Winner: Valaisia Brass Band
And finally — which brilliant brass band made the greatest impression on our panel of experts during 2018?
An incredible line-up to choose from, and eight of our long-list nominations got at least one mention as a podium candidate.
In the end though it was the outstanding 2018 European and Swiss National Champion, Valaisia Brass Band that claimed the accolade — gaining no less than 6 first choice preference votes and 3 podium votes in recognition of their remarkable talents.
Band to beat
The 2018 British Open, Brass in Concert, Welsh Area and Band Cymru Champion Cory had to be content with the runner-up spot this year, but still gained 3 first choice preferences and 7 podium votes to underline the fact that they remain the standard bearer of excellence that all others need to beat.
And in that company it says a great deal for Foden's that they came third — with 1 first preference and 7 podium votes in a year in which they provided ample evidence of their artistic as well competitive desire to be one of the very finest bands in the world.
In the end though it was the outstanding 2018 European and Swiss National Champion, Valaisia Brass Band that claimed the accolade — gaining no less than 6 first choice preference votes and 3 podium votes in recognition of their remarkable talents4BR
2017: Eikanger Bjorsvik
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
The Awards Panel consisted of : Iwan Fox (Editor 4BR); Malcolm Wood (Chief Contributor); Steven Mead (euphonium soloist); Gordon Simpson (statistician Brass Band World magazine); Chris Thomas (Chief Contributor Brass Band World magazine); Kenny Crookston (CEO, Brass Bands England); Frode Rydland (EBBA Music Commission/soprano cornet Bjorsvik Brass); Alexander Zwann (Chief contributor CU Brass); Tom Davoren (conductor/composer); Tim Mutum (writer/brass band recording and history specialist).