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Iles Medal Award 2014 to John McCabe

Three months after John McCabe was presented with the IVOR Classical Composer of 2014 Award by BASCA (British Academy of Song-writers, Composers and Authors), the Worshipful Company of Musicians has chosen to present him with the 2014 Iles Medal, for services to the brass band movement.

McCabe first encountered the brass band genre through working with the late Ifor James, horn-player and then MD of the Besses o’th’ Barn Band. He was staggered by the brilliance of the playing, and went on to write Images for them (1978). Later followed four other works for brass band, Cloudcatcher Fells (1985), Northern Lights (1992), Salamander (1994), and The Maunsell Forts (2001/2). Cloudcatcher Fells, inspired by a youthful visit to Patterdale in the Lake District, is regarded as the classic of the repertoire, and it, Salamander and The Maunsell Forts have all been test pieces, either for the British Open, or the National Finals.

The Iles Medal is due to be presented to John McCabe at the next British Open, at Symphony Hall, Birmingham, in September. Commenting, in an article carried by Brass Band World, McCabe said, ‘I’m absolutely delighted, because it’s a prestigious thing – so many great musicians have received the medal, and it’s an essential part of the brass band world’.


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