2017 Action Medical Research Youth Championships
As it happened

All the action from the 2017 Action Medical Research Youth Championships — as it happened.

Sunday 12, 18:53:35

That's all folks

What a great day here in Blackpool, where Wardle Academy Youth and Red Admiral Music Academy claimed the prizes for their brilliant entertainment.

They are closing the Winter Gardens up now, so that's it from us — hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.

Sunday 12, 17:58:05

Youth Section: Result

Adjudicators: Paul Norley (music) and John Doyle (Entertainment)

Music + Entertainment = Total

1. Wardle Academy (Lee Rigg): 3/1 = 4
2. Elland Silver Youth (Samantha Harrison): 4/2 = 6
3. Youth Brass 2000 (Chris Jeans): 1/6 = 7*
4. Seindorf Beaumaris Youth (Gwyn M Evans): 2/5 = 7
5. Rochdale Borough Youth (Ben Dixon): 5/4 = 9
6. Houghton Area Youth (Brian Adams): 7/3 = 10
7. Lions Youth Brass (Nigel Birch): 6/7 = 13
8. Enderby Youth (Trevor Housome): 8/8 = 16
9. Macclesfield Youth Brass (Louise Renshaw): 9/9 = 18

*Music mark takes precedence

Outstanding Soloist: Will Porter (iBass) — Seindorf Beaumaris
Most Entertaining Item: Shipshape/Anchors Away (Houghton Area Youth)
Best March: Stars & Stripes Forever (Wardle Academy)
Best Soprano: Rachel Ayres (Rochdale Borough Youth)
Best Trombone Section: Lions Youth
Best Basses: Elland Silver Youth
Best Euphonium: Jimmy Blay (Youth Brass 2000)
Best Stage Deportment: Rochdale Borough Youth
Band With Most Potential: Enderby Youth
Winning Conductor: Lee Rigg (Wardle Academy)

Sunday 12, 17:20:40

Youth Section round up

What a great day in the Opera House, where the standard of the contenders has been very high. Most of the outfits today not only went for the popular theme, but chose to get rid of the chairs and maximise the vast stage.

The challenge for the ensembles though has been selecting music that they can play and entertain at the same time. It is a difficult balancing act and the reality is from a judging perspective a band could fair well in one category and not so favourably in the other. What tickles one judge's taste buds, may not agree with somebody elses.

One observation from our perch in the hall though.

Such was the concentration on the players faces that they didn't make mistakes, we saw very few smiling. Hopefully, this is something that the players and conductors can work on — its part of the entertainment factor after all. Interesting to see if it gets mentioned by the entertainment judge?

4BR Prediction:

1. Elland Silver Youth
2. Wardle Academy
3. Seindorf Beaumaris
4. Youth Brass 2000

Dark Horses: Rochdale/Houghton

Sunday 12, 16:59:43

Youth Section:

9. Youth Brass 2000 (Chris Jeans)

Acts 1, 2, 3 from West Side Story (Bernstein and Sondheim arr Chris Jeans)
Maria (cornet solo) (Bernstein arr Kerwin)
Acts 5 and 6 from West Side Story (Bernstein and Sondheim arr Chris Jeans)v
Gee Officer Krupke (Bernstein arr Kerwin)
Acts 8, 9, 10 from West Side Story (Bernstein and Sondheim arr Chris Jeans)
Somewhere Act II (Finale) (Bernstein and Sondheim arr Crees transcribed by Chris Jeans)

Youth Brass 2000 depicts West Side Story inspired by Shakespere's 'Romeo and Juliet' via the Bronx and somewhere in the Midlands for their performance today. Impeccably dressed, the ensemble stands to perform music from the opening three Acts.

Each segment is linked by our American host who introduces the cornet lead who is in fine form in the popular 'Maria'. More well known music bristles along freely. The familiar 'Tonight' features excellent contributions from euphonium and flugel.

The band goes off stage to skip back on literally (including MD) for the upbeat 'Gee Officer Krupke' that showcases various sections and individuals including trombones, cornets and a xylophonist who play their roles so well.

Now some beautifully structured controlled quiet playing featuring no less than ten players at the front of the stage.

