The final concert of Black Dyke's 2021 season recently took place at Huddersfield Town Hall where the Queensbury band took the opportunity to present its annual awards.
The 'Pondasher Award' chosen by Director of Music, Prof Nicholas Childs, went to BBb tuba player Matt Routley — "probably the best player in the world on his instrument"according to the conductor. One of the band's great stalwarts Matt joined the Black Dyke ranks in June 1995.
The prestigious 'Bandsman of the Year' award voted on by the players to recognise a player's outstanding commitment to the band went to solo horn, Siobhan Bates.
In addition, the Chandos Bursary donated by trustees Paul and Sally Billing was presented to Gareth Hand and Callum Anderson, whilst the band also took the opportunity to recognise the achievements of Richard Marshall, who in 2022 will become the longest serving principal cornet in the band's 166 year history.
It's always good to recognise the excellence of the Black Dyke playersProf Nicholas Childs
Speaking to 4BR about the awards, Prof Childs told 4BR: "It's always good to recognise the excellence of the Black Dyke players — and both Matt and Siobhan are the most deserving of recipients of the awards this year.
The generous support of Paul and Sally gives a wonderful opportunity for players and it was wonderful to acknowledge the forthcoming achievement of one of the finest cornet players, not just in Black Dyke's history, but that of the banding movement as a whole in Richard Marshall."