The 2020 Brass Bands England Conference saw the presentation of its annual awards to people who have made an exceptional contribution to the banding community.
In introducing the awards from "so many fantastic nominations this year", BBE Chairman Mike Kilroy said it was "an honour and a privilege"to be able to recognize the outstanding contributions that encompassed Innovation, Social Impact, Services to Youth, Lifetime Achievement and BBE Special Award.
He said: "It was a great pleasure to be able to announce these awards for such deserving members of the brass band community.
Every one of them has made a fantastic contribution in their own special way and BBE is honoured to be part of the process of recognising their achievements. There were many other outstanding nominations and we would like to encourage everyone to get involved in next year's awards when the nominations open again in a few months' time."
The winner of the Brian W. Hicks Memorial Shield for Services to Youth was the remarkable Glenis Smith, who has dedicated both her professional career as a peripatetic teacher and as a pioneering member of the Houghton Youth Band, to inspiring others — enabling literally thousands of youngsters to enjoy the pleasure of making music.
Congratulations quickly came from supporters throughout the banding movement thanking her directly for her work and dedication for what was universally described as "so well deserved".
Meanwhile, the Innovation Award was made to Tabby Kerwin, whose outstanding advocacy and proactive implementation of her 'Brass on the Mind' project has made an huge impact not only on the brass band movement, but also much further afield, encompassing other professions.
In response to the award, Tabby posted on her Facebook site that was "humbled and proud"at the award.
She added: "It actually means so much and there may have been a few tears! Why? Because it matters to me so much. It's a privilege to help and support others, often when they don't even realise they need the support — and right now people need that support more than ever."
The Social Impact Award was made to what Mike called "a remarkable young person".
The work of Sam Wyne, targeted specifically at the very youngest of music lovers — from aged 0 to 3 will enable both his band at Wantage and his local community to benefit from future generations of youngsters with a love of brass music.
Sam simply summed his award up by saying "Crazy Times!", whilst Wantage Band was the first to add their congratulations to over 100 people who quickly added theirs to the band's Facebook page.
In introducing the awards from "so many fantastic nominations this year", BBE Chairman Mike Kilroy said it was "an honour and a privilege" to be able to recognize the outstanding contributions4BR
The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Paul Hindmarsh — who has dedicated his personal and professional life to music.
His contribution as a musical polymath as a performer, conductor, academic, curator, journalist, publisher, producer, promoter and administrator has left an indelible impact on the banding movement across the world.
Finally, the BBE Special Award was presented to Nigel Birch — an inspirational musician, and the MD of the Lions Youth Band for well over a quarter of a century.
His success with his band both on and off the contest and concert stage is well known — from National Championship success and in representing England at the European Youth Championships to the recent release of the band's latest CD.
His work at Love Music Trust is also hugely respected with his contribution ensuring that future generations of youngster will be able to enjoy music making in the region for years to come.
In response to the award, Nigel stated on his Facebook page that he was "delighted and humbled"at the honour.
He added: "Thank you to all the wonderful people that have been a part of my banding journey, and also to those people who saw me as a worthy recipient of this award."
As the conference was held online due to Covid-19 restrictions, the awards will be presented individually to the winners at suitable future events when they can be present.