The closing 'Somewhere' is so proficient ensemble playing, to conclude a programme that certainly set out to do something different.


You've got to give it to Chris Jeans and Youth Brass 2000 today for their West Side Story showcase that was so well delivered. Will it tickle the taste buds of the judges though?

Sunday 12, 16:01:48

Youth Section:

8. Elland Silver Youth (Samantha Harrison)

Just a Closer Walk With Thee (Traditional arr Fernie)
March: King Cotton (Sousa)
When the Stars Begin to Fall (Iain McKnight)
Tuba Tiger Rag (Leigh Baker)
Daybreak in Louisiana (Jonathan Bates)
Marching through Georgia (Goff Richards)

A quintet of players from the Yorkshire outfit commence with a water tight rendition rendition of 'Just A Closer Walk With Thee' before the full band comes on to go straight into the march, 'King Cotton'. MD, Samantha Harrison isn't pulling any punches here. This is tight, disciplined playing.

The vocalist in 'When the Stars Begin to Fall' is so composed with sympathetic and tight accompaniment alongside. We are hearing some high-quality music making here.

Life on the mardi gras comes via Leigh Baker's fun-fuelled 'Tuba Tiger Rag. Disciplined in its delivery, it showcases various players, including a bass turned trombonist, and great singing. Simply terrific stuff.

Into New Orleans courtesy of Jonny Bates' contemporary 'Daybreak in Louisiana'. Once more there is so much to admire here, not just in the playing but in the way the choreography brings so much colour to the piece. This has not been done in 5 minutes.

To conclude, it's Goff Richards' 'Marching through Georgia', which maintains the level performed previously — yes — that good.


Elland has won here previously and the MD knows how to create a winning performance. This was high quality throughout, not just musically, but in the entertainment and choreography stakes too. Could it be enough though?

Sunday 12, 15:35:25

Youth Section:

7. Rochdale Borough Youth (Ben Dixon)

American Tale (Dan Price)
Battle Hymn of the Republic (Siebert)
Hymn to the Fallen (Williams arr Van der Woude)
Home, Sweet, Home (Wolfie)
When Johnny Comes Marching Home (Siebert)
Finale: American Tale (Dan Price)

The Lancastrians goes for a trip over the pond to the USA for their competitive contribution today.

Smartly dressed in uniforms with formation in two lines, MD Ben Dixon starts them off with Dan Price's 'American Tale'. Sadly, through no fault of their own, the spoken word to accompany the music doesn't come across, but is quickly rectified by the technicians.

'Battle Hymn of the Republic' is delivered without too much fuss and the slickness of the choreography sees the ensemble stand in traditional formation for the reflective 'Hymn to the Fallen'. This has real impact and works so well.

Most of the band have walked off stage to leave a quartet and a vocalist in the traditional 'Home, Sweet, Home'. This is so convincing and powerful.

The rest of the ensemble marches back to take their places around the stage to deliver a neat rendition of 'When Johnny Comes Marching Home'.

To close, more from the pen of Dan Price's 'American Tale', with the MD once more keeping a tight rein on things.


Whilst not an original theme, this was a set of music from Rochdale that played to their strengths, tested them and was simply enjoyed by all.

Sunday 12, 14:49:22

Youth Section:

6. Macclesfield Youth (Louise Renshaw)

2001: A Space Odyssey (Strauss arr Bernaerts)
Contact Light (Lucy Pankhurst)
A Little Star that Went Out (Philip Harper)
The Eve of the War (Jeff Wayne arr Steve Sykes)

With the players dressed as astronauts, Macclesfield commences its 'Space' theme with 2001: A Space Odyssey that literally hits you between the eyes.

'Contact Light' gains its inspiration from Buzz Aldrin and Apollo 11, and comes from the vivid musical imagination of Lucy Pankhurst with voiceover from Brian Blessed no less. With its computerised beat driving the rhythms, this is a thought provoking, modern work that engages from the start. It's not short in length, but the additional accompaniment from guitars brings something different.

The band's flugel delivers 'A Little Star Went Out', premiered by 4BR's player of 2016, Helen Williams of Cory at last November's Brass in Concert. The soloist is in fine form and doesn't let any uncertain moments faze them. There is a warmth in the accompaniment which works well.

