Challenge for young brass band composers launched

Organisers of the area’s largest brass band festival have announced the launch of their 2014 competition to find the best young composer of brass band music after securing sponsorship from a county estate agent for the second year running.

The Ironbridge Gorge Brass Band Festival Committee is now accepting entries for the Nock Deighton Challenge for Young Composers 2014 and invites any young composer under the age of 21 to submit their own composition, in any genre or style as long as it is fully scored for brass band.

Speaking about the competition, organiser Eric Peagam said: “The idea for the competition grew out of the workshop we ran for younger players at the 2012 Brass Band Festival. It became a reality this year when Shropshire estate agency, Nock Deighton, stepped in to sponsor it. It was a huge success and we are thrilled that Nock Deighton have agreed to back it again. The Festival is keen to support musical education and this competition gives youngsters the chance to show off their skills and compose their very own piece of brass band music.”

This winner of the Nock Deighton Challenge 2013 was 17-year old Shrewsbury School pupil Harry Sargeant, who, as well as a cash prize, got to play his winning composition ‘Colonel Custard and Major Mustard’ with the nationally acclaimed Jaguar Landrover Band at this year’s Ironbridge Brass Band Festival.

Competition entries should ideally be between 2½ and 4 minutes long and submitted either as hard copy or in electronic format by the end of March 2014. Entry forms can be downloaded from Entries will be shortlisted by a local panel of experienced brass band musicians, with the final selection being undertaken by guest judge Dennis Masters, a local legend in brass banding and a highly respected conductor,composer and adjudicator.

Graham Taylor, Managing Director of Nock Deighton, said: “I am delighted that the event proved so successful and that The Colonel Mustard new piece of music was so well received. Nock Deighton will be delighted to provide the same level of support next year”.