BATTLE OF THE TITANS - Bands gear up for a titanic battle at the Royal Albert Hall

Issue 6016

COMPOSERS' CORNER - Dr Liz Lane looks at the subject of  networking 

HERE IS THE NEWS - Looking back at the Daily Herald's Nationals sponsorship

Edward Gregson to receive Herbert Whiteley Award

Friday 20 December, 2019

The 2020 Herbert Whiteley Award for Creativity is to be presented to Edward Gregson. 

The esteemed composer will receive his latest accolade at the RNCM Festival of Brass in January. He follows in the footsteps of previous winners Takeo Yamamoto, Sandy Smith, Howard Snell and Gavin Higgins. 

Announcing the 2020 award, Mark Good, editor of British Bandsman, said: “Edward Gregson has made an enormous contribution to the brass band world. He is a composer who is unafraid to look outward and has consistently relished the opportunity to challenge perceptions about what brass bands can achieve. 

“Edward’s music inspires, stimulates and pushes boundaries; it is this pioneering spirit that ensures he is a fitting recipient of the Herbert Whiteley Award.” 

Herbert Whiteley is acknowledged as the person behind the birth of original brass band repertoire for contests, having encouraged composers like Elgar, Holst, Henry Geehl, Percy Fletcher, Hubert Bath and Cyril Jenkins to write for the Crystal Palace contest in the early 20th century.  

Whiteley served as editor of British Bandsman from 1906 until 1930 and was a ‘right-hand man’ to John Henry Iles. 

Commenting on his award, Edward Gregson said: “I am delighted to have been chosen as this year’s recipient of the Herbert Whiteley Award for innovation and creativity. 

“Although most of my major compositions for brass band have been commissioned for competitions, the two works of which I am most proud - the Symphony in two movements and The Trumpets of the Angels - were not. The Symphony was commissioned by two of our National Youth bands, while Trumpets was commissioned by Nicholas Childs and the Foden’s Band for its centenary concert in 2000.  

“These are the two works that best demonstrate my ambition to take the brass band repertoire into unchartered territory as well as being designed for the concert platform. Indeed, throughout all of my 50 years of writing for bands I have always tried to be ambitious in challenging the norms of what brass bands can achieve - and they have never let me down! I am indebted to The British Bandsman for bestowing me with this honour.”