Ian Porthouse was appointed musical director of Tredegar Town Band in 2008.Under his direction the band has been at the forefront of imaginative and creative initiatives to develop new audiences and new music for brass bands. Ian Porthouse has conducted the band in significant projects, including a major part of the musical score for the BAFTA award-winning film Pride (the first time a full brass band has been included in a score of original film music); a concert in the Queen Elizabeth Hall in the South Bank Centre’s ‘Changing Britain’ retrospective festival; performing the brass band score by Gavin Higgins for Rambert Ballet’s Dark Arteries at Sadler’s Wells Theatre - the first time a ballet has been scored for brass band (the subsequent recording of a suite from the ballet was voted CD of the year by all the brass band magazines and websites); performing with Tim Minchin at a fund-raising gala at the Old Vic theatre, and returning two years later to perform at the gala event to mark the theatre’s 200th anniversary; and giving the premiere in Speaker’s House in the Houses of Parliament of Tom Davoren’s Legacy, written to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the National Health Service. Under his direction the band joined with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales at the BBC Proms in the Royal Albert Hall to give the premiere of Gavin Higgins’Concerto Grosso for Brass Band and Orchestra, followed by a ‘solo’ Late Night
Philip Harper became Musical Director of the Cory Band in 2012. Since then the band has won all the major trophies many times, including an unprecedented Grand Slam of major titles in 2016: the European, the British Open, the Nationals and Brass in Concert, all won in a single calendar year, and then repeated in 2019. In recent years he has been a guest conductor of the Manger Musikklag Band in Norway, the National Youth Brass Bands of Great Britain, Switzerland and Wales, and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Symphonic Brass. He was the driving force behind Cory’s on-line presence during Covid19 lockdowns, with social media performances and the organisation of an on-line competition
involving bands from across Europe in Spring 2021. He also led on-line seminars and master classes for Brass Bands England, made on-line guest appearances with bands throughout the world, and presented the ‘Besson Fridays at Home’ series.
Mark Wilkinson is awarded the Iles Medal in particular for his outstanding commitment to Foden’s Band over a period of thirty years. He was appointed principal cornet of the band at the age of 20 in 1992 at the invitation of Howard Snell. Since 2013 he has combined that role with that of Band Manager, playing a crucial role in maintaining the band’s high standards.
He has also made a significant contribution as a music educator, as a previous tutor with the National Children’s Brass Band of Great Britain, as well as being a current tutor with the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain. He is a visiting cornet tutor at the Royal Northern College of Music, as well as previously being a tutor at the University of Salford, and Manchester Metropolitan University. He is a founder member of the Northern Ireland Armagh Summer School.
Having first come to prominence at the age of 13 as the principal cornet of as the principal cornet of the Besses Boys Band, he went on to become principal cornet of the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain. As a soloist he has performed in France, USA, Holland, Belgium, Norway, Australia, Switzerland, Italy, and Ireland. He has worked as an adjudicator throughout the UK and in Switzerland and Germany. Between 2018 and 2021 he was the chair of the Association of Brass Band Adjudicators.
Steven Mead has been awarded the Mortimer Medal in recognition of his workas an internationally-renowned music educator. He has been Professor ofEuphonium the RNCM for over 30 years, and is also a Guest Professor atAugsburg University, Milan Conservatory, Xi’an Conservatory of Music (China)and Osaka College of Music. During the summer monthsSteven teaches at schools for young brass players inLithuania, Italy, Austria, the USA and the UK. Many of his former students have developed their own careers as eminent soloists,and many more have entered the teaching profession, passing on the holisticprinciples of pedagogy that he has developed, thereby benefitting numerousschool age musicians throughout the UK and abroad. Steven has played a major role in developing new repertoire for the euphomium, giving premiere performances of newconcerti and major works by Martin Ellerby, Philip Sparke, Torstein Aagaard Nilsen, Derek Bourgeois, Vladimir Cosma,Thomas Doss and Howard Snell. He has made a strong contribution to education literature for the euphonium.As an innovator for the whole ‘low brass’ world, Steven has been the Artistic Director of all six of the NationalTuba/Euphonium Conferences, held in the UK. He recently handed over the reins of Artistic Director of the JejuInternational Wind Ensemble Festival in South Korea, after serving in that role for seven years. Steven has been anartist, designer and clinician with Besson for many years.
Duncan Beckley has been awarded the Mortimer Medal in recognition of his pioneering work in promoting social inclusion in the brass band movement, both in youth music education and in adult education in his work with community bands. He began working as a brass peripatetic teacher in Leeds in1992 at the age of 24, and in 1994 he received the Yorkshire Black Achievement Award in recognition of his brass teaching with disadvantaged children in Leeds. In 2001 he completed 25 years’ unbroken service with Education Leeds. Duncan also works extensively in the field of lifelong music education as a trainer and conductor of community brass bands. He played a major role in the musical development of the Bolsover-based Newstead Band, serving as its conductor from 1989 to 2016. In 2001 he became the first black conductor to direct a band at the Brass in Concert competition. This pioneering work was repeated in 2002 at the British Open Championships, and in 2006 at the National Brass Band Championships at the Royal Albert Hall.