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2003 National Youth Championships of Great Britain - Retrospective

Our man was at Manchester's Royal Northern College of Music to listen to the bands and give us his views on what was a great day out.

What a haven of musical talent Manchester was on Saturday 15th February 2003 as 4BR had the pleasure of attending the Boosey & Hawkes National Youth Brass Band Championships at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester and following it in the evening at the sell-out Academy 2 venue to take in a concert by pianist/singer-songwriter Venessa Carlton.

New musical talent from different genres but both equally rewarding and musically satisfying making the day one which will live long in the memory.

Celebrating its 10th Anniversary the sections of the National Youth Championships were run simultaneously in the Brown Shipley Concert Hall and further up the steps of the foyer with its numerous trade stands, in the Addleshaw Booth Theatre. The day was spent taking in a taste of the performances, moving between halls, to sample the skilful music making across the sections.

The fact that the day ran so smoothly was again down to the excellent support the Championship Administrator Haley Grainger could call on from the many experienced volunteers from the North West Counties Brass Band Association, North West Area Brass Band Association and Wardle High School, most of whom set off in temperatures of minus 4C early that morning.

After the success of the 2002 Championships, the format of five sections was retained so, once again at the end of the day there were five National Youth Band Champions - the Premier Youth Band, County Band Champions, Community Band Champions, School Band Champions and Junior Band Champions.

The prizes in each section were First Prize £350 and Trophy & Certificate of Merit; Second Place £200 & Certificate of Merit; Third Place £100 & Certificate of Merit together with Best Instrumentalist Trophy. Each band received either a Gold, Silver or Bronze certificate to indicate their level of playing within their own section.

The Community and Junior Sections commenced in the morning followed by the Schools, County and Premier Sections in the afternoon. In a change to the previous championships there were four set pieces, one each for the Premier, County, Community and Schools sections. As for the Junior Bands there was no set test however they were required to include at least one piece that was composed specially for brass band. The presentation of results took place at the end of each section, with musical interludes included whilst results were compiled.

How good were these as well! Alan Morrison performed at the conclusion of the Community and Junior Band Championships and Nick Hudson at the conclusion of the Premier, “County” and School Band Champions.
Alan Morrison performed his own arrangements of ‘Buster Strikes Back’, Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ and ‘Georgia On My Mind’ with absolute assurance whilst Nick Hudson’s diverse presentation incorporated a jazz/rock fusion piece ‘E-Motion’, complete with combo backing track before producing liquid sounds with the musical standard ‘Stardust’.

Junior Band Championship

This class was open to all youth brass bands whose membership was 16 years of age or under on the day of the event. Each band was invited to play a varied programme of 15 minutes music duration that included at least one piece that had been composed specially for brass band.

The Addleshaw Booth Theatre with its steep charcoal brick auditorium, green seats and black draped stage was very warm and could have become slightly stuffy if you spent and we doubt that anyone did, the full day in this one theatre.

Wearing a dark blue open neck shirt, complete with old jokes, Ian Cheeseman (BBC GMR presenter) introduced adjudicators Colin Hardy and Malcolm Brownbill before they heard ten bands perform a diverse range of music. Malcolm Brownbill, speaking to 4BR after the section, was full of praise for the bands. Asked about a highlight from the performance, which saw the St. Helens Youth Training Band take another National Title down the East Lancs. Road, he pointed to ‘The Old Gumbie Cat’ which he felt was particularly evocative of a cat springing to life with claws out, as the mood of the music changed in style. This was a skilful musical performance once again under the almost mesmeric influence of their lovely musical director Lynda Nicholson.

The results (draw in brackets) and programme details were:

1. (Gold Award) St. Helens Youth Training Band - Lynda Nicholson (3)
Prelude (March) – Edward Gregson
The Old Gumbie Cat – Andrew Lloyd Webber (arr. Goff Richards)
Spiritual Medley – William Himes
Royal Border Bridge, Berwick-on-Tweed (1850) – Arthur Butterworth

2. (Gold Award) Aberystwyth Youth School Band - Alan Phillips (8)
The Tops – T.J.Powell : Soloists - Tomi Johnson, Toby Spain, Rhodian Griffiths, David Hart, Gwydian Hughes
Hailstorm – William Rimmer : Soloist – Jason Lewis
Music Of The Night – Arr. Himes
Stantonbury Festival (Finale) – Ray Steadman-Allen

