2010 Scottish Youth Championships - Event Preview


4BR looks forward to the flourishing Scottish Youth Championships which take place in Perth this weekend.

Scottish Youth Championships:

There is so much to look forward to on Sunday that it’s difficult to know where to start.

Novice Section:
Commences: 9.30am
10 minutes own choice
Age: 14 years and under as at 1st January (plus 4 overage helpers)

2009 Novice champions Hawick Saxhorn

What about 20 ensembles in the Novice Section?

SBBA has worked hard to develop grass roots banding throughout the country (we have bands here from all corners of the map) and now they are starting reap the rewards. This is a fantastic achievement, (there were 12 ensembles performing 12 months ago) with the promise of even more to come over the next few years.

The secret is the clever balance that has been struck between the prescribed age limit and the freedom to choose whatever music the ensembles wish to perform in their 10 minute slot.

Enjoyment in performance is therefore the overriding ethos – so we can expect to hear anything from ABBA hits to the hymn tune Aberystwyth, Rocky to Rachmaninov, and much, much more.


A great deal of credit goes to the MDs – with plenty of smiles, winks and thumbs up encouragement for the players and plenty of well chosen pieces too.

Numbers vary – from small 15 piece groups to well over 70 players crammed onto the stage, but the determination, enthusiasm and unlimited potential on show is remarkable.  The youngest performers will start around 7 years of age, knee high to a tuba.

The element of competition is encouraged, but awards are made for Gold, Silver and Bronze standards of achievement. 

From Abbey Brass (Jedforest) to Tullis Russell Mills Youth, Newtongrange Juniors drawn number 1 to Peebles Juniors at number 20 – it’s a joy.

1. Newtongrange Junior (Alan Fernie)
2. Newland Junior (Mark Good)
3. Campbeltown Junior Brass (James McVicar)
4. Coalburn Bronze (Jayne Brownlie)
5. Kingdom Brass Youth (Anne Crookston)
6. Perth and Kinross Junior Schools (E.P. Stewart)
7. Kings Park Youth (Alan Pratt)
8. James Young High School Junior (Barbara Poynter)
9. Levern Valley Community (Brian Deans)
10. Tullis Russell Youth (Steven Craig)
11. Dunfermline Youth (Danny Harrison)
12. Arbroath Instrumental Youth (Ann Ness)
13. Loanhead Brass Rootlets (Alan Fernie)
14. Fife Youth: Next Generation (Andrew Duncan)
15. Kirkintilloch Junior (Lynda Nicholson)
16. Abbey Brass (Jedforest) (Rob Hune)
17. St. Margaret’s Academy (Mary Downs)
18. Kirkintilloch Youth (Lynda Nicholson)
19. Hawick Saxhorn Youth (Rob Hume)
20. Peebles Junior (Iain Fleming)

Development Section:
Commences: Following the completion of the Novice Section
15 minutes own choice
Age: 16 years and under as at 1st January (plus 1 overage tuba player)

2009 champions Perthshire Youth

At the conclusion of the Novice Section, six bands will take to the stage for the Development event, which is designed as the next stepping stone in contesting performance.

Once again the emphasis is on musical progression (the contest will hopefully grow in numbers over the intervening years from the maturing and holding on to the players in the Novice Section) allied to enjoyment in performance, and with the added two years of experience we get to hear more substantive works included in programmes.

Each of the six bands is given 15 minutes to showcase their talents.

1. Perthshire Youth Brass (George D. Annan)
2. St Ronan’s Future Brass (David Robb)
3. Inverclyde Schools (Andrew Digger)
4. Loanhead Brass Roots (Alan Fernie)
5. St David’s Budding Brass (John Dickinson)
6. Cumnock Academy (Craig Anderson)

Senior Section:
Commences: Following the awards for the Novice and Development Sections
15 minutes own choice
Age: 18 and under as at 1st January

2009 champions Cumnock Academy

The four bands in the Senior Section are allowed 15 minutes to showcase their considerable talents, and although the standard can vary, thee is invariably much to admire.

Four top notch MDs give it their all, and whilst some have greater support than others (Charlie Farren does a quite wonderful job in developing a brass band foundation in East Lothian) the section is starting to find its niche.

1. Scottish Borders Youth (Alan Fernie)
2. Dalmellington Junior (Ian Taylor)
3. East Lothian Schools (Charles Farren)
4. Perth and Kinross Senior Schools (Robert McDonald)

Premier Section:
Commences: Following completion of the Senior Section
20 minutes own choice
Age: 21 and under as at 1st January
Reigning champions Carnoustie & District

Just the two bands – but what cracking bands they are to provide a fitting musical climax to the weekend of competition.

Both reigning champion Carnoustie and District Youth and West Lothian Schools are outstanding ensembles, drawn from the cream of the talent of their respective areas.

The only down side this year is that there is no band from Aberdeen due to the funding problems being discussed by their local authority, but it is hoped that they will be able to return next year.

In the past couple of years the level of performance has been excellent, and although there is a keen rivalry between the two bands you would never have guessed it given the support they give each other.

Michael Robertson and Nigel Boddice invariably pick cracking entertainment programmes that still retain that serious contesting edge, whilst the standard of solo playing on display is at times stunning.

1. Carnoustie and District Youth (Michael Robertson)
2. West Lothian Schools (Nigel Boddice MBE)


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