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The Pennthorpe Buzzers claim BBE prize

A brilliant group from Pennthorpe School in West Sussex have been declared the winners of the BBE/Warwick Music 'Create a Buzz!' competition

  The brilliant Pennthorpe pBuzzers were declared the winners of the national competition

The 'Pennthorpe pBuzzers' — a brilliantly talented group of youngsters from Pennthorpe School in West Sussex have been declared the winners of Brass Bands England's 'Create a Buzz!' competition in partnership with Warwick Music Group.

'Create a Buzz!' was designed by BBE and Warwick Music, the creators of the ground breaking pBuzz plastic instrument, to encourage youngsters to play together in start-up music groups.

Fun first step

The brightly coloured pBuzz has been specially designed for little hands and is deliberately aimed at being the fun first step in what will hopefully become a life-long passion for brass instrument playing.

Costing less than £20.00, the pBuzz is an affordable and playful product that can aid a child's sensory and fine motor skills, encourage self-expression, stimulate imagination and creativity, build confidence and nurture their natural music talents.

Schools, Music Education Hubs and youth music organisations applied to the programme and five lucky applicants were shortlisted to take part.

5 minute video

Each finalist received a class-set of free instruments to keep and to work with over a six month period, using the free resources available on the pBuzz website.

They were then asked to submit a 5-minute video of their musical journey, featuring a performance of Jonathan Bates' specially commissioned piece, 'Create a Buzz' — work that immediately become a huge hit with those who played it.


Jonathan sat on the judging panel with staff from BBE and Warwick, and told 4BR: "After viewing all of the entries Pennthorpe School were my favourite. I feel the outreach in the community and wide range of performance opportunities, coupled with inventive filming made them stand out."

He added: "It was so refreshing to see such enthusiasm and dedication across all the entries, with such a wide range of different approaches taken and so many young people engaged!"


The winners will receive a set of 10 pCornets and 10 pBones to support the next step of their musical development, as well as an invite to perform on the main stage at the 2019 National Youth Brass Band Championships of Great Britain.

It's also hoped that the success will provide the first step in creating a school brass band at Pennthorpe, creating a new musical legacy for pupils and the area.

Pennthorpe certainly had some stiff competition from other finalists; The Incredible Plastic Street Band (Oldham & pictured above), Shirley Warren Primary School (Southampton), Trafford Music Service (Trafford) and St Ignatius College (Enfield).

Warwick Music's Development Manager, Darren Lea will be visiting all the finalists in the coming weeks to follow up on the project and congratulate all the children and staff that took part.

It was so refreshing to see such enthusiasm and dedication across all the entries, with such a wide range of different approaches taken and so many young people engaged!Jonathan Bates

Lifelong passion

BBE's Education and Development Co-ordinator, Sophie Anderson told 4BR: "Although I wasn't part of the judging panel I saw all the video submissions and they were all fantastic.

It was wonderful to see all the children getting involved and having such a lot of fun. I hope it will inspire many of them to take up a brass instrument and instil a lifelong passion for music making.

The 'Create a Buzz!' pilot has been absolutely brilliant and BBE hopes to be able to run the programme in partnership with Warwick Music again next year."

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