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2024 National Youth Championships
Dean Close School, Cheltenham
23 March

Comments: Iwan Fox

  • Sunday 24, 07:58:41

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    2024 Champions: Wardle Academy Youth

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    Congratulations from presenter Alex Humphreys

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    Wardle are presented with the trophy by Nicky Tonge of sponsor World of Brass

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    Gold Award and champions: Wardle Academy Youth Band

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    Runner up and Gold Award: Youth Brass 2000

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    Third place and Gold Award: Elland Youth

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    Best Soloist: The trio of percussionists of Lions Youth Band


    World of Brass Championship Section:

    Adjudicators: Mike Cavanagh and Helen Varley

    Prize Winners:
    1. Wardle Academy Youth Band (Bradley McCulloch) (Gold)
    2. Youth Brass 2000 (Chris Jeans) (Gold)
    3. Elland Youth Band (Samantha Harrison) (Gold)

    Gold Award:
    Lions Youth Brass (Ian Raisbeck)

    Silver Award:
    Lancashire Youth Brass Band (Helen Minshall)
    Northamptonshire County Youth Brass Band (Iain McKnight)
    Oldham Music Centre Youth Brass Band (Jonathan Leedale)
    South Wales Youth Brass Band (Carol Flanary-Davies)
    Tewit Youth Senior Band (Martin Hall)

    Bronze Award:
    Amersham Youth Band (Ash Horton)
    Birmingham Schools' Brass Band (Saphran Ali)
    Cardiff County & Vale of Glamorgan Youth Brass Band (Charles Maynard)
    Macclesfield Youth Brass Band (Louise Renshaw)

    Best Soloist: Percussion trio of Sam Erian, Tim Sealey and George Cragg (Lions Youth Band)

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    2024 Champions Elland Silver Training

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    Winners: Elland Silver Youth Training

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    Runner up: Pembrokeshire Music Service Youth

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    Third place: St Austell Youth

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    Best Soloist: Carys Wood of Pembrokeshire Music Service

    Yamaha Performance Section:

    Adjudicators: Emily Evans and Gavin Saynor

    Prize Winners:
    1. Elland Silver Training Band (Samantha Harrison) (Gold)
    2. Pembrokeshire Music Service Youth Brass Band (Ian Wilkinson) (Gold)
    3. St Austell Youth Band (Anna Minear) (Gold)

    Gold Award:
    Delph Youth Band (Matt Stimpson)
    Shepherd Group Youth Band (Craig Brown)

    Silver Award:
    Astley Youth Band (Toby Hobson)
    Band Pres Ieuenctid Ceredigion (Rose Gillison)
    Barnet Youth Brass Band (Peter Yarde Martin)
    Enderby Youth Band (Sam McClumpha)
    St Helens Youth Band (Jay Hall)
    Wantage Youth Brass (Sara-Jane Wallbridge)

    Bronze Award:
    Birmingham Schools' Training Brass Band (David Taylor)
    Firth Park Academy (Andy Harris)
    Egham Youth Band (James Begg)
    Tewit Youth Intermediate Band (Joe Fearnley)

    Merit Award:
    Macclesfield Youth Brass Band (Junior) (Joe Mahin)
    Lions Academy Band (Peter McDonough)

    Best Soloist Award: Carys Wood (cornet) — Pembrokeshire Music Service Youth Brass Band

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    Cherry Tree Primary

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    Churchdown Village

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    Forest of Dean Youth

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    Lions Debut Band

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    MK Youth Brass Hoppers

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    St Helens Youth

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    Wantage Beginner

    Besson Prodige Showcase Section

    Adjudicators: James Holt and Sheila Allen

    Certificate Presentations made to:

    Cherry Tree Primary School (Paul Fisher)
    Churchdown Village Junior School (Paul McLaughlin)
    Forest of Dean Youth Band (Anri Adachi)
    Haberdashers Aske's Boys Prep School Brass Band (Alan Duguid)
    Lions Debut Band (John Barber)
    MK Young Brass Hoppers (David Rose)
    St Helens Debut Band (Peter McDonough)
    Wantage Beginner Band (Judith Atkins)

  • Saturday 23, 20:05:29

    World of Brass Championship Section:

    An cracking day of music making is brought to a close by yet another well picked programme by an MD that highlights the strengths of his band.

