Cory Band is pleased to announce that the winner of the 2016 RWCMD Cory Band Composition Prize is Richard Haydn Taylor for his new piece Tanguero! The award was made during the band’s Gala Concert at the RWCMD on Saturday 21 May, when Cory performed all three pieces on the shortlist before a panel of judges who, after interval discussions, decided the winner.
The other shortlisted pieces were Light and Fast by Iestyn Harding, a quirky and wide-ranging piece which the judges thought demonstrated a very thorough compositional technique, and Those Gazing Eyes by Geert Jan Kroon, a programmatic work exploring the world through a child’s daydreams. This piece proved to be a popular choice amongst the audience judging by the unofficial Twitter poll which took place during the interval, but the judges’ decision was to award the prize to Tanguero!. Speaking from the stage on behalf of the judging panel, Philip Sparke commented: “We gave the award to the piece which successfully did exactly what it set out to do.”
The winning piece, a cornet solo, was infused with the sounds of Argentina and the bandoneon, and was played by Cory Band’s Stephanie Wilkins, a recent graduate of RWCMD, who took to the stage to perform the piece again after the announcement in the second half of the concert. The judging panel, which also included Nigel Seaman, Cory Band’s Musical Consultant, and Kevin Price, Head of Brass and Percussion at RWCMD, was joined on stage by Philip Morris, Director of Kapitol Promotions which sponsored the Composition Prize for the second year, and all three finalists, with Geert Jan Kroon having flown with his family from the Netherlands to be in attendance.
Speaking about this year’s prize and final concert, Cory Band’s Musical Director Philip Harper said: “It was a great night at the college and particularly exciting to be presenting new works for brass band. As well as the three world-premieres, we also performed the Welsh premiere of Philip Sparke’s Raveling, Unraveling, and Aristotle’s Air by Cory Band Composer in Residence Christopher Bond, the piece which won the Best New Composition Prize at Brass in Concert last year. Congratulations to all the finalists, and particularly to Richard Haydn Taylor. We look forward to performing and recording his piece in the near future.”