3. (Gold Award) Campbletown Junior Brass - Gordon Evans MBE (9)
Death or Glory – R.B.Hall
Siciliano (from Little Suite for Brass – op80) – Sir Malcolm Arnold
Rondo (from Air and Rondo) – Reginald Heath : Tenor Horn Solo – Alex Hales
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – John Williams (arr. Frank Baernarts)

Silver Awards:

Stockport Schools Intermediate Brass Band - Peter Gray (1)
Punchinello – William Rimmer
Make Me a Channel of Your Peace – Sebastian temple (arr. Karen Burton)
Oregon – Jacob De Haan

Gwynedd Mon Junior Brass Band - John Glyn Jones (5)
The Eagle Ascending – Simon Kerwin
On The Ball (March) – Edrich Siebert
Pie Jesu – Andrew Lloyd Webber : Cornet Duet – Nicholas Hughes & Rhys Hughes
Ground Pavan – Bruce Fraser
I Will Follow Him – arr. J.V.Kraeydonk

Bronze Awards:

Chorley Silver Youth - Stuart Pullin (2)
Westward Ho! – Edwin Firth
Wiederkehr – J.Hartmann (arr. S.Pullin) : Solo Euphonium – Rachael King
Chorale (from Chorale & Rockout) – Ted Huggens
Anything Goes – Cole Porter (arr. Alan Fernie)

Ratby Co-operative Youth Band - Kevin Steward (4)
Star Lake – Eric Ball
Sugar Blues – C.Williams (arr. Alan Morrison) : Soloist Jonathan Scott
Eternal Flame – arr. Frank Baernarts
Disco Frisco (from Easy Pop Suite) – Dizzy Stratford

Wardle High School - Robert Duesbury (6)
Lomond Hills (Overture) – Bruce Fraser
Razzamajazz – John Edmonson
Passing Moment – Bruce Fraser
If I Were A Rich Man – Rom Stanko
Flashdance – Rom Stanko : Soloist – Naomi Crowshaw

Cwmtawe District Youth Band - Wayne Pedrick (7)
Cwm Rhondda – John Hughes (arr. Wayne Pedrick)
Canon – Pachelbel (arr. Mark Vause)
Music for Greenwich – Edward Gregson
See You Later Alligator – Guidry (arr. Fernie)

Sellers International Youth Band - Mark Bousie (10)
Little Suite for Brass No 1 – Sir Malcolm Arnold
Brassed Off (Percussion Feature) – Darrol Barry : Soloist – Joe England
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – John Williams (arr. Frank Baernarts)

Towneley High School Youth Band - Dave Warren

Individual Award
Best Instrumentalist:
Cornet - Jason Lewis ; Aberystwyth Youth

Community Band Championship

This class was open to all bands organised independently of an education authority, music service or school. The age limit was 19 or under on the day of the event and each band was invited to play a varied programme of 20 minutes music duration including the set work Narnia Suite by Geoffrey Burgon (duration: c.10 mins.)

The grey brick Brown Shipley Concert Hall, with its distinctive red tapestry and soft complimentary lighting was in direct contrast to the energy of the JAG Mount Charles Youth Band in their yellow and black as they celebrated taking the Community Band Championship from draw number 1. Their performance including choreographed 12th Street Rag came ahead of Horbury Victoria Youth and their excellent soloist Elizabeth Pope. Tewit Youth under Malcolm Dibb produced a very big sound whilst the soloist from Haydock Youth band played La Belle Americaine. Played with real bravado it just slipped on the final note, which was a real shame, in a smashing solo performance. In another fine showing tenor horn soloist Chloe Witts from the Chalford Youth Band did real justice to Demelza from the pen of Hugh Nash.

In relaxed style with his open neck lemon yellow shirt John Maines admirably compared the day and like his counterpart in the other theatre gave a warm and informative introduction to each band. Adjudicators for the section Duncan Beckley and John Berryman sat at the rear of the auditorium overseeing the bands and rarely did a smile leave their faces as they listened to 10 top programmes.