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    Bravo Saphran Ali and Birmingham Schools' Brass Band with their 'New York' set (complete with presenter Tom Hancock's 'authentic' Bronx via Small Heath accent).

    Energised and well delivered there was a super contrast shown with the tender flugel solo played by Rosalie Greenwood on 'Belvedere'.

    From 'Hairspray' to 'Lake of Tenderness' in one step also takes some doing — with 'Manhattan Skyline' to close their programme and the day on an upbeat, optimistic chord — like the theme music to an old episode of 'Hart to Hart'.

  • Saturday 23, 19:35:46

    World of Brass Championship Section:

    The overall standard of playing in this section has been high — although with clearly defined levels of excellence as the MDs have intelligently picked their programmes to suit an achievable level of musical ambition.

    We certainly had a trio from the top strata in Lions Youth Brass (Ian Raisbeck), South Wales Youth Brass Band (Carol Flanary-Davies) and the defending champion Youth Brass 2000 (Chris Jeans).

    Super stuff from the Lions with a cleverly conceived set that took in Worcester Cathedral, a great 'Lion Tamer' euph soloist in Ryan Snellson, the most tender contrast in 'Watching over Us', a multi-handed, choreographed drum trio and a corker 'Jubilation' to close.

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    The Welsh were not far behind with their 'Mountain' inspired set — from Julie Andrews to Napoleon trekking over the Alps.

    Add in a tasty bit of funk to open and super horn soloist in Rhian Evans on 'Hushabye Mountain' and this was a performance of many a high peak (including the witty opening euph quote from the Eric Ball test piece).

    The trio was rounded off with a mature, serious contesting inspired set from Youth Brass 2000 — led off by an imposing take on Philip Harper's 'Olympus'.

    'This is My Father's World' offered a fine contrast before we closed by a scorcher PLC 'Through the Flames' — played such a fizzy-pop choreographed elan.

  • Saturday 23, 17:56:35

    World of Brass Championship Section:

    Another trio of well directed, confident bands displaying their musical strengths for all to enjoy.

    Elland Youth Band has long done that at this contest and beyond, and they certainly made a fine impression under Sam Harrison with a 'Viking' themed programme.

    'Raid of the Vikings' was followed by an excellent cornet soloist in Josh Skyrme before the imposing test-piece closer 'Viking Age'.

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    Lancashire Youth Brass Band (Helen Minshall) was more lightweight with Goff Richards' 'Saddleworth Overture' followed by a suave 'Stardust' played by trombonist Amber Martinjack. The sugar rush 'Can't Stop the Beat' ended things with a flourish.

    The last of the trio was Macclesfield Youth Band (Louise Renshaw) with a neatly conceived set that took in 'Star Lake' march, a tender baritone solo 'With his first breath' played by Kerrie Jones before closing with the round the globe colour of 'The Journal of Phileas Fogg'.

    More good stuff that.

  • Saturday 23, 16:21:13

    World of Brass Championship Section:

    Three more impressive ensembles have offered their contrasting programmes for the supportive audience as well as judges Helen Varley and Mike Cavanagh to enjoy.

    Once again it's been intriguing to listen to the musical approach the bands are taking under their MDs — and the variety has made it very engaging.

    Oldham Music Centre's 'Space' theme (Jonathan Leedale) had plenty of entertainment and colour packed into it, as well as a solid level of contesting rigeur too.

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    That contrasted with the more traditional approach from Wardle Academy Youth (Bradley McCulloch) with such a well drilled ensemble — from the opening bit of Peter Graham, through the William Rimmer march to the closing 'Jubilation' by James Curnow.

    A serious bit of horn solo playing too from Molly Clough on 'Silver Threads' played with elegant confidence.

    The trio was rounded off with Martin Hall inspiring yet another generation of talented young Tewit players in the North East with his usual mix of genres and styles — from PLC, Disney and Billy Joel to Goff Richards and Peter Graham to close.

    He has unearthed yet more nuggets of Tewit gold.

