As has been the case at the Butlins since 2009, the youth, and more latterly, with the addition of the unregistered ensemble section, have been excellently supported supplements to the Championship Section entertainment fayre that also takes place on the Sunday.
The well-run events give the competitors ample opportunity to showcase their talents, with this year three ensembles taking part in the Unregistered Section and five in the Youth Section.
The event may come straight after the Christmas holidays, but with the Action Research contest no longer on the calendar and Brass at the Guild held in Preston, Butlins is trying hard to attract more bands to consider making the trip to Skegness.
One that has certainly started to do just that on a regular basis is the 3BA Academy Band from Germany.
They retained the Youth Section title with an admirably delivered set under MD Birgit Trinkl that showcased their increasingly impressive brass band qualities (they were only founded in 2014). It took the £1,000 first prize back home to Ingolstadt in Bavaria in the most confident fashion.
The band had already given a taste of their understanding of different genres of brass band music making on the Friday night, with a splendid short concert in the Centre Stage venue that included Eric Ball's classic 'Indian Summer' and Mark Taylor's jazzy 'Brass Machine' alongside the cheesy delights of 'The Floral Dance' and the fun of 'Ghostbusters'.
Here they settled down with serious intent with 'Abide with Me' followed by the march 'Barnard Castle', a classy horn solo 'He 'aint heavy' and a Big Band' finisher. Mark Walters had little hesitation in putting them first. They were the most deserving winner of the Keith Wardle Memorial Trophy.
That said, they were pushed by some cracking performances from their English rivals — all led with encouragement and broad smiles of pride by their MDs and wonderful support from the packed audience.
Shirland Youth conducted by Dave Hill came closest: Their robust 'Slaidburn' march was followed by a tremendous 'Best Soloist' winning rendition of 'Demelza' from 16 year tenor horn player Like Newborough and the contrasting sounds of the 'Gresford' hymn tune, 'Amparito Roca' and 'Stahl Himmel' to close.
Third placed Enderby Youth led by Trevor Hounsome also gave a performance showed excellent command of style and warm tonality, with 'Castell Coch' full red-blooded passion, followed by 'Abide with Me', 'Fly Me to the Moon', 'Lake of Tenderness' and final section of Paul Lovatt-Cooper's 'Dark Side of the Moon'.
Meanwhile, it was also highly encouraging to hear the determined efforts of City of Cambridge Academy (Martyn Grisdale) and Gresley Colliery Youth (Duncan Jackson) — each brimming with musical excitement and endeavour.
Earlier the Un-registered title was claimed by Shirland Training Band led by the busy Dave Hill, made up of the youngest members of the organisation (and there were plenty of nippers with feet not reaching the floor in all bands) and lightly supported by four senior players.
And keep an eye out for young euphonium player Emily Thomas of Gresley Youth Band (B) who won the 'Best Soloist Award.
The ethos of the competition is enjoyment, fun and inclusion, and so it proved, with all three competitors entering into the spirit to deliver smashing 15-minute sets that included the essential brass band basic items (including quite a few p-buzz instruments) from the likes of Jock McKenzie and Alan Fernie.
All the participants were winners in their own right (and perhaps the award of Gold, Silver and Bronze Achievement levels instead of traditional prizes may encourage further participation), although Shirland's set of 'Latin Fiesta', 'Big Mac March', When Jonny Comes Marching Home', 'Shenandoah' and a brilliant solo from 9 year old Izzy Owen on 'Home on the Range', was worthy of most golden of all winners trophies.
As adjudicator Mark Walters told 4BR after the competitions — it had been a brilliant event packed with brilliant young players paying brilliant music. You couldn't disagree.
The well-run events give the competitors ample opportunity to showcase their talents, with this year three ensembles taking part in the Unregistered Section and five in the Youth Section4BR
Adjudicator: Mark Walters
1. Shirland Training (Dave Hill)
2. Gresley Colliery Youth Band (B) (Duncan Jackson)
3. Wigston Enterprise Band (Matthew Davies)
Best Soloist: Emily Thomas (Gresley Youth Band (B))
Adjudicator: Mark Walters
1. 3BA Academy Brass (Birgit Trinkl)
2. Shirland Youth (Dave Hill)
3. Enderby Youth (Trevor Hounsome)
4. City of Cambridge Academy (Martyn Grisdale)
5. Gresley Colliery Youth (Duncan Jackson)
Best Soloist: Luke Newborough (Shirland Youth)