'The Eve of the War' sees the band in full flight to end their contribution to the day.


The Cheshire outfit took off into outer-space in a very enjoyable and thought provoking programme. The band responded superbly to the MD's direction in what was a challenging set.

Sunday 12, 14:44:41

Junior Section: Result

Adjudicators: Dave Collins (music) and Alex Bray (entertainment)

Music + Entertainment = Total

1. Red Admiral Music Academy (Danny Brooks): 2/1 = 3
2. Kearsley Youth Brass Band (Mark Harrison): 4/2 = 6
3. Wigan Youth Zone (John Don-Duncan): 1/6 = 7*
4. St. Kentigern's Catholic Primary Brass (Brent Warren): 3/4 = 7
5. Wardle Academy Beginners (Gwen Smith): 5=/3 = 8
6. Over Wyre Brass (John Squires Evans): 5=/5 = 10

*Music mark takes precedence

Withdrew: Blackpool Brass Junior Band

Outstanding Soloist: Beth Chippendale (trombone) — Red Admiral Music Academy
Most Entertaining Item: Red Admiral Music Academy (Cruella de Vil)
Best March: Wigan Youth Zone
Best Stage Deportment: St. Kentigern's Catholic Primary Brass
Band Displaying Most Potential: Over Wyre Brass
Best Vocal Item: Kearsley Youth Brass

Sunday 12, 14:40:36

Youth Section:

Full Draw:

Paul Norley (Music); John Doyle (Entertainment)

1. Enderby Youth (Trevor Hounsome)
2. Houghton Area Youth (Brian Adams)
3. Lions Youth (Nigel Birch
4. Wardle Academy Junior (Lee Rigg)
5. Seindorf Beaumaris (Gwyn Evans)
6. Macclesfield Youth (Louise Renshaw)
7. Rochdale Borough Youth (Ben Dixon)
8. Elland Silver Youth (Samantha Harrison)
9. Youth Brass 2000 (Chris Jeans)

Sunday 12, 14:35:55

Youth Section:

5. Seindorf Beaumaris (Gwyn Evans)

Windows from Windows of the World (Graham arr Gwyn Evans)
Introduction (Gwyn Evans)
March Box Set (arr Gwyn Evans)
A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes
The Jungle Book (arr Gwyn Evans)
Runaway Baby (Bruno Mars arr R J Hume)

Now then, the virtual reality brass band comes to the entertainment contest.

Right from the off the iband hit the audience between the eyes with some terrific stuff. With the MC guiding everyone through, there's an introduction to the app with pause, rewind, upping the volume control, mute button and even rebooting of the MD.

The playing is top notch right from the off with 'Windows of the World'. The march set is a clever package of old and new, played with real vibrancy and clarity.

The Disney vocal feature is a delight and the accompanying playing is superb. This really is quality stuff.

Up steps the bass soloist for the 'Bare Necessities' , with a nifty bit of banjo playing along the way. The clarity and attention to detail,alongside the jungle humour works so well. Well done all.

To close, brass embraces the 21st century — with guitars imitating computers and the iworld future.


Terrific concept that comes off brilliantly. It's not just the creative ideas here but the quality of the playing. What will the judges think though?

Sunday 12, 13:41:02

Youth Section Halfway Thoughts

What an excellent first half of the contest this has been with some fearless free thinking programmes devised by the conductors and executed by the players.

The challenge though is delivering the goods in the two elements of Music and Entertainment which has worked better for some than others so far today.

Not all of the performances will have flowed as freely perhaps as the judges will have liked but we will find out later.

All to play for though

4BR Halfway Prediction:

1. Wardle Academy
2. Houghton Area Youth
3. Lions Youth
4. Enderby Youth

Contest recommences at 2.05pm local time

Sunday 12, 13:33:50

Youth Section:

4. Wardle Academy (Lee Rigg)

Washington Behind Closed Doors (arr Siebert)
Star Spangled Banner & Mexican Shuffle (arr Siebert)
Lets Face the Music and Dance (Berlin arr Richards)
The American Patrol (Meacham arr S Smith Masters)
Trumpets Wild (Harold Walters)
My Way (arr Stanko)
Stars & Stripes Forever (Sousa arr D E Twitchings)

Resplendent in red shirts and black trousers, the Rochdale-based band goes for a US Presidential theme, featuring Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton. They have the audience in the palm of their hands right from the off.