  • Saturday 23, 14:50:25

    World of Brass Championship Section:

    We are now enjoying the serious competitive aspect of the day, and the bands who are looking to be crowned National Champions and represent England at the 2025 European Youth Championships in Stavanger.

    The overall aim of this section is for young people (all in formal education) to perform at a high standard — "one that provides the final step though the doorway to student or adult banding".

    We have heard three bands at various stages of that development and perhaps with very different musical outlooks in their ethos.

    Cardiff County & Vale of Glamorgan Youth Brass Band (Charles Maynard) opted for a traditional test-piece in Gregson's 'Voices of Youth' backed by a fine soprano solo and an up tempo finisher.

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    In contrast Amersham Youth Band (Ash Horton) gave a series of performances as vibrantly coloured as their t-shirts (above) — from Dan Price's 'Starburst' to PLC's 'Wall of Sound'.

    The third band was Northamptonshire County Youth Brass Band (Iain McKnight) who gave us a world premiere, a super euph 'Eire Time' solo from Melody Powell and Gareth Wood's 'Hinemoa'.

    Three very different approaches and performances for Helen Varley and Mike Cavanagh to compare and contrast.

  • Saturday 23, 13:57:31

    World of Brass Championship Section:

    The afternoon and early Saturday evening competitive music making comes from the 13 bands taking part in the World of Brass Championship Section.

    You can of course enjoy the action for yourselves thanks to the live-stream broadcast being made by the event sponsors.

    Go to: www.wobplay.com

  • Saturday 23, 13:44:51

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    All winners...

    There is no winner declared in the Besson Prodige Showcase Section — and quite right too. All the ensembles deserved the highest accolade.

    Best smile though from each of the young band representatives who received their certificates from Euan Meikle of Besson was this young chap from Lions Debut Band.

  • Saturday 23, 13:27:26

    Saints downunder

    The final band of the Besson Prodige Section was St Helens' Debut Band who were making their second appearance at the event this year.

    They fielded players aged 6 upwards — all part of an organisation that continues to provide a wonderful outlet for youthful musical talent in the North West.

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    They headed downunder for their musical inspiration, and proved to be a 'ripper' Shane Warne would have been proud of under the baton of their conductor Peter McDonough, who looked young enough to been a player!

  • Saturday 23, 12:04:50

    Lions and sharks roar!!!

    The Lions Youth Band organisation is rightly regarded as a beacon of youth player development in the UK, and for many years saw their main youth band perform at this event under the direction of the much missed Nigel Birch.

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    This year saw their Lions Debut Band make their appearance led by Foden's trombone star John Barber — and they put on a cracking show.

    Chief among the many star turns were 5 'Baby Sharks' who played their part in a great programme inspired by all things found in the wild.

Contest: Whit Friday March Contests

Friday 24 May • Saddleworth & Tameside OL3

Boarshurst Silver Band - Canning City Brass and Boarshurst Silver Band

Sunday 26 May • Boarshurst Band Club, Greenbridge Lane, OL3 7EW OL3 7EW


Friday 7 June • St. Michaels Church. Duke street. Wigan WN1 2BJ

Bellshill Salvation Army Band - Guest Soloist Tom Hutchinson (The Cory Band)

Saturday 8 June • Uddingston Old Parish Church, Old Glasgow Road, Uddingston G71 7HF G71 7HF

Wotton-under-Edge Silver Band - Foden's Band

Sunday 23 June • Renishaw Innovation Centre,. New Mills, Kingswood, Wotton-under-Edge,. Gloucestershire GL12 8JR

Audley Brass

May 20 • Audley Brass are seeking a Principal Cornet player to lead the band into the First Section in 2025. The band have several fantastic events in the diary including the National Finals and no less than 6 of our epic beer festival sing-along nights.

Linthwaite Band

May 20 • We currently have a vacancy for either a 2nd Euphonium or 2nd Baritone, we have a busy varied list of engagements lined up for the summer, and are a friendly 4th section contesting band based just outside of Huddersfield, and welcome any new players.

Epping Forest Band

May 19 • Required: We are a friendly 2nd section band who are in need of a tenor horn (position negotiable) and percussion to complete our line

Derek Renshaw

ABBA Member
Conductor, Band Trainer and Adjudicator.


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