Winner of award #20 - Outstanding Contribution to the Brass Band Movement. [imgleft]http://www.themouthpiece.com/images/4yrslive.gif[/imgleft]You may recall that in the first week in January we announced the winners of our annual awards. That is, we made the announcement of every award except for the final, special award. This special award is voted by your tMP team and is intended to be presented to someone who has made a truly outstanding contribution to our movement. The award is in its second year now, and some of our longer-serving members will remember the inaugural award was presented to none other than our own “Mr tMP”, John Burns (TheMusicMan) who is a very hard act to follow, and is a good example of the type of commitment and contribution we are looking for. A number of candidates were considered during December, before we finally came to an agreed winner. The winner is maybe not someone who would be foremost in some people’s minds, or in fact would want to be. Modest and unassuming he may be, but his contribution to the movement is huge, ongoing and without question. He has worked with players and bands of all levels – from the youngest kids, though to the very best players and bands we have to offer. Amongst his wide-ranging contribution, he has been instrumental in running some of our most prestigious contests, has helped promote bands around the world, he sponsors up and coming composers, is responsible for getting the very best tutors to teach our future stars and is editor of a highly respected brass magazine. Simply, our movement would be much poorer without his behind the scenes commitment. The winner of tMP’s special award for an outstanding contribution to the brass band movement is: Philip Biggs [imgleft]http://www.themouthpiece.com/images/pbiggs.jpg[/imgleft]When informed of his award, a clearly flattered Philip commented "I am delighted and thrilled to receive the award." The team initially nominated Philip for his outstanding work as administrator of the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain and the National Children’s band. But it was only when we started to look at Philip more closely that we realised just how much he contributes to our movement. Philip was born into a brass band family and started to play the cornet at the age of five. The following 30 years saw him play with bands in the South of England before retiring as a player in the late 1980s. From this point Philip pursued a career in promotion and marketing, taking this up full time in 1996. Philip's first notable foray in this new direction was in 1989 when he teamed up with Richard Franklin to be the founders of the All England Masters Contest in Cambridge. Since then, “the Masters” has grown in stature and has become a permanent fixture in the brass band calendar. Philip has since become the administrator for such prestigious events as the Spring Festival in Blackpool, the Brass Arts Festival at Regent Hall, London, the Great Northern Brass Arts Festival, the 2002 International Trumpet Guild Conference at the Royal Northern College of Music and the RNCM Festival of Brass. In 1996, Philip was appointed by the London Symphony Orchestra as Event Manager for the 1997 European Brass Band Championships held at The Barbican Centre in the City of London. Also in 1996 Philip was appointed administrator of the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain (NYBBGB) and has been instrumental in ensuring the very best tutors are used on their courses to teach and inspire the next generation of brass players. He expanded his role and was appointed administrator of the Brass Band Summer School, and more recently, the National Children’s Band – highlighting his commitment to the future of our movement. As well as his work within the Brass Band field, Philip takes pride in presenting brass playing in all its forms. His company, Philip Biggs Brass Festivals (PBBF) has engaged world class acts such as; Canadian Brass, The Wallace Collection, Fine Arts Brass Ensemble, Hallé Brass, London Brass and The Don Lusher Big Band in addition to renowned soloists including Elgar Howarth, Maurice Murphy, Allen Vizzuti, John Wallace, Vince DiMartino, James Watson, Jens Lindemann, Robert Childs, Roger Webster, David Daws, David Childs, Phillip McCann, James Shepherd, Sheona White and Steve Sykes. In recent times Philip has also very much enjoyed working with London Symphony Orchestra Brass. In August 2003 Philip launched The Brass Herald, a quarterly magazine covering all aspects of brass playing, from Salvation Army Bands to Big Bands, Conservatoire Brass to Brass Bands. The all-encompassing nature of the magazine is helping to create a better understanding across the boundaries of brass playing – to the benefit of all. Philip was made a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Musicians of the City of London in April 2003, and in June of the same year the Freedom of the City of London was also afforded to him. In 2004 he was appointed a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Musicians of the City of London. We’ve only touched on Philip’s many roles within our movement and his promotion of brass playing in general. We hope that this short announcement has given you a small insight into someone who we feel is hugely important to us all and our movement. Our movement is lucky to have such a committed and gifted representative. While he might not shout it from the rooftops, we’re sure you will recognise that Philip’s contribution is both wide-ranging and significant. We will be planning to make a small presentation to Philip during the forthcoming Butlins Mineworkers weekend.