Outstanding honour for remarkable ambassador

Brass Bands England honour Frank Wolff for his outstanding services to the brass band movement.

Frank Wolff
  Elaine Garner, Steve Drury, Mike Kilroy, Marilyn Jane Elliot, John Squires-Evans, Oliva Yarker and Frank Wolff.

The work of one of the truly great 'ambassadors' for the brass band movement has been honoured by Brass Bands England in a special presentation.


92-year-old Frank Wolff — the inspirational founder, organiser and conductor of the Young Ambassadors Brass Band of Great Britain, was presented with the 'Outstanding Services to Brass Bands' award at an event held in his honour at the retirement home he now lives at in Witney near Oxford.

Now a great-grandfather, his love of brass banding ensured that thousands of youngsters from vastly different backgrounds enjoyed unforgettable musical experiences that broadened horizons and attitudes on nearly 100 'YABB' tours to Europe and North America from its formation in 1978.


The award was presented by Mike Kilroy, Chairman of Brass Bands England, who told 4BR: "It has been a privilege to acknowledge such a wonderful gentleman and musician.

His dedication, commitment and leadership has inspired countless young players who came into contact with him through his brass banding work.

His has been a lifetime of outstanding service to the movement."


Frank left Holland with his wife in 1954, and after emigrating to the UK, devoted much of his life to making music at home and abroad.

Having started playing the cornet in the Salvation Army in Holland, he joined the City of Oxford Band after settling in Cowley.

His children, Elaine and Marilyn both followed their father's footsteps in music and as teenagers studied trumpet at the Royal Academy of Music. Elaine was a finalist in the BBC Young Musician of the Year competition in 1980.

My sister and I love my father and are so proud of what he has achieved in his life. He has brought so much joy to so many peopleElaine Garner and Marilyn Jane Elliott

Young Ambassadors

He started the Young Ambassadors Brass Band of Great Britain 1978, which went on to provide countless memorable tours. It final tour was in 2018.

Speaking at the event, Elaine said: "My sister and I love my father and are so proud of what he has achieved in his life. He has brought so much joy to so many people.

Getting this award is fabulous recognition for everything he has done, both for us, but for the countless musicians across the country, and overseas.

Our late mother, Janny, would be proud of him too. His selfless work in organising charitable concerts in the UK and overseas concerts as part of the countless tours he organised brought so much joy to so many people.

He formed the Young Ambassadors Brass Band in 1978 at the request of my sister and I — and it was just amazing as we are sure everyone who experienced it would agree."

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