The Worshipful Company of Musicians has announced that composer Gavin Higgins and conductor and administrator John Boax are to be the recipients of the 2023 Iles Medal and Mortimer Medal.
The awards made by the City of London's historic livery company in recognises outstanding service to the brass band movement.
The Iles Medal was established in 1947 by John Henry Iles, a Pastmaster of the Company, and is awarded annually to musicians who have made a significant contribution to the brass band movement.
The Mortimer Medal recognises service in fostering new generations of brass band musicians, having been endowed in 1995 in memory of Harry Mortimer by his widow, Margaret Mortimer.
The Iles Medal recipient Gavin Higgins has emerged as one of the very few composers writing for brass bands who have also achieved critical acclaim in the classical music field.
The 40 year old has a strong brass band hinterland — one that has been reinforced through his works for the medium and more lately in acclaimed cross-over compositions with the Rambert Ballet and more recently with the RPS Award winning 'Concerto Grosso for Brass Band and Orchestra' which was premiered at the BBC Proms by Tredegar Band and the National Orchestra of Wales.
The awards made by the City of London's historic livery company in recognises outstanding service to the brass band movement4BR
The Mortimer Medal recipient John Boax is honoured for his exceptional work with young people in Scotland over a period of more than forty years.
A cornet player and founder member of Kilmarnock Concert Brass in 1978, he became a peripatetic brass instructor, founding the Carrick Youth Brass Band which he led to two Scottish Championship wins and a European Youth Championship success.
In 1985 he began his association with the National Youth Brass Band of Scotland (NYBBS) working alongside many leading conductors as a tutor, administrator and conductor inspiring countless young brass and percussion players on the start of their musical journeys — including highly successful annual courses and tours.
John is still actively promoting youth brass in Scotland; employed as a peripatetic instructor with North Ayrshire Council and Musical Director of Irvine & Dreghorn's youth brass pathway programme.