Student success at UniBrass


The RBC Brass Band claimed first place at the 2022 UniBrass Championships in Sheffield on Saturday (5 February).

RBC took the honours for the first time, in a close three-way battle with rivals Salford University and Huddersfield University, in second and third places respectively.

In a highly-entertaining contest, there were also awards for Best Percussion Section for the percussion section, Best Student Composition for Jude Radley, Best Student Conductor for Matt-Ludford King and Best Soloist for tuba player Archie McVicar.

Led by student conductors Alan Gifford and Matt Ludford-King, the 20-minute performance set included three premieres and Archie’s rendition of the first movement of Peter Meechan's tuba work, 'Shine', which bagged him Best Soloist.

The programme came to a thrilling conclusion with an injection of musical accelerant with 'Impetus' by student composer Jude Radley, which claimed the Best Student Composition accolade.

The haul of silverware was completed by Matt Ludford-King taking the Best Student Conductor and the percussion section of the band taking the best percussion prize.

Matt said: "It’s a fantastic achievement and all the credit goes to the players. This year Director of Brass Band Studies Ian Porthouse gave Alan and I the lead, and he's been so supportive of our efforts.

“It was great to have him in Sheffield to see us win after so many close misses over the last few years, and to be able to enjoy the performances that included those three great new works and a brilliant soloist in Archie McVicar."

Director of Brass Band Studies Ian told 4BR: "My congratulations go to all the players, but a special mention does go to Matt and Alan. I think it shows that we have a great deal of talent in the Conservatoire ranks."

Adjudicator Andrea Price thanked students for their efforts, stating that the "standard of music making had been exceptionally high" and their sets had been "creative, thoughtful and well balanced."

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