Band is crowned ‘simply the best’

Brighouse and Rastrick band and conductor David King celebrating the national championships for second time in a row. Picture by Gordon Ratcliffe
Brighouse and Rastrick band and conductor David King celebrating the national championships for second time in a row. Picture by Gordon Ratcliffe

BRIGHOUSE and Rastrick Band has capped a memorable 12 months by being voted the ‘Band of the Year’.

And the band’s charismatic Australian professional conductor Prof David King was voted conductor of the year by users of the online website 4BarsRest, the brass band movement’s most authoritative voice.

It has been a momentous and busy year for B & R, crowned Yorkshire Champions for 2010 and 2011 and 2010 and 2011 Champion Band of Great Britain. The band retained its titles at St George’s Hall, Bradford, and London’s Royal Albert Hall as well as claiming the Saddleworth Whit Friday honours, beating competition from 120 other bands.

Also praised was B & R’s groundbreaking partnership with folk group The Unthanks which saw the band reaching new audiences on a seven-date UK tour.

Band president Paul Beaumont said: “We are absolutely thrilled by this latest accolade. 4BarsRest is the top brass band website. Most of the people who use it are true enthusiasts for brass band music and certainly know their stuff. To get more than 23 per cent of the votes is outstanding.

“Working with The Unthanks was an amazing experience and gave us access to people who would never think of going to a brass band concert.

“We are very proud of our achievement and to have David King named as conductor of the year for the third time goes to prove that he is the best in the world.”

B & R was the only English band in the top three voted for by 4BarsRest. The others were European champions Manger Musikklag from Norway and the Cory Band from Wales.

David King, who took more than 35 per cent of the votes, also led Eikanger Bjorsvik to the Norwegian national title last year.

B & R are next in action on Saturday when they will share the stage with the 90-strong Halifax Youth Choir at Huddersfield Town Hall. The concert will raise funds for the Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice, the Mayor of Kirklees’ charity. Tickets are available on 01484 223200.

The band is also rehearsing for a performance with the Cory Band, Welsh champions, and guest conductor Owain Arwel Hughes in Huddersfield on March 24.