4BR Children's Adjudication Panel - How it all turned out...


4BR teamed up with Peggy Tomlinson and the Regional committeee at Bradford a couple of weeks ago to put on the first ever Childrens Adjudication Panel in the Third Section.

Adjudication Panel
Four budding judges of the future meet the composer Paul Lovatt-Cooper at Bradford

The one thing no one can accuse the Yorkshire Regional Committee of not doing, is looking after the future interests of its bands – and in the case of the first ever Children’s Adjudication Panel which was held here at St George’s Hall in Bradford – that was a future, perhaps some 20 years down the contesting road. 

Four budding young judges, all under the age of 16, took the opportunity to hone their fledgling adjudication skills on the bands in the Third Section, in a joint initiative supported by Peggy Tomlinson and 4Barsrest, as well as British Bandsman and World of Brass.

33 youngsters (some as young as 11) from all over the country had applied to take part, but following a draw, the lucky quartet who made the trip to Bradford with their parents were Jonathan Bates, aged 12 from Skelmanthorpe B Band, Hayley Edmond aged 15 from Whitburn Band, Harrison Healy, aged 14, from Oldham (Lees) Band and Nicholas Birch aged 15 from United Co-op Crewe..

Dark Side of the Moon

The team met up two hours before the contest begun on Saturday afternoon where adjudicator Dr Robert Childs, Paul Lovatt-Cooper, the composer of the test piece, ‘The Dark Side of the Moon’ and euphonium star Mark Bousie met up and gave invaluable advice and tips on how to enjoy the experience – the essential aim of the day.

As expected Bob left no stone unturned in his highly enjoyable talk as he explained about the process involved in trying to pick out a winner. From the big and obvious to the small and hidden, the Cory MD guided the team through the score, whilst he also gave invaluable pointers to an appreciation of balance, colour and textures and even how to be sympathetic to possibly nervous soloists!

Bob pinpointed the things to listen out for, and to make sure the panel didn’t forget, he also handed out his own crib sheet of helpful notes as a guide. The most telling point however was that he hoped it would be an enjoyable experience for all concerned. “Remember - there’s no right or wrong, just an informed opinion,” he said. “If you enjoy the music you will enjoy the experience.”


Meanwhile Paul Lovatt-Cooper took the chance to explain about his piece and its amazing inspiration – which incorporated a mix of Star Wars, Apollo 11 and a starry night in the wilderness of a Canadian forest!  His musical imagination found a real resonance with the youngsters and Paul’s infectious enthusiasm soon allayed any fears the team had about their forthcoming task.

With Mark Bousie on hand to offer tips and guidance throughout the contest, the panel sat in the first tier of the hall and set about their deliberations. Each listened intently as the ten performances came and went, writing their adjudications on the same sheets used by the men in the box, proffering their own opinions and sharing each others thoughts as the contest unfolded.

At the end the team collated their remarks and points and headed back to discuss their outcomes. Even 4BR and BB Editors got in on the act too, revealing their personal tips for results – much to the amusement of the young panellists!

How did they do?

And as for how they did? Fantastically well that’s how, with plenty of perceptive and insightful written remarks, some wry and at times, highly amusing observations and a cold eyed professionalism to the final results – all of which you can now pour over by following the links below, whilst we have also put up their final placings in a table to compare with Bob Childs and Phiip Harper who were in the box. .

All four had the eventual official winners, Rockingham in their top three, with two agreeing with Robert Childs and Philip Harper in giving them first prize (much to their delight when we told them too!). All four also agreed with the judges and picked out Samantha Harrison of Elland Band as their ‘Best Soloist’.

As for the two Editors? Least said the better!

Fantastic response

Hopefully the inaugural Children’s Adjudication Panel will not be a one off experiment and that other regions and contests may take up the baton and try it for themselves. As Peggy Tomlinson told 4BR: “It’s been a great success and so much fun. Bob, Paul and Mark were fantastic and the response from the children and their families has been great. I think I can start booking my judges for 2018 already.”

As for the four potential judges of the future, it was an experience they thoroughly enjoyed. As one budding David Read told us: “It was hard work but it was also fun too. Having Bob Childs, Paul Lovatt-Coopers and Mark to help made so much easier. I really want to do it again.”

Let’s hope they do too.  

Result Robert Childs & Phillip Harper Hayley Edmond Nicholas Birch Harrison Healy Jonathan Bates
1 Rockingham Rockingham Rockingham Gawthorpe Brass Gawthorpe Brass
2 Garforth Emley Gawthorpe Brass Gawthorpe Brass 85 Elland Silver
3 Elland Silver Gawthorpe Brass Emley Rockingham Rockingham
4 Emley Elland Silver West Yorkshire Police West Yorkshire Police West Yorkshire Police
5 Gawthorpe Brass West Yorkshire Police Garforth Oughtibridge Garforth
6 Gawthorpe Brass 85 Gawthorpe Brass 85 Oughtibridge Elland Silver Emley
7 West Yorkshire Police Crofton Silver Elland Silver Emley Gawthorpe Brass 85
8 Oughtibridge Garforth Gawthorpe Brass 85 Crofton Silver Oughtibridge
9 Crofton Silver Oughtibridge Crofton Silver Garforth Crofton Silver
10 Huddersfield & Ripponden Huddersfield & Ripponden Huddersfield & Ripponden Huddersfield & Ripponden Huddersfield & Ripponden



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