Music Panel

The members of the Panel listed below are responsible for selecting the test-pieces for the Regional and National Championships each year. The test-pieces for each Regional qualifying series are released at the National Brass Band Championships (Sections 1-4 Finals) in September of the year before the Regional Championships take place, and the five ‘Finals’ test-pieces are released in April of the year in which the ‘Finals’ take place.

All test-pieces selected are revealed on this website first.

The Kapitol Promotions Music Panel enjoys independence in the selection of the test-pieces, and each member of the panel possesses a wide experience in playing with, conducting and adjudicating bands at every level in the five ‘National’ sections - as you can see from their biographies below.

If you are a composer or publisher and would like your work to be considered by the Music Panel for either Regional or National level, please get in touch with Tim Jones (Music Panel Administrator - tim@nationalbrassbandchampioinships.com) for more information. The Music Panel welcomes all submissions equally.

Philip Morris – Chairman

Tim Jones - Administrator

 

Panel Members: Brian Buckley, Dr. Robert Childs, Richard Evans, Sam Harrison John Maines, Sandy Smith. 

C. Brian Buckley

Brian Buckley adjudicates regularly at major brass and wind band festivals throughout the United Kingdom. With diplomas in conducting, performing and teaching, Brian Buckley is a busy and experienced adjudicator, conductor and examiner.

Since commencing his conducting career in 1968, he has focused his attention mainly on bands within Wales and the West Country, with a great deal of success. He has guided bands from the Lower Sections to the Championship Section in successive years, collecting ‘National’ honours along the way.

From his early teens, Brian Buckley established a sound reputation as a cornet and trumpet soloist of quality, and was principal cornet for one of Wales’ leading bands, Tredegar, for almost 25 years.

A prolific prizewinner at solo competitions and festivals, he won the Welsh Solo Champion title on five occasions, which featured a hat-trick of victories in the early 1960s. From the mid-1950s to the late 1960s, he was also the principal cornet and leader of the National Brass Band of Wales for many of the band’s concert tours linked with the National Eisteddfod of Wales.

Much of Brian Buckley’s time is spent guiding and mentoring aspiring young musicians.

John Maines

John Maines began his playing career with the Wigan Boys Club, Prescott Cables and Cammell Laird bands.

He spent some of his playing career in Cornwall with St. Austell and Bodmin bands, where he quickly made his mark with a succession of victories at solo competitions throughout the South-east.

At that time, he became the Champion Trombone Player of Great Britain on three successive occasions, one of only two players to achieve a hat-trick in this event.

John Maines went on to play solo trombone for Stanshawe, Bristol and Fairey Engineering bands, as well as principal trombone for Harry Mortimer’s Men o’ Brass. He became principal trombone for Black Dyke Band, with which he won many major titles, including a hat-trick of ‘European’ Championships.

Since 1979, John Maines has been a tutor of trombone at the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain and is a Council member of the organisation. He is also a member of the Association of Brass Band Adjudicators, and regularly judges in Britain and abroad. He also directs the National Youth Brass Band of Denmark.

A BA Music (Hons.) graduate from the University of Sheffield, John Maines is in great demand as a conductor of many of Britain’s best brass bands, as well as a master of ceremonies at several prestigious banding occasions.

He presented the long-running BBC weekly radio programme, GMR Brass, for many years and, in 1995, received the Manchester Music Makers’ Award for his contribution to the broadcasting of music in the Greater Manchester area. He now presents the World of Brass online radio show.

Richard Evans

Richard Evans is one of the most colourful and flamboyant characters on the British brass band scene. Born in Aldershot, the regular son of a regular soldier, he spent the first two years of his life in India. On returning to England, his family moved to Preston, Lancashire, and it was in nearby Leyland, with the British Legion Band, that Richard Evans was introduced to the cornet.

Within three years, he was one of the founder members of the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain, for which he became Principal Cornet under the baton of the late Harry Mortimer OBE CBE. He moved from the British Legion Band to Leyland Motors (the forerunner of the band known as Leyland today. There, Richard Evans studied under the band’s forefathers, Harold Moss and William Haydock.