1. (Gold Award) JAG Mount Charles Youth Band - Jon Small (1)
Music for a Celebration – Gilbert Tinner
Barnard Castle - Goff Richards
Narnia Suite - Geoffrey Burgon
12th Street Rag – Jack Peberdy :
Soloists – Bianca Davies, Adam Gore, Glen Philip, Jenny Caesar and Nathan Richards.
Bolero - Ravel

2. (Gold Award) Horbury Victoria Youth - Tom Greatorex (6)
Narnia Suite - Geoffrey Burgon
Crazy Music in the Air – Jacob De Haan
Blaydon Races – Gordon Langford : Euphonium Solist Elizabeth Pope
Galop from Little Suite for Brass No 1 – Sir Malcolm Arnold

3. (Silver Award) Houghton Area Youth Band - Les Palmer (8)
Barnard Castle - Goff Richards
Andante & Scherzo – Reginald Heath : Euphonium Soloist – James Wright
Narnia Suite - Geoffrey Burgon

Silver Awards:

Lions Youth Brass - Nigel Birch (3)
Standard of St. George – K.Alford
Narnia Suite - Geoffrey Burgon
Song Setting – Leonard Valentine
March form the 2nd Suite in F – Gustav Holst

Poynton Youth Brass - Andy Hirst (5)
Florentine (March) – J.Fucik (arr. Roger Barsotti)
Dimitri – Rodney Newton : Flugel Soloist – Elizabeth Sawyer
Narnia Suite - Geoffrey Burgon

Chalford Youth - Steve Tubb (7)
Opening Number – Ray Woodfield
Narnia Suite - Geoffrey Burgon
Demelza – Hugh Nash : Tenor Horn Soloist – Chloe Witts
Main Theme from the film ‘Backdraft’ – Hans Zimmer (arr. Dave Stowell)

Tewit Youth - Malcolm Dibb (10)
Ross Roy – Jacob De Haan
Narnia Suite - Geoffrey Burgon

Bronze Awards:

Shaw Youth - M. Tooley (4)
Fanfare & Dances (1st Movement) from Lydian Pictures – Simon Dobson
Virtuosity – Kenny Baker (arr. Jack Perry) : Cornet Soloist – Nick Jackson
Narnia Suite - Geoffrey Burgon

Haydock Youth - Dave Chadwick (9)
Fanfare – Philip Sparke
La Belle Americaine – John Hartmann
Narnia Suite - Geoffrey Burgon

South East Cheshire Youth - Louise Renshaw (2)
Barnard Castle - Goff Richards
The Bass in the Ballroom – Roy Newsome : Soloist – Laura Cockman
Narnia Suite - Geoffrey Burgon

Individual Awards:

Best Instrumentalist: Elizabeth Pope - Euphonium, Horbury Youth
Individual Award for Commitment to brass band music - Tom Gibson
John Henry Iles Award: Most Promising Band - Shaw Youth - M.E. Tooley

School Band Championship

This class was open to all bands organised through or by a single school. The inclusion of former students was permitted, within the upper age limit of 19 or under on the day of the event, provided that the organisers were notified in advance. The school band class was also open to training/learner bands from those education authorities/organisations who wished to enter another band in the “County” or Premier classes. Each band was invited to play a varied programme of 20 minutes music duration, including a performance of the set work ‘A Malvern Suite’ by Philip Sparke. (duration: c.10 mins.)

No sooner had the voice over the p.a. asked for the hall to be cleared and the celebrations of the Jag Mount Charles Band died down in Brown Shipley Concert Hall than adjudicators Duncan Beckley and John Berryman were again called into action to oversee the six entries in the School Band Championship. Tapton Schools took the stage in their colourful waistcoats and produced a musical performance to match. From its relaxed solo with excellent style to the Fantasia on Tico Tico complete with full band percussion and Mexican bandits a la ‘Good Bad and Ugly’. One could hear the real verve Abraham Derby got into ‘Adventures in Brass’ whilst Chris Wormald brought out the best of the band in the ‘Hymn to the Fallen’ with some superb percussion playing whilst the 3rd movement of the test piece just wobbled and probably proved costly.

