2010 National Youth Brass Band Championships of Great Britain - Introduction & Preview


Malcolm Wood looks forward to the spotlight falling on the best youth bands in the land this weekend, as the National Youth Championships take place at Manchester's RNCM.

RNCMWith the various Regional Championships around the country over for another year, the contesting spotlight falls on Manchester this Sunday as the National Youth Championships take place at the Royal Northern College of Music.

The date of the event may fluctuate but the one thing that remains constant is that the venue ticks all the right boxes from an organizational perspective.

Fine job

One of the contest’s key factors is that just about every band can make it to Manchester without too many problems - something the British Federation of Brass Bands (BFBB), which does a fine job in running the event year in year out, is mindful of.

However, the variable times education authorities take their Easter break has affected preparations for some of the competitors and its a credit to the bands that they have adapted their rehearsal schedules to accommodate players on the recent National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain Course as well as those who may have taken a short holiday break with their families.

The year of change

There was a major change to the Championships last year with a much needed restructuring, and as a result the number of competitors in the Training Section has doubled this year whilst other bands have moved into different sections.

The Junior Section has three bands just as last year, with the Premier Section dropping by one to five. The Advanced Section has 10 competitors whilst the former Community Section, now known as the Intermediate Section, remains the biggest of the day with a fine field of fifteen bands.


The BFBB can congratulate itself in being able to welcome 40 ensembles this year (the highest number since 2007) of which a quarter will appear for the first time.  

On the flip side however, 10 bands that competed a year ago do not return, so the hard working organisers Arnold Tattersfield and Gary Walczak will surely be contacting them to find out how they can persuade them back for 2011.

Playing format

The format of the Advanced, Intermediate and Premier Sections will see the competitors perform a set work and own choice music, whilst in the Junior and Training Sections the emphasis on getting the players to perform in public and enjoy the experience, sees no set work discipline.   

Winning smile
Youthful future: What the championships are all about...

New Champions

There will be new champions crowned across all five sections on Sunday.  

Having won titles in the past six years, the 2009 Premier Section champion Camborne Youth is taking a year out (although they do plan to return) whilst Advanced Section champion, Sellers who were due to compete in the Premier Section has withdrawn.  

Last year’s Intermediate Section winners Gloucestershire Youth, will now compete in the Advanced Section, whilst the pair of bands from the Stockport Schools organisation are the only two to return to the Junior and Training Sections from a year ago.  

There is sure to be a great deal of interest in the appearance of Action Medical Research Youth Entertainment Champion, Elland Silver Youth who compete in the Intermediate Section.

Familiar names

Although there is no Camborne, Sellers or Smithills this year (three of the most successful bands at the contest in the past few years), the event does welcome back two youth banding giants in Greater Gwent and West Lothian Schools.

As usual there are a host of high profile conductors all eager to add a ‘National title’ to their conducting CVs – from Nigel Boddice MBE, Mark Bousie, John Collins, Chris Jeans and Ian Porthouse, to the BFBB Chairman, Robert Morgan who will put his speaking duties to one side (temporarily no doubt) when he directs Lydbrook Youth in the Intermediate Section.

Knowledgable judges

The BFBB have opted for some knowledgable individuals to make the all important decisions this year.  The experienced trio of Major Peter Parkes, Derek Broadbent and Malcolm Brownbill are to be joined by distinguished musicians, Simone Rebello, Sheona White, Mark Wilkinson, Mark Peacock and composer, Dr Peter Meechan.

CoopCo-op Support

For the fourth year, the event is supported by The Co-operative organization. In March, the Co-operative announced record profits in a difficult economic climate - a success story based on a sound infrastructure and an ethos of serving the local communities in which they are based – brass bands take note!  

9.15am start

It all starts off bright and early at 9.15am on Sunday in the RNCM Theatre (formerly the Bruntwood Theatre) and the two contests there should be completed by around 8.00pm.

The Training Section gets underway at 9.25am in The RNCM Concert Hall, (previously known as the Haden Freeman Concert Hall) followed by the Junior and Advanced Sections.  Hopefully everything will be concluded around 7pm.

Slick operation

The whole day is put together under the watchful eyes of Arnold Tattersfield and Gary Walczak who are supported by a fine army of volunteers who endeavour to make sure that the day runs smoothly with minimum fuss and disruption.


Tickets are available directly from the British Federation of Brass Bands office at the following prices:

Adults £8: 16 and under £4: 11 and under £2.

To purchase tickets please send a cheque for the correct amount made out to BFBB Contests Ltd to:

The British Federation of Brass Bands
Unit 12 Maple Estates
Stocks Lane
S75 2BL

4BR will once again be present on Sunday to experience the 11 hours of competition.


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