MD, Lee Rigg leads a well-drilled band. After starting off each piece, he goes to the side of the stage and lets his players thrive. It's very slick, articulate and deliberate playing. Everyone is standing, so its not easy to balance the sounds of the ensemble — but this is so effective.

Those US Presidential candiates spar with each other, but this so well thought out and so well executed. The popular, 'Lets Face the Music and Dance' is polished as is 'American
Patrol' complete with military officials.

With a play on 'Trumpets Wild' into 'Donald Trump(ets)', the five cornets are a tight bunch with none of them trying to outshine each other.

Six players unite beautifully to open in unison in 'My Way', before other sections of the band take over. One of the individual highlights of the day so far. Lovely stuff.

To close, the celebratory show-stopping 'Stars and Stripes' full of verve, pizzazz, sousaphones and a great flautist playing the soprano obligato part.


Bravo. What a terrific well played programme this was. The presentation was slick and precise with good quality playing that was always kept in time with excellent dynamics.

The theme was one the youngsters knew, could relate to and embrace fully. They loved every second.

Have Wardle played a Trump card today? Time will tell

Sunday 12, 13:28:42

Junior Section round-up:

Well that was a delight. So much to enjoy with every band. Everyone deserves a medal for their efforts — especially the MDs who were all so encouraging to their young players.

The standard did vary of course, but so what? This was all about inclusion and participation, fun and the joy of plays together in a brass band.

Wigan Youth Zone and Red Admiral stood out and it could well be a the toss of a coin between them — but on this occasion everyone was a winner.

Sunday 12, 13:09:40

Youth Section:

Get your DVDs ordered.....

Just a reminder to buy your programmes where you will find order forms to placer orders of the Highlights DVD. You can select which bands you want to watch either again or for the first time.

The cost is '5 and all proceeds go to the Action Research charity.

Sunday 12, 13:05:07

Junior Section:

6. Kearsley Youth Brass Band (Mark Harrison)

With Musafa MD Harrison at the helm it's 'The Lion King' — and 'The Circle of Life' to open — complete with animal masks and walk about Mandrill chimp!

The West End theme continues with 'Where is Love' from 'Oliver' — nicely played and not a single sign of Fagan and the Artful Dodger to spoil things!! Great stuff — Can we have some more!!

We do with a upbeat trip to the cantons of Switzerland and Julie Andrews on best warbling form and 'Do Re Me' — played and sung by the Von Trapp kids on the back row.

We close with a touch of revolution — Les Mis style, led by a cracking vocalist and the band wearing tricolor sashes. All we need is to round off with 'The Marseilles' and we could be in Paris in 1830!! What a way to close! Allez Les Blues! Allez Francais!


Well done to everyone here — never seen so many smiles on faces. Tons of enthusiasm, fun and great endeavour led by an MD how may have enjoyed himself even more than his great young players.

Sunday 12, 12:44:48

Youth Section:

3. Lions Youth (Nigel Birch)

Send in the Clowns (Lloyd Webber arr Fernie)
The Music Man (Walter arr Sandy Smith)
On With the Motley (Cavallo arr Ray Farr)
The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze (Lyle/Lee/Brett)
Can Can (Offenbach arr Richards)
The Big Top (Paul Lovatt Cooper)
The Acrobat (JA Greenwood)
Nellie the Elephant (Butler/Hart/Brett)
Reprise: Can, Can (Offenbach arr Richards)

'The Greatest Show on Earth' — and life at the circus starts off with a neat and compact 'Send in the Clowns'. Sat in traditional formation with the back row cornets, euphoniums, baritones & trombones on risers, there is great care to balance the sound from the middle.

'The Music Man' gets the toes tapping. The dancers front of stage bring real vibrancy to this piece.

The soprano soloist delivers a composed 'On With the Motley' full of great phrasing and control. The young man certainly enjoyed it — as did the audience.

