Winner: Wardle Academy Youth
2. Unison Kinneil
3. Brass Band Regensburg
There were a host of outstanding bands in the First to Youth Sections this year — all worthy of claiming the award in their own right.
However, one stood out from the rest for our judges, and what a truly remarkable band they showed themselves to be time after time in 2019.
Led by their inspirational conductor Lee Rigg, Wardle Academy Youth won the National Youth Intermediate Championship, the European Development Championship and the Youth Brass in Concert Championship titles with displays of musicianship that were quite stunning.
They were wonderful ambassadors for everything that was good about youth banding — make that any level of brass banding in the world.
They gained six first choice preferences and were in the top 3 of eleven of the judges.
It says something that it took such a fantastic band to win the award this year from the remarkable story and achievements of Union Kinneil from Scotland.
They overcame the adversity of losing their bandroom through arson to be crowned National First Section and Scottish Challenge Shield Champions and gained four first preference votes and were in the top 3 of 10 judges.
Third place went to Regensberg Band from Germany who gained recognition from eight judges with one placing them first.
They were wonderful ambassadors for everything that was good about youth banding — make that any level of brass banding in the world4BR Editor Iwan Fox.
2018: Oldham Band (Lees)
2017: BD1 Brass
2016: Youth Brass 2000
2015: Ebbw Valley
2014: Manger Skulemusikklag
2013: National Children's Band of Great Britain
2012: National Youth Band of Great Britain
2011: Bjorsvik Brass
2010: Hazel Grove Band
2009: Oldham (Lees) Band
2008: Smithills Schools Senior Band
2007: Sellers International Youth Band
2006: Pennine Brass
2005: Marsden Riverhead Brewery Band
2004: Smithills School Senior Band
2003: Smithills School Senior Band
2002: St. Dennis Band
2001: Peter Hawke Garages Lindley Band
The Awards Panel consisted of: Iwan Fox (Editor 4BR); Malcolm Wood (Chief Contributor); Andrew Wainwright (Writer/Composer/Arranger/Graphic Designer/Journalist); Gordon Simpson (statistician Brass Band World magazine); Chris Thomas (Chief Contributor Brass Band World magazine); Kenny Crookston (CEO, Brass Bands England); Frode Rydland (EBBA