Cory Band Awards Evening 2010
Not even a blizzard in South Wales could stop Cory Band's 2010 Annual Awards Dinner which took place on Saturday 18th December at the Park Plaza Hotel in Cardiff.

Despite the snowy conditions there was a fantastic turnout from past and present members to celebrate another successful year for the band though unfortunately there were some casualties that couldn’t make it due to the inclement weather.

This annual black tie and ball gown event has become a firm date in the Cory calendar held on the last Saturday before Christmas after the bands engagements for the year have been completed. As well as the eagerly anticipated announcement of both Player of the Year and Band Member of the Year awards there are plenty of other ‘not so serious’ activities. 2010 was no exception and this year the festivities in Cardiff also included a sumptuous 4 course dinner followed by a casino, karaoke, and disco.

Band members and Committee vote each year for the Player of the Year which is described as the player that has consistently performed to the highest level of virtuosity on both the contest and concert platforms. The Band Member of the Year, also decided by a closed vote, is described as the player who contributes to the Band above and beyond the call of duty.

Previous winners have included some fantastic players and Cory members and in 2009, Ian Williams won Player of the Year and long standing stalwart John Trotman won Band Member of the Year. This year for the first time since the Band have been running the Awards, both went to the same person.

When making the announcement of Player of the Year, Chairman Austin Davies commented that several soloists had received a percentage of the vote including Owen Farr and Tom Hutchinson but the majority of the votes cast and winner of the award for 2010 went to David Childs.

Owen Farr, Tom Huthchinson & 2010 Winner David Childs

Commenting on his success, David said, "I'm not a huge fan of the 'Player of the Year' award, I believe all the players contribute in their own way to the success of a top band and several at Cory have played out of their skin all year. However, I imagine the solo CD I recorded with the band earlier this year and quite a few high profile concerto performances went in my favour with this one, but all of Cory's soloists are equally deserving in my opinion. Incidentally my vote went to Owen Farr - he's been great all year."

Agreeing with David, Bob Childs said, "All the soloists in Cory are super players and they've all delivered great contest and concert performances this year, including Bert (sop), Tom (cornet), Joanne (flugel), Owen (horn) and Chris (trombone). However, David's contribution has been outstanding, he has played concerto performances at RNCM, Llangollen, Switzerland and St David's Hall as well as winning Solo CD of the Year. I think the players are also aware of his International image away from the Band too. Although I don't get to vote on either award I fully endorse the Band's choice in David."

When presenting the Band member of the Year award, Austin Davies commented that many people give above and beyond the call of duty for the Band. The ethos of the Band is quite simply to do whatever is required for the Band to run as professionally and smoothly as possible. Musicians from within the Band run the website, organise uniforms, help load and unload percussion equipment, as well as many other duties, however, the majority of votes cast and winner of the 2010 award went again to David Childs.

David's presented with 'Member of the Year' taking away both 2010 awards

Commenting further Austin said, “Along with all the input and hard work David contributes outside of the playing aspects of the band, his contribution in publishing the Cory Cory Hallelujah - History of Cory Band book must have gone some way in securing more votes for him."

Once again David was humble in his acceptance speech saying that, 'Everyone in Cory Band goes the extra mile for the Band and there are lots of people who could have won the Award'. Maybe David's effort to make as many Concerts and Contests within his International duties made the difference?

Bob Childs said, 'David fitted the Area Contest in between two Carnegie Hall Concerto performances! He also increasingly conducts the Band when I'm away. He also encourages the younger players in the Band and always leads by example. I think this Award was very well deserved"

To complete the formalities for the evening, John Southcombe presented a leather bound version of the Band’s 125th anniversary book to both Bob Childs for his efforts and doing such a fantastic job on the compilation and to David Childs for the publication of the book.

Bob receives leather bound 'Cory Cory Hallelujah

John commented that a lot of people had provided input into the book and without the support of former members such as Jeff Thomas, Graham Sheppard, Gwyn Thomas, Clayton McCann, John Trotman and many others, as well as major contributors such as Brian Buckley, the project would not have been completed.

Despite the bad weather stopping some invited guests travelling, it was great to have some of those contributors present on the evening including former Chairman and flugel player Jeff Thomas and his wife Margaret as well as Gwyn Thomas and his wife Helen. Both Jeff (flugel) and Gwyn (soprano) were longstanding members of the band through the seventies, eighties, and nineties and had numerous successes including the European in 1980, the British Nationals in 1974, and of course the hatrick of wins at the Royal Albert hall in 1982, 83,and 84. Unfortunately Gwyn, who now has an administrative role with the band, was taken ill on the evening but after an overnight visit to hospital is now back to full health.

With the presentations and formalities over it was time for the fun part of the evening. Everyone was given £150 of ‘Casino’ money with the objective being to increase it as much as possible to win the prize. Both Roulette and Black Jack were the order of the evening with the croupiers ensuring everything was legitimate. There were some very early runners for the prize and the Childs family was yet again leading the way with David, Joanne, and Lorraine quick off the mark building their chip stacks closely followed by Alun Horgan and Margaret Thomas. After a frenzied hour of activity at the tables the chips were counted and the winner was …. Joanne Childs, (aka Miss Moneypenny!).

Owen, Alun, Olly, Joanne (winner!), Mary, Alex, Tom & Charlotte

Once the fun at the tables had finished it was time for the Karaoke where the star performers of the evening were without question Helen Farr and Lucy Griffiths with a rendition of “Island in the Stream” that will be remembered for a long long time. Alun and Lisa were not far behind with their attempt at “Deeply Dippy” by Right Said Fred and numerous other ‘artists’ contributed to a fun night of entertainment. For those with a strong disposition further images (and performances!) from the evening can be found on the Band’s Facebook group page.

Helen, Lucy, Chris, Lisa, Various, Lisa & Alun

Congratulations once again to David on his 2010 awards and roll on Saturday 17th December 2011!
22 Dec 2010