There's lots of fun as a host of clowns take us to the local famous Blackpool Tower Circus. The 'Flying Trapeze' comes in the form of a xylophonist who knows his way round the instrument.

The finale is a bonkers medley of tunes that encompasses persuasive playing, great dancing girls and well thought out choreography.

A highlight in the finale is the no nonsense trombone duo in 'The Acrobat'. They are so clean and articulate in their delivery.


A themed programme that set out to entertain from the first note. It never lacked enthusiasm and passion from the moment it started and it goes down a treat in the famous Opera House.

What will the judges think though?

Sunday 12, 12:26:22

Junior Section:

5. Over Wyre Brass (John Squires Evans)

An Army theme for the band — and a bolshie teenager to start as only half the band are on stage. It's the classic 'Jamie's Patrol' — with the rest of the band (in khaki tops) marching on to the highland beat and that bolshie lad condemned to the cymbals as punishment!!

Two little cracking soloists follow — Rowan Tjepkema on cornet is a lovely lyrical lead on 'Share My Yoke' and Jasmine Squires Evans ensures there isn't a dry eye in the house with her signing on 'Abide With Me' with a trio of off stage cornet bugle calls adding to the atmosphere.

'Palladio' finishes things off with a bold beat and plenty of enthusiasm.


What an encouraging debut performance from a young band that certainly enjoyed themselves and was bursting with commitment. Well done MD — and an extra round of applause for the soloists. They all did themselves proud there.

Sunday 12, 12:24:58

Youth Section:


Paul Norley (Music); John Doyle (Entertainment)

1. Enderby Youth (Trevor Hounsome)
2. Houghton Area Youth (Brian Adams)
3. Lions Youth (Nigel Birch
4. Wardle Academy Junior (Lee Rigg)
5. Seindorf Beaumaris (Gwyn Evans)
6. Macclesfield Youth (Louise Renshaw)

Other competing bands:

Rochdale Borough Youth (Ben Dixon)
Youth Brass 2000 (Chris Jeans)

Sunday 12, 11:57:56

Junior Section:

4. Wardle Academy Beginners Band (Gwen Smith)

Well now — what a cracking start — pinged right between the porky pies of the judges!

A smashing mini overture is followed by the rapid-fire cornet feature of 'Have Fingers Will Travel', which is played at Mach 2 speed — and all from memory from the entire cornet section. It was a brilliant blur!

Something a bit slower and 'Summer Romance' — just in time for Valentine's Day. Neatly done and so well balanced.

Back to the fun and games with a trio featuring two troms and a tuba — and fun it is too — and well played. The choreography is smashing — and the lad on tuba deserves a medal!!

Wowee! It's the A Team! Get the van out and cause mayhem with Hannibal Smith (on the drums I suspect!) and the lads, before we head for home with a rapid march 'When the Saints' — complete with high pitched vocals!


Another smashing programme, expertly delivered with smiles by the bucketload. That put a spring in the step.

Sunday 12, 11:54:52

Youth Section:

2. Houghton Area Youth (Brian Adams)

Shipshape/Anchors Away (Morris/McCormick)
The One Legged Man (Morris/McCormick)
Trombone Solo
Song of the Mermaids (Morris/McCormick)
Eastern Isles March (Morris/McCormick)
X Marks the Spot (Morris/McCormick)

Now then as highlighted previously, Houghton takes to the stage in full costume and without any chairs. The opening segment sees the band take to the ship on this nautical musical venture.

Then its instruments to the lips and singing away. It's bang on the button right from the off.

'The One Legged Man' showcases trombone, guitar and accordian all backed by a tidy band ensemble. It works, so well and the confidence in the band rises as they know things are on track.

'Song of the Mermaids' is nicely balanced by the players with the MD working his socks off to keep a tight reign on things. The choreographed dancing is tastefully done and enhances the overall picture being portrayed.

'Eastern Isles March' is a quirky little number that gets the audience tapping their feet.

'X Marks the Spot' is a take on Pirates of the Caribbean played with confidence and the element of fun.


What a great set that worked so well. The North Eastern outfit has set a high bar for itself here over the past couple of years by winning the prize for Most Entertaining Item and Entertaining Band of the day.

