Conducting Competition adjudicators announced and entry deadline extended | Brass Bands England

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Conducting Competition adjudicators announced and entry deadline extended

Photos of Morgan Griffiths and Sarah Groarke-Booth
Thursday, 11 April, 2024

The adjudication panel for the Brass Band Conductors’ Association’s (BBCA’s) conducting competition finals on 15 June has been announced as the experienced and respected duo of Morgan Griffiths and Sarah Groarke-Booth.

Morgan Griffiths was appointed the youngest principal Euphonium of the Black Dyke Mills Band in 1990 from where he established an international reputation as one of the World’s finest Euphonium players. He went on to play with the Yorkshire Building Society and Williams Fairey band achieving notable contest success and winning many accolades for his playing.

Morgan turned his focus to conducting and musical direction and in 2007 he was appointed the resident musical director of YBS Band and in 2008 took over as musical director of the Hammonds Band. The band have qualified regularly for the National Finals 2017, 2022 & 2023 and in 2023, crowned the French Open Champions. Morgan is a Senior Lecturer of Euphonium at the prestigious Leeds Conservatoire of Music.

Sarah Groarke-Booth studied music at University of Salford, gaining a BA (Hons) in Band Musicianship and an MA Performance (Conducting). As a conductor, she has worked with many ensembles including wind bands, brass ensembles and choirs.

Speaking of her appointment Sarah said:

“I’ve conducted brass bands for three decades now and I still get a buzz when I walk into a rehearsal room full of players with a new score to explore. I am thrilled to be given the opportunity to observe up and coming conducting talent at this contest - this competition is an excellent chance for such talent to both develop and demonstrate their skills”.

Deadline extension

The BBCA’s aim is to  give as many conductors as possible, from all levels, the opportunity to experience the competition and all that it brings in the way of personal development, peer networking and a unique opportunity to work with some fine bands. 

The organisation is  extending the deadline for entry to this year’s competition to midday on Wednesday 24 April 2024.

Entrants will need to submit a video of themselves conducting a band or small ensemble (not necessarily brass) of no more than 15 minutes.  Videos will be judged by the BBCA Exec and shortlisted for the live competition.

Ten short-listed semi-finalists will be invited to Eccles Town Hall (Greater Manchester) on 15 June to work with the Hammonds Band on contest pieces in the morning, with the five finalists going on to rehearse and conducting the Eccles Borough Band on a concert programme to be performed in the Gala Concert that night. 

BBCA Chairperson, James Holt, offered the following comments:

“The conducting competition is our flagship event and continues to grow from strength to strength. I am delighted that we have been able to secure the services of two outstanding conductors to be able to provide feedback to those participants invited to attend on 15 June. Morgan and Sarah have extensive experience and I am sure both will be able to provide some real insight and inspiration for the conductors taking part.”

Find out more and enter the BBCA Conducting Competition 2024. (BBCA member discounts apply).  Join the BBCA.

New closing date:  Midday Wednesday 24 April.

Photo credit Sarah Groarke-Booth: Kate McDonald