1. Tapton Schools Brass Band - Pat Phillips (1)
A Malvern Suite - Philip Sparke
Satchmo – Baker arr. Morrison : Soloist Cornet – Thomas Osbourne
Fantasia on Tico Tico – D.Bougeois

2. Abraham Derby School - Wayne Rushton (5)
Gaudete – arr. Newton
A Malvern Suite - Philip Sparke
Adventures in Brass – Ray Farr

3. Smithills School Senior Band - Chris Wormald (3)
Hymn to the Fallen (from ‘Saving Private Ryan’) – John Williams (arr. Wormald)
Cornet Soloist – Vanisha Gangiyani
A Malvern Suite - Philip Sparke
Gladiator – The Battle – Zimmer’Gerrard (arr. Wormald)

Wardle Youth - Stuart Marshall (2)
A Malvern Suite - Philip Sparke
Deep River – William Broughton
The Cossack – William Rimmer

Egglescliffe School Brass Band - Keith Hewson (4)
Concert Overture ; The Prizewinners – Philip Sparke
Helter-Skelter – W.G.Lemon : Xylophone Soloist – Danny Allinson
A Malvern Suite - Philip Sparke

Glossopdale Community College - Mark Bousie (6)
Kenilworth (March) – Edwin Firth
A Malvern Suite - Philip Sparke
Sugar Blues – Williams (arr. Morrison)
Music from Kantara – 3rd Movement – Kenneth Downie

Individual Award
Best Instrumentalist:
Cornet – Thomas Osbourne : Tapton School Brass Band

County Band Championship

This class was open to all Music Centre, Borough and County bands whose membership is organised through an education authority or music service. The upper age limit of 19 or under on the day of the event applied and each band was invited to play a programme of 20 minutes music duration, including the set work Peter Graham’s Northern Landscapes (duration: c.10.30 mins)

Ian Cheeseman (now more formally attired with the arrival of the dignitaries) controlled the enthusiasm of the players gathered for the results very well even engineering a Mexican wave! Paul Hindmarsh and Bryan Hurdley awarded the 1st prize to Stockport Schools Senior Band and Paul Hindmarsh in his formal remarks commented on the good dynamics, of hearing the musical intention behind the performance and thanked the band for a “rewarding experience”.

1. (Gold Award) Stockport Schools Senior Band - Colin Duxbury (5)
Northern Landscapes – Peter Graham
Purcell Variations – Kenneth Downie

2. (Gold Award) Northamptonshire County Youth Brass Band - Adele Sellers (4)
Adventures in Brass – Ray Farr
The Irish Blessing – Joyce Eilers Bacak (arr. Stephen Bradnum)
Soloists – Charlotte Kingham, Jessica Jamieson, Nicholas Chapman & Amy Smith
Northern Landscapes – Peter Graham

3. (Silver Award) Worcestershire Youth Brass Band - Nicky Daw (3)
A Celebration of Youth – Philip Harper
Adagio (from Concerto De Aranjuez) – Jaoquin Rodrigo (arr. Kevin Bolton) : Flugel Solo - Nicholas Walkley
Northern Landscapes – Peter Graham

Bronze Awards:

Carmarthenshire County Youth Band - Ceri John (1)
The Clog Dance – John Marcangelo (arr. Bill Charleston)
One Day in Your Life – arr. Darrol Barry : Tenor Horn Soloist – Dewi Storer
Northern Landscapes – Peter Graham

Oldham Music Centre Youth - Martyn Evans (2)
Rock Music III – Goff Richards
Amazing Grace – William Himes
Northern Landscapes – Peter Graham

Best Instrumentalist: Nicholas Walkley - Flugel Horn, Worcestershire Youth.

Premier Youth Band Championship

This class was open to any band, qualified to play in the School, Community or “County” band classes, which aspired to the greater challenge of playing two or three substantial original pieces for brass band, including the set work Occasion by Edward Gregson. The upper age limit of 19 or under on the day of the event applied and the duration of the musical content was to not exceed 25 minutes.

Four bands competed in the Addleshaw Booth Theatre with Paul Hindmarsh and Bryan Hurdley again adjudicating. The selection of pieces and aspirations of the competing bands aptly conveys the level of playing in this Premier Youth Band Championship

1. West Lothian Schools Brass Band - Nigel Boddice (1)
Occasion - Edward Gregson
Shine As The Light – Peter Graham

2. Rochdale Borough Youth Band - Eric Landon (3)
Occasion - Edward Gregson
Comedy – John Ireland

3. Greater Gwent Youth Brass Band - Robert Childs (4)
Occasion - Edward Gregson
Land of the Long White Cloud (Aotearoa) – Philip Sparke

4. Dobcross Youth Band - Ted Griffiths (4)
Occasion - Edward Gregson
Comedy – John Ireland

Best Instrumentalist:
Cornet :
Dobcross Youth

For the full results of all the sections, please go to our news page section.

John James for 4BR.

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