National Service took Richard Evans to Berlin and, when he returned to civilian life, he joined Black Dyke Mills Band.

However, it was in the art of conducting that Richard was to carve a brilliant career. Graduating from the Royal Northern College of Music, he became a full-time teacher and also played freelance trumpet with the BBC Northern Symphony Orchestra, the Manchester Mozart Orchestra, Syd Lawrence and many other famous ensembles. During this period, his conducting skills were being perfected in a vast theatre of experience including in brass bands, choral societies and the directions of operas.

He became conductor of Wingates Temperance Band in 1975 and went on to win the British Open Championship with the band three months later. The following year, he joined Fairey Engineering Band as its Musical Director and, in 1978, was recruited to rebuild Leyland Vehicles Band with the specific remit of achieving Championship Section within three years, which he accomplished. He then worked with Foden’s and Yorkshire Building Society bands and, in 2004, accepted the position of resident Musical Director with Grimethorpe Colliery (UK Coal) Band. Today, he enjoys connections with the world-famous Brighouse & Rastrick Band as Associate Conductor, although most of his work is now freelance.

Richard Evans was recently appointed Visiting Professor of Brass to Senzoku Gakuen College of Music in Tokyo and his prowess as a conductor, teacher, adjudicator and movement leader was recognised in 1986 when he received the J. Henry Iles Medal from the Worshipful Company of Musicians. He has worked with bands all over the world and is Musical Director of the National Youth Brass Band of Scotland.

Samantha Harrison


Samantha started her playing career on tenor horn with the Elland Silver Band when she was seven years old. She soon moved onto Bb cornet, receiving tuition form Rhonda Harper, the band’s trainer. After spells on soprano cornet and flugel horn she was asked to take on the challenge of principal cornet. The late John Harrison was the conductor at this time and through his coaching and mentorship, Samantha developed the beautiful tone and lyrical style for which she is admired.

At 16, Samantha auditioned for the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain, where she received further guidance from such experienced musicians as Richard Evans, Alan Morrison, Roy Newsome and Lynda Nicholson. After three courses she became principal cornet. While on a business studies course, Samantha was invited by Phillip McCann to join the Huddersfield University Brass Band, becoming its principal cornet player in her final year. Whilst at University, she took up the challenge of forming the Elland Silver Youth Band, starting with a beginner’s class.

On completion of her studies, Samantha took up the position of flugel horn with the DUT Yorkshire Imperial Band, later moving to the British Telecom Band in Stockport. However, with Elland Youth band going from strength to strength, she returned to play principal cornet with Elland Silver. Samantha continues to be in demand and often appears with other bands.

Since its formation Elland Silver Youth Band has now become one of the country’s leading youth brass bands, performing at many of the UKs finest concert halls alongside some of the UKs finest musicians. In 2016, the band were crowned National Youth Brass Band Intermediate Champions and were runners up in the Development Section of the European Youth Brass Band Championships in Lille.

She also conducts the Elland Silver Training Band and co-ordinates the development of the Elland Starter Brass and Beginner Bands. In recent years her passion for teaching has led her to develop a career as a brass instrumental teacher, where she is now in demand at several local primary and secondary schools.

In 2015 Samantha was awarded a Diploma of Honour from the Worshipful Company of Musicians. She has also been announced as this year’s recipient of the prestigious Mortimer Medal for her services to youth brass banding.

In 2016, Samantha was awarded the prestigious Mortimer Medal at the Royal Albert Hall, London in recognition of her services to youth brass banding.

Samantha commented: "I'm delighted to have been invited to be on the Panel. I see this as a great opportunity to use my knowledge and experience of working with young players and grassroots banding to influence the music chosen".

Dr. Robert Childs

Dr. Robert Childs is a leading figure in the world of brass music. For over thirty years he performed at the highest level giving solo performances in many of the world’s most prestigious venues. He has given masterclasses throughout Europe’s finest conservatoires and is now recognised as a leading education specialist.

Following a glittering career as principal euphonium and soloist with many of Yorkshire's finest brass bands, in 2000 Robert relinquished his position as principal euphonium and associate conductor of Black Dyke Band in order to become Musical Director of Cory Band in Wales. During his twelve year tenure with Cory, the band won the World Brass Band Championships, National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain, Brass in Concert Championship, British Open Championships (on 5 occasions), European Brass Band Championships (including a 2008-2010 hat-trick), Welsh Regional Championships (on 9 occasions) and he led the Band from 13th to No.1 in the official World Rankings.

In 2002 Robert was awarded a Doctorate in Musical Arts from the University of Salford and is also an Associate of The Royal College of Music and Fellow of The London College of Music. Robert gained a Masters Degree with distinction from University of Leeds, holds a Post Graduate Certificate in Education from the Open University and in 2007 his remarkable achievements were recognized by the Worshipful Company of Musicians when he was awarded the prestigious Iles Medal. In 2008 Robert was given ‘Freedom of the City of London’ and also received the prestigious John Edwards Memorial Award by the Welsh Music Guild for outstanding contribution to Welsh Music.

Having relinquished his position as Musical Director of Cory in 2012, he returned to Black Dyke, sharing conducting duties with his brother Nicholas, before accapting the position of Principal Conductor and Director of Music at Grimethorpe Colliery Band in 2014. This was an offer he couldn’t refuse, with Robert stating, “Grimethorpe was the first top band I played solo euphonium for in the 1970s and they are probably the most famous band in the World.” During his first year with Grimethorpe Robert led them to a record breaking 16th victory at the international Brass In Concert Championships at The Sage, Gateshead, and in September 2015, directed the band to its fifth British Open Chamionship title at Symphony Hall, Birmingham - Grimethorpe's first victory at the contest in 25 years.

As an educator, Robert is pre-eminent in his field. He is now an Honorary Felllow of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, where he is also Director of Brass Band Studies; he is a visiting Professor at Tokyo's Senzoku Gakuen College of Music; Chairman of the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain organisation; advisor to the Harry Mortimer Trust; Musical Director of both Woodfalls Band and the North American Brass Band Summer School, and Managing Director of Performing Arts in Education.

Sandy Smith

Sandy was born in Scotland and began his career with the Whitburn Band. Studying initially in Edinburgh he gained L.T.C.L. and L.L.C.M. teaching and performing diplomas and also became principal horn of the National Youth Brass Band of Scotland before moving to Yorkshire.

In a playing career as principal horn with the Black Dyke, Fairey and Grimethorpe bands he has won 6 British Open, 4 National Championships, 8 European, 6 Brass in Concert, 2 All England Masters and 11 championship section Area titles. He also plays tenor horn and mellophonium in “La Banda Europa”, an orchestra of 35 diverse European instrumentalists. He has also played with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra in works requiring tenor horn.

Sandy is well known as an arranger and has lectured on brass band scoring, arranging and the history and repertoire of the brass band at Huddersfield University. His teaching activities have encompassed every stage of musical education from primary school to university standard including the RNCM in Manchester and Leeds College of Music. He has taught on many brass band residential courses including the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain, The Brass Band Summer School and the National Youth Brass Band of Scotland.

He studied conducting while at college and began conducting brass bands in the late 1980’s. He has worked with many leading bands including Brighouse and Rastrick, Grimethorpe Colliery and the Fairey band. He has collaborated as conductor and arranger with artists from wider genres such as The Unthanks folk group, jazz trumpeter Matt Halsall, electronic keyboard artist and vocalist Hannah Peel, folk Singer Kate Rusby and folk singer John Watterson.

Sandy was the brass orchestrator for the “Pandemonium” and Olympic Anthem sections of the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics and in 2016 co-founded Tubular Brass which premiered his own arrangement of Mike Oldfield's “Tubular Bells” for brass band. When time permits he is in increasing demand as an adjudicator having officiated from the 4th through to the Championship section in area contests, the Spring Festival and the Scottish Open.

Sandy is well known for his forthright views on brass band repertoire and is a vocal advocate for championing the use of quality music as a central part of improving the standards of all bands.