2018 Coalburn Awards

Saturday 2 March 2019

On the 22nd of February, the Coalburn Bronze Band, Intermediate Band, Silver Band and Percussion Academy gathered at St Johns Hall in Blackwood for a wonderful home cooked dinner, prepared by Bronze band committee member Helen Damer, and to celebrate the organisations 10th Annual Awards night.

2018 has been another successful year for the Coalburn Brass Band Family. The Percussion Academy performed at the Scottish Youth Championships for the first time earning a Silver Award for their performance. Several members of the Intermediate band progressed through to the Silver Band, and have participated in many contest and concert performances throughout the year. Whilst, the Intermediate and Bronze Bands continued their on-going success and growth. A highlight of the year was the inaugural ‘Coalburn’s Got Talent’ in June, which seen 19 players from across the organisation perform in a solo competition, adjudicated by Scott Kerr, principal euphonium with the Whitburn Band.

The first award of the night was for the Coalburn Percussion Academy, who celebrated their 5th birthday in 2018. Band President Alan Court began by giving an overview of the percussion academy’s work over the past year and thanked Gordon Millar for his continued hard work as Musical Director. The ‘Most Improved Player of the Year’ award went to the Bronze Band’s percussionist Euan Coulter. Euan has grown in both confidence and technique throughout the past year, which has contributed hugely to some fantastic concert and contest performances including the Percussion Academy’s performance at the Youth Championships in November.

The Intermediate Band awards followed. Musical Director David Fehilly began by giving an overview of the band’s year before presenting the award for ‘Most Improved Player’ to the band’s Baritone player Susan Kelso. Trombone player Marcie Boyle was voted ‘Players’ Player of the Year’.  Marcie’s commitment to rehearsals and engagements, as well as her excellent contributions to concert and contest performances made her a first choice for band members and also for David as the band’s ‘Player of the Year’.

The next awards went to the members of the Bronze Band. The Best Section prize was awarded to the Bass team of Lewis Court, Malcolm Ormrod and Alan Ormord. The Bronze Band’s ‘Band Person of the Year’ award was awarded to Megan Cowan by the Bronze Band Committee. During the past year, Megan has worked extremely hard and was ever present at both engagements and rehearsals. This, along with her positive attitude and desire to help other members of the band and the committee, made the committee’s decision very easy.
The ‘George Blackwood Memorial Trophy for the Most Improved Player’ was presented to Cornet player Lily Scott. Lily earned this award due to her commitment, improvement in playing, behaviour at rehearsals and willingness to help other members of the band. These were also the reasons that the children of the Bronze Band voted for Lily for their ‘Children’s Choice Award’.

At the end of the Bronze Band prize giving all members of the band were invited forward by name and presented with an individual certificate to reward all of their hard work and commitment throughout the year.

Finally, it was the turn of the Silver Band and Gareth Bowman the Band’s Musical Director was on hand to announce the winners. The Best Section this year went to the Trombone section comprised of Robyn Anderson, Anna Biggart and Lizzie Meikle. Gareth commented on the commitment of each player and their ability to work fantastically as a team, which has contributed to some excellent concert and contest performances throughout 2018.

The ‘Conductors Award’ this year was awarded jointly to Baritone player, Jayne Thompson, and Cornet player, Eva Postma. Gareth commented on both Eva and Jayne’s commitment to home practice which has helped them to develop their playing and progress through the organisation from the Bronze through to the Silver Band.
The ‘Band Person of the Year’, voted by band members, went jointly to David Fehilly and Daniel Beadle. This is the 10th year in a row that band members have voted Daniel as the winner of this award, and is reflective of how valuable they consider his unwavering commitment to the band both as a Cornet player, and as the band secretary and treasurer. Joining him this year was David Fehilly. Over the past two years David has moved from Bass Trombone to Soprano Cornet to Eb bass, and now Principle Horn. David’s willingness and ability to rise to the challenge of learning a new instrument in order to help the band, as well as his dedication to the role Musical Director of both the Bronze and Intermediate Bands, are the reasons that Band members wanted to honour him this year. Both men are extremely deserving of this award, and are were the first to receive the new presidential Quaich (Donated by Band President Alan Court) for outstanding contribution to the working of the band throughout the year.

The final award of the evening, the Silver Band ‘Player of the Year’ award was presented to the band’s Principal Trombone player, Robyn Anderson. Robyn has had outstanding commitment to rehearsals and events over the past year. Moreover, Gareth commended her technical playing and overall sound which has led to some exceptional contest and concert performances.
In his closing remarks the Silver Band Musical Director, Gareth Bowman, once again emphasised the importance of home practice for every member of each band. He also commented on how great it was to have all members of the Coalburn Brass Band family together for the evening. He thanked all members of the organisation for their continued commitment to helping the band family with its continued growth and development. Band President Alan Court then brought to an end a wonderful night of celebration by giving the vote of thanks.

The whole Coalburn Brass Band family will appear in concert on Friday 1st of March at Kirkmuirhill Parish Church. The Silver and Intermediate Bands are also working hard ahead of their performances at the Scottish Brass Band Championships at Perth Concert hall on the 9th and 10th of March. 

Photos courtesy of Archibald Photography.