LEAD TRUMPET - Louis Dowdeswell to inspire online

Issue 6088

MAPPED OUT - Host cities confirmed for European Championships

IFOR JAMES - The horn player who tried to change the horns 

Philip Harper on the online championship, Iles Medal, life at Cory and the future

Tuesday 23 March, 2021


The 2021 Kapitol Cory Online Championship is well under way, welcoming brass bands from around the world as they share their digital offerings. Cory Band’s musical director, Philip Harper, reflects on the action so far with British Bandsman editor, Mark Good. Philip also discusses his joy at being honoured with the Iles Medal and dares to look into the future for the brass band world.


Philip, as we chat, we are right in the midst of the Kapitol Cory Online Brass Band Championship – how have you enjoyed what you have seen so far?

PH: Well, it’s been very eventful so far, 34 bands in sections Two and Four to this point, all of which have made remarkable efforts in their own ways. Some have really impressed with their levels of performance, visual presentation and the use of technology while, for others, it has been a case of being happy to take part, getting an entry together and submitting it. All in all, it has been great to see so many bands have a good time making music and, from a viewing perspective, it has probably enhanced the product when compared to what we normally get at a brass band contest.


There have been a lot of talking points but not just with the music-making. A controversial adjudicator’s comment during the Section Two contest has resulted in an apology from the band – is there anything you would like to add to address the issue?

PH: Yes, firstly, I’d like to acknowledge it because it happened and it shouldn’t have. One of the issues in putting out a live feed such as this is that some things can be said which immediately need a retraction and there is no harm in me repeating the apology here. Issues of diversity and inclusion are nothing new to brass bands – we have a history of being overly male-dominated. At Cory, we know that the comment is not representative of what we are all about as an organisation and, if any good is to come from what has been a regrettable situation, it is that we are keen to take the lead on this. There are some very positive new initiatives in the offing which we hope to announce in the near future.


Access the full interview by subscribing to British Bandsman today.