They've certainly set the bar high once more. For those who remember it, the only thing missing was the theme tune from 'When the Boat Comes In..'

Well done all.

Sunday 12, 11:42:46

Youth Section:

To do a theme or not?

One of the interesting things of this contest is the innovative themes that are thought up by the bands, not forgetting the costumes.

The traditional sitting on the chairs has become a thing of the past here, so is the desire to do something different and think outside the box with a theme. And just when you think all the conceivable themes you can think of have been done, bands have the knack of coming up with a variation on something that has been done before, but can make an impact.

It's going to be intriguing to see what the bands come up during the contest.

Sunday 12, 11:29:11

Junior Section:

3. Red Admiral Music Academy (Danny Brooks)

It's a great cartoon/film storyline of two kids sent home from band for turning up late — and taking a surreal wrong turn of direction.

Great playing and the choreography and costumes are fab — from Shrek, the Princess and the donkey to the magnificent trombone playing Cruella de Vil (complete with hanging Dalmatian puppies!!!) Super stuff! The MD is even in a Dr Zeuss hat!

Now we've got six dwarves! One missing? Never mind — Hi Ho Hi Ho!! Look out — it's Scooby Do and Scrappy Do! Smiles all round here — and plenty of fun despite those pesky kids!! The audience is loving this.


Great fun — simple as that. So well thought out and delivered — all smiles and enjoyment. Crowd goes bonkers — and why not. That was fab.

Sunday 12, 11:13:28

Youth Section:

1. Enderby Youth (Trevor Hounsome)

Twentieth Century Fox Trademark (Alfred Newman arr Jones)
Hollywood! Part 1 (Richards)
La Belle Americane (John Hartman)
Mack the Knife (Weills/Brecht arr Hall)
Semper Fedelius (Sousa arr Stephens)
Hollywood Part 2 (Richards)

It's a big band format for this Hollywood inspired razzle dazzle of a programme.

The opening '20th Century Fox' theme and the first part of Goff Richards' 'Hollywood' are tasty nuggets, delivered with confidence.

The cornet soloist is an accomplished performer in the Hartman classic. No shortage of confidence in evidence. The young lady is in total control.

'Mack the Knife' hits you between the eyes with a snazzy tap dancer (who can actually dance and not just go through the steps). It's different but it works.

The quality of playing and performance is maintained in the choreographed 'Semper Fidelis' — the deportment is great stuff. It's not been put together in a quick rehearsal and the movements don't effect the sound of the band.

To close, a reprise of 'Hollywood' with dancers and glitter.


Bold, colourful and well played with just the odd wobble during their performance. A cracking start to the day.

Sunday 12, 11:04:09

Youth Entertainment Championships of Great Britain

Adjudicators: Paul Norley (Music); John Doyle (Entertainment)


Start:11.10am (Opera House)

1. Enderby Youth (Trevor Hounsome)
2. Houghton Area Youth (Brian Adams)
3. Lions Youth (Nigel Birch)

Other competing bands:

Elland Silver Youth (Samantha Harrison)
Macclesfield Youth (Louise Renshaw)
Rochdale Borough Youth (Ben Dixon)
Seindorf Beaumaris (Gwyn Evans)
Wardle Academy Junior (Lee Rigg)

Sunday 12, 11:03:21

Nearly ready....

The audience has started to make its way into the Opera House for the contest which will start in a few minutes.

The judges, Paul Norley and John Doyle are in good spirits and looking forward to a day of high quality music making.

The draw takes place in three sections today and the first three are pre-drawn with other draws during the day.

We will be kicking off in 10 minutes with Enderby Youth from Leicestershire.

Join us shortly for our live coverage in the Opera House....

Sunday 12, 10:59:38

Junior Section:

2. Wigan Youth Zone (John Don-Duncan)

A very smart looking Wigan take to the stage and immediately make a fine impression with 'Prismatic Light' by Alan Fernie — a real kaleidoscope of colour and excitement.

It's followed by a wonderful horn solo (from memory too) by Grace Jeffers on 'Time for Peace'. What a lovely sound and style. Another star playing the making here. Bravo!

The timeless brilliance of ABBA next (the Swedish pop group — not the judges) — and a wizz through 'Money, Money, Money' — and not a single bit of lost change either, before we close with a touch of Wales and 'Castle Caerphilly' — played with a touch of bombast and rigour right to the last note.

Oh how we could have done with some of that yesterday with our rugby team in red.


What a mature performance from the youngsters here — they sounded like a band that wouldn't have been out of place in the other section.

Sunday 12, 10:35:48

Junior Section:

1. St. Kentigern's Catholic Primary Brass Band (Brent Warren)

What a great way to start the day off — and the Robbie Williams hit 'Let Me Entertain You' which is followed by the upbeat pulse of 'Rocket!'

Now it's 'Brian the Robot' from the confused.com advert meets The Shadows with 'Apache' — complete with a quartet of of mini-me Hiawathas dancing next to a great Blue Peter wigwam and totem pole.

You suspect a couple of the teachers had a hand here with their art class! Great stuff — who needs Eric Ball's 'Indian Summer' when you get entertainment like that!

More upbeat playing with the super 'Tromba Tango' — and plenty of rhythmic playing, before we end with a touch of Rocky! 'Gonna Fly Now!' — and they do too.

It's like watching a boxing ring full of little Flyweight boxers on full pelt running up the steps of Blackpool Tower! Brill.


What a great start to the day — all smiles and enjoyment, fun and great playing. Bravo MD and the band — St Kentigern would be proud as punch.

Sunday 12, 10:27:54

Ready for the off...

Junior Brass Band Entertainment Festival of Great Britain

Adjudicators: Dave Collins (Music); Alex Bray (Entertainment)


Start: 10.30 am (Arena)

1. St Kentigern's Primary School (Brent Warren)
2. Wigan Youth Zone Brass Band (John Don-Duncan)
3. Red Admiral Music Academy (Danny Brookes)
4. Wardle Academy Beginners (Gwen Smith)
5. Over Wyre Brass (John Squires-Evans)
6. Kearsley Youth Brass Band (Mark Harrison)

Withdrawn: Blackpool Brass Junior Band (Wayne Filer)

Sunday 12, 08:45:22

Good morning from Blackpool

The mocking cry of seagulls feasting on discarded chip wrappers provides the early wake up call, as the first rays of weak sunshine break over the Golden Mile for a Sunday morning that promises plenty of fantastic entertainment at the Winter Gardens.

There is no other place on earth quite like Blackpool.

There have been plenty of great names as the star attractions here over the years, but it's doubtful that any of them will have provided so much youthful enthusiasm, musical vibrancy and sheer joyful talent as the bands that will take part in the Action Medical Research Entertainment Championships today.

It all kicks off at 10.30am, so we have got plenty of time to enjoy a traditional Blackpool B&B breakfast to clog the arteries before the music making starts and we can enjoy an infusion into the veins of brilliant brass band playing.

Saturday 11, 22:15:01

All for a great cause

Whilst there will be plenty of fantastic playing and entertainment on show tomorrow, it's worth remembering that it all supports a great cause as well.

Action Medical Research is a charity that helps babies, children and young people by funding medical research into life changing or limiting illness.

The mascot is Paddington Bear — Michael Bond's wonderful little creation from 'darkest Peru' — who has been in the role since 1976. Oddly, he doesn't look any older...

Saturday 11, 21:26:59

Echoes from the past

Looking at last year's programme shows some great names from the past — and some amazing little facts.

For instance, Chris Jeans conducted Youth Brass 2000 to victory here way back in 1993. They repeated the feat again 1996, 2001, 2009, 2013 and 2016. That is some record. It also begs the question whether any of their players taking part this weekend are the offspring of players who won in 1993. Wouldn't that be brilliant?

The best winning running run though goes to Rochdale Borough Youth who were undefeated here from 2005 to 2008 under Eric Landon.

Saturday 11, 20:52:23

Saturday night in Blackpool

We have finally made it to the Golden Mile and the bright lights of Blackpool — and the evocatively named 'Melville Hotel' just around the corner from the Winter Gardens.

Memories of trying to grind through the novel 'Moby Dick' many years ago on a holiday break come flooding back — an immense book with a famous first line and page upon page of indecipherable whaling detail.

It also had the brilliant quote: 'Better to sleep with a drunken cannibal than a sober Christian'. It's something I've never quite been able to achieve, but you never know in these parts on a Saturday night...

Saturday 11, 13:23:59

Come along and enjoy the fun and music...

It may well be snowing in some parts of the country at the moment (the 4BR base has a picturesque dusting), and there are some rail problems due to essential repair work to get into Blackpool.

Please double check your travel plans and get to the Winter Gardens on time — you don't want to miss any of the action on Sunday.

The pre-results entertainment is great too — with the A4 Brass Quartet.

Tickets: (Giving entry to both events)
Adults: £10.00
Concessions: £8.00
Children: £5.00
Programme: £4.00
A family ticket is £30.00 for up to 2 adults and 3 children

Saturday 11, 13:23:42

Youth Brass Band Entertainment Championship

The first three bands will be pre-drawn and notified accordingly, with a further draw later in the morning and afternoon for the rest of the field.

Starts: 11.10 am (Opera House)
Adjudicators: Paul Norley (Music); John Doyle (Entertainment)

Elland Silver Youth (Samantha Harrison)
Enderby Youth (Trevor Hounsome)
Houghton Area Youth (Brian Adams)
Lions Youth (Nigel Birch)
Macclesfield Youth (Louise Renshaw)
Rochdale Borough Youth (Ben Dixon)
Seindorf Beaumaris (Gwyn Evans)
Wardle Academy Junior (Lee Rigg)

Saturday 11, 08:10:41

Junior Brass Band Entertainment Festival of Great Britain

Adjudicators: Dave Collins (Music); Alex Bray (Entertainment)


Start: 10.30 am (Arena)

1. St Kentigern's Primary School (Brent Warren)
2. Wigan Youth Zone Brass Band (John Don-Duncan)
3. Red Admiral Music Academy (Danny Brookes)
4. Wardle Academy Beginners (Gwen Smith)
5. Over Wyre Brass (John Squires-Evans)
6. Kearsley Youth Brass Band (Mark Harrison)
7. Blackpool Brass Junior Band (Wayne Filer)

Saturday 11, 08:04:33

Less than 24 hours to go...

The 2017 Action Medical Research Championships take place in Blackpool on Sunday, and 4BR will be there as usual to cover the action.

This year we will give you a taste of the action as each band performs, so make sure you log in and enjoy what promises to be a great day of brass band entertainment.


Sunday 14 July • Pemberton Old Wigan Brass Bands. Enfield Street,. Pemberton,. Wigan WN5 8DZ


Friday 19 July • Pemberton Old Wigan Band . Enfield Street,. Pemberton,. Wigan. WN5 8DZ

Barnsley Brass - Stephen Sykes, Principal Trombone of The Cory Band

Saturday 20 July • St Mary's Church, Kippax, Leeds LS25 7HF

Boarshurst Silver Band - Sunday Brass Concert - Skelmanthorpe Band

Sunday 21 July • Boarshurst Band Club, Greenbridge Lane OL3 7EW

Boarshurst Silver Band - Sunday Brass Concert - Phoenix Brass

Sunday 28 July • Boarshurst Band Club, Greenbridge Lane OL3 7EW

Waltham St. Lawrence Silver Band

July 13 • Our welcoming non-contesting band, based near Maidenhead, Bracknell and Reading, seeks: . Solo Euphonium . 1st Horn . Percussion, kit and tuned: we have a lovely pair of timps! . Solo Cornet to complete the front-row line-up. 2nd Cornet

Newtown Silver Band

July 12 • Musical Director. Following the retirement of our current Musical Director after 40 years of loyal service the band is seeking a new Musical Director to take the band forward. We are a 3rd section band with a busy programme and enthusiastic members. .

Epping Forest Band

July 12 • Required: We are a friendly 2nd section band in Essex. We are in need of a Tenor Horn , cornet (position negotiable) and a Kit player. We have our own band room and full percussion is provided

David W. Ashworth

Conductor, Band Trainer and Adjudicator


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