Foden's Solo Contest 3rd November '18

Posted by Mark Wilkinson on 20 September 2018


Foden’s Band are delighted to announce details of their 8th Open Solo, duet, and quartet competition to be held in Sandbach on the 3rd November.

The competition gets bigger each year, and we especially look forward to welcoming those competing at Sandbach for the first time.

We are very proud that the competition continues to be regarded as one of the most popular events of it’s kind.
Once again we are indebted to Besson Musical Instruments, our main sponsor, for their continued support. We are also grateful to other band partners for their contribution to the event.

Our Blue Riband Open class continues to attract players of the highest calibre, making it a demanding but rewarding task for the adjudicators. Last year’s winner, Horn player Paul Bennett, was the first player to win this class 2 years in succession.The Blue Riband prize varies from year to year, but there is always much thought given to this award.

We have classes for all ages, and do our utmost to encourage all of our competitors, and to give everyone a great experience of friendly competition.

New for this year is a parent and child duet class – last year one of our youngest competitors, Archie Pannell, was only 5. Archie and his dad, Tim, took home a clutch of silverware! This inspired us to include this novel class.

We hope that the Quartet classes will gain even more support this year: In the early 1900’s Foden’s had not one, but 4 quartets, and were very successful. Recognising the lack of repertoire for younger quartets, the band’s talented solo horn player, and composer, Jonathan Bates, has agreed to compose a quartet for the winners of the 11yrs and under age group. Quartets in this section will only be required to play 2 verses of any hymn from the famous ‘red hymn book’, hopefully taking away the problem of finding a suitable piece to play.

Once again we have top class adjudicators and, along with our excellent accompanists, we are confident that this year’s event will be as successful as previous years, and will continue to go from strength to strength.

We are very grateful that one of our band patrons has given a cash bursary and agreed it would be a fitting prize in the 17 – 19 slow melody class. The winner not only wins the Bryan Tait Trophy, but will also have a solo written for them by the talented composer and arranger, Lee Morris. Bryan was one of banding’s finest Principal cornets, and his son, Phillip, offered to present his Dad’s trophy at this year’s competition. We thought it would be a tribute to Bryan if a cornet player was awarded the bursary, and even more meaningful if Phillip chose the cornet player. Phillip himself is a talented musician, and his dad would be very proud of his achievements.

New partners of Foden’s band, GARD, are kindly donating additional prizes so, along with our huge array of trophies and awards, we aim to reward as many musicians as possible for their efforts.

Details of this year’s competition can be obtained by emailing Fiona Rolfe: or downloading an entry form from

Fiona Rolfe

For any conductor and every audience, Foden’s Band is a musical Magic Carpet. It continually takes the listener to places that few other ensembles rarely even approach Howard Snell