Composers 'R' Us

Who is YOUR favourite composer/arranger?

  • Howard Snell

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Jacob De Haan

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • other (see my note)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Composers of the area testpieces! (just for Rodger)

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters


Staff member
Setting up a poll such as this is rather like opening up a can of worms. The scope is so wide, and there are likely to be those holding widely differing opinions. For me there are also great differences between music I like playing and that which I like listening to. There are a number of pieces that are great to listen to, including some of the Eric Ball classics, which actually take an awful lot of playing, and you wonder whether all the effort is worthwhile.

I have selected Philip Wilby, as I feel he has given us a number of notable works, challenging for the players but approachable for listeners. Revelation and Dove Descending inparticular, when played well, can have a tremendous impact. As for other names, what about Ray Steadman Allen, Gilbert Vinter or Torsten Aagaard-Nilsen, not forgetting anyone who can write bass parts with sufficient interest and variety!


Active Member
My vote goes to Alan Catherall or other as the poll goes. I particuarly liked his version of Bohemian Rhapsody and Jurassic Park. 8)

On top of that he is also a nice bloke :lol:


Active Member
PeterBale said:
Setting up a poll such as this is rather like opening up a can of worms. The scope is so wide, and there are likely to be those holding widely differing opinions.

This may be so - but isn't it fun!


We're in the process of rehearsing for a film music concert at the moment, and as such we've just started rehearsing a load of Alan Catherall music. It is indeed excellent stuff.


Active Member
Phillip Sparke, if nothing else then for the 2nd movement of Year Of the Dragon... words can't descibe it.. (well they probably could but they wouldn't be good enough :D ).



I like Wilfrid Heaton ( Contest Music ), Phillip Wilby ( Jazz and Masquarade ) but the Daddy is Derek Bourgeois ( Devil and the Deep Blue Sea )


oh dear, how did Frank Bernaerts make the list!! I. To be fair he has done some good arrangements especially for youth and lower section bands, although I have known some bands to play too much of his music which can get a bit the same if you know what I mean! One moment in time must be one of his best arrangements tho.


Supporting Member

for contest works, has to be Gilbert Vinter for me - for general brass arranging, then Mark Freeh is the man!

Tuba Girl

Everybody is missing out the best test piece of all time.
PRAGUE!!!!! by Judith Bingham. She should be up there. Some of her other compositions are good.

Seriously Year of the Dragon, Paganni Variations, English Heritage (cracking bass part) Revelation. These are works of art. Top composers!!!!! 8) 8) 8)


Philip Sparke gets my vote.
Tallis Variations
Variations on an Enigma
Harmony Music (I can start liking this piece again because I don't have to play it anymore)

and most impressive of all is his arrangment of "Walking in the Air" (The Snowman)

however, being a euphonium player I also like Wilby for making euphonium players feel important.


All the above are great composers and help to make banding very enjoyable (most of the time) by the pieces they have written but I would like to make a mention of Darrol Barry.
I'm sure every band on here has at least one Darrol Barry piece in its library and they are always really good pieces with loads of interest for all instruments and always crowd pleasers. Remember 'A Salford Sinfonietta' anybody?
He's an excellent arranger and composer and one of the best qualities I feel he has is that he can write for all standards of bands.

ian perks

Active Member
Eric ball wrote some fantastic stuff to play.
Played Kensington Concerto (SOLO BARITONE) at Nationals last year off NUMBER 1 DRAW.
Great piece to play
But the number one composer for me would have to be
GILBERT VINTNER: A composer who sadly died before he really got into writing for brassbands at any great length.
If he had lived for longer just think what he would have produced for us to play.
My favorite piece he wrote was ;JAMES COOK CIRCUMNAVIGATOR.
My first British Open Contest was to hear JOHN O GAUNT i was only 4 yeares old and as the second band started playing it i said "NOT THIS PIECE AGAIN" so iwas taken around the ZOO for the rest of the day.:-D

Product tMP members are discussing