So Matsukawa wins the BBCA Conducting Competition | Brass Bands England

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So Matsukawa wins the BBCA Conducting Competition

Monday, 17 June, 2024

Photo: So Matsukawa receiving 1st prize in the BBCA Conducting Competition 2024, with BBCA President Russell Gray, Chair James Holt and adjudicators Morgan Griffiths and Sarah Groarke-Booth.


Saturday 15 June saw ten semi-finalists travelling from as far afield as Canada, Italy, the US and Germany to battle it out in the semi-final of the Brass Band Conductors’ Association’s flagship Conducting Competition at Eccles Town Hall.

Neil Brownless, Gary Perrin, Craig Sanders, So Matsukawa and Christopher Ward impressed adjudicators Sarah Groarke-Booth and Morgan Griffiths conducting Hammonds Band playing Liz Lane’s ‘Rhythm of Light’ and Eric Ball’s ‘Resurgam’ to earn their place in the final.

All five finalists conducted a classic piece in the evening’s Gala Concert with Eccles Borough Band. So, who is originally from Japan, delighted the audience and adjudicators alike with his expressive and enjoyable conducting of Dave Brubeck’s 'Blue Rondo a la Turk'.

The BBCA are thrilled to announce the prize-winners:

1st place: So Matsukawa                                               

2nd place & highest-placed UK Entrant: Gary Perrin

3rd place: Neil Brownless                                               

So was presented with the Roy Newsome Conductors Shield, a £200 cash prize and a year’s free membership of BBCA. He is also invited to act as understudy to Russell Gray in Foden’s preparation for the Nationals and conduct them in concert.

BBCA Chair, James Holt, commented: “This has been a great event and certainly the highest, and most consistent, standard we have had. Each conductor has done themselves proud and I am sure they have taken away a lot from the day. This is a very rewarding day for the BBCA and I hope we are able to continue this fantastic competition to provide opportunities to many more conductors.

My thanks also to Sarah Groarke-Booth and Morgan Griffiths, both Hammonds and Eccles Bands and to our sponsors. This is a competition that continues to grow in stature and today's excellence certainly showed that."

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