The Musicians' Company has announced that Ray Farr and Brad Turnbull will be the respective recipients of the 2019 Iles and Harry Mortimer Medals.
The Iles Medal is awarded annually to musicians who have made a significant contribution to the brass band movement. It was established in 1947 by John Henry Iles, the founder of the National Brass Band Championships, who had been Master of the Company in 1932-33.
Ray Farr has enjoyed a wide-ranging and hugely successful professional musical career serving the brass band movement as a player, conductor, composer, arranger, teacher, academic and historian.
A professional trumpet player, he was appointed resident conductor of Grimethorpe Colliery Band in 1979, initiating a period of high profile artistic success, whilst he also made pioneering links to European banding, most notably in Norway where he also studied orchestral conducting at Helsinki's Sibelius Academy.
He has worked with a number of Norwegian bands at all levels — including Eikanger Bjorsvik, who led to success at the 1985 Norwegian Championship and three Siddis victories. He also worked extensively in the Stavanger area and enjoyed conducting appointments with the Trondheim Military Band, the National Youth Wind Band of Norway, and with symphony orchestras in Sandnes, Stavanger and Kristiansand.
He also led Lyngby Taarbaek Band to the Danish National title in 2004.
During his brass band career in the UK he has worked successfully with the likes of Foden's, Yorkshire Imperial, Jaguar Cars (City of Coventry), Stocksbridge, Newtongrange, Newham and many others, including a long and fruitful spell in the North-East of England where he enjoyed considerable success with the likes of Reg Vardy, NASUWT Riverside and Fishburn.
He was appointed as Conductor in Residence at Durham University in 2003, teaching conducting and arranging as well as engaging in important research about the origins of brass banding and continues to exert his hugely respected musical influence musical in all areas of his wide ranging interests, leading Brottum Brass to the Norwegian Second Division National title earlier this year in Bergen.
Ray Farr has enjoyed a wide-ranging and hugely successful professional musical career serving the brass band movement as a player, conductor, composer, arranger, teacher, academic and historian4BR
The Harry Mortimer Medal will this year be presented to Brad Turnbull.
The medal recognises service in fostering new generations of brass band musicians, having been endowed in 1995 by Margaret Mortimer in memory of her husband.
Brad has been particularly successful in nurturing young brass players from their first experience in whole class Wider Opportunities/First Access projects, many of whom have progressed through group tuition in school into the local music centre in Kettering and beyond — becoming members of the County Youth Brass Band and the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain.
The Northamptonshire Music Education Hub works in partnership with 90% of local brass bands, and a significant number of former students play in community bands in the region.
Brad also teaches brass and conducts the brass band at Bishop Stopford School in Kettering, where James and Thomas Fountain were among his students.
For fourteen years, he has been the conductor of the Northamptonshire County Youth Brass Band, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.
Under his direction the band has enjoyed consistent success at the National Youth Brass Band Championships and the National Festival of Music for Youth and has represented England at the European Youth Brass Band Championships as well as making tours to Poland, Hungary, Germany, Spain, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Italy.