progress — Hermann Pallhuber
2008: The Dark Side of the Moon — Paul Lovatt-Cooper
2007: Music for Battle Creek — Philip Sparke
2006: Vienna Nights — Philip Wilby
2005: Eden — Dr. John Pickard
2004: St. Magnus — Kenneth Downie
2003: Festival Music — Eric Ball
2002: Masquerade — Philip Wilby
2001: Albion — Jan Van der Roost
Contest Performance of the Year:
2015: Cory — Spiriti (National Championship of Great Britain)
2014: Brass Band Burgermusik Luzern — Trance (Swiss National Championship)
2013: Tredegar — Arabian Nights — Fantasy on Rimsky Korsakov's Scheherazade for Brass Band (British Open Championship)
2012: Foden's — Daphnis et Chloe (National Championship of Great Britain)
2011: Cory — Red Priest (British Open Championship)
2010: Fairey (Geneva) — Eden (English National Championships)
2009: Fountain City Brass Band — Dreams (Scottish Open Championship)
2008: Eikanger Bjorsvik — Riffs & Interludes (Norwegian Championship)
2007: Brass Band Oberosterreich — Titan's Progress (European Championship)
2006: Black Dyke — Vienna Nights (British Open Championship)
2005: Black Dyke — Journey to the Centre of the Earth (European Championship)
2004: Black Dyke — Montage (British Open Championship)
2003: Buy As You View Cory — Revelation (European Championship)
2002: Yorkshire Building Society — Concerto Grosso (European Championship)
2001: Foden's — Les Preludes (British Open Championship)