Report & Results: 2021 Great Brummie Solo Contest

65 entrants from nine different countries focused their musical gaze on Birmingham for the first Great Brummie Solo Contest.

  The event attracted entrants from nine different countries across the world

A worldwide audience has enjoyed the performances from the talented online competitors taking part in 'The Great Brummie Solo Contest'.

Organised by Leyland Band solo baritone player Bethan Brown it attracted 65 entrants from nine different countries — from the UK to the USA, Europe to the Far East, who helped to raise £320 the charity Cancer Research UK.

Super standard

There was a super standard on show in the Under 14 Slow Melody category with each of the entrants impressing adjudicator Brendan Caddy with their lyrical interpretations.

The winner was 11 year old Michael MacDonald who gave a wonderfully mature rendition of 'Song of the Night' by Christopher Bond to claim the winner's certificate, gold medal and a lesson with the adjudicator.

There were also fine performances from the other contenders, especially runner-up, 13 year old Jennifer Richardson with Christopher Bond's 'A Pacific Melody' and third placed Ciaran Rieff-Marganiec, with a special mention to youngest competitor Ivy Pannell on cornet who played 'The Last Rose of Summer'.

Outstanding winner

The outstanding young Norwegian cornet player Frederik Englesen aged 16 took the Under 18 Slow Melody title. He claimed the first prize of certificate, gold medal and lesson with Ian Porthouse with an outstanding performance of Edward Gregson's 'Before the Cross'.

There were also high quality performances for adjudicator David Taylor to enjoy from the other competitors, especially runner-up Natalie Colgrove and third placed, Harry Porthouse.

Another victory

Tredegar Band's solo euphonium star Yu-Han Yang claimed the Blue Riband Open Slow Melody title to add further success to his CV which has seen the Besson artist win the prestigious Jeju International Brass Competition and be crowned 2020 4BR Player of the Year.

He told 4BR: "It a great honour to win 'The Great Brummie Solo Contest'! I was delighted to enter alongside my accompanist Hanami Oda, and to support a great, well organised event by Bethan for a wonderful charity."

In another high class competition, the runner up was tenor horn player Samantha Ford from Filton Concert Band with William Neave in third.


Speaking about the event, adjudicator Ian Porthouse was full of praise for organiser Bethan Brown as well the quality of the performances in all three categories.

"This has been a very difficult period for the brass band movement, but it is great to see a new generation of talented, committed players such as Bethan wishing to put something back by organising such a fine event and supporting such a worthwhile charity.

My congratulations go to her and especially to all the 65 players who took the time to enter. The enthusiasm, dedication and quality was something that should give us all hope for the future of banding."

Meanwhile, organiser Bethan Brown also thanked those who took part as well as the sponsors of the event.

The enthusiasm, dedication and quality was something that should give us all hope for the future of bandingIan Porthouse

Under 14s Slow Melody:

Adjudicator: Brendan Caddy

1. Michael MacDonald
2. Jennifer Richardson
3. Ciaran Rieff-Marganiec
4. Amber Croft
5. Isaac Grant
6. Archie Pannell

Under 18s Slow Melody:

Adjudicator: David Taylor

1. Frederik Englesen
2. Natalie Colegrove
3. Harry Porthouse
4. Christopher Oddy
5. Daniel Hohm
6. Ciaran Reiff-Marganiec

Open Slow Melody:

Adjudicator: Ian Porthouse

1. Yu-Han Yang
2. Samantha Ford
3. William Neeve
4. Della Pearce
5. Archie McVicar
6. Ethan Hall

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Cornet soloist, clinician, conductor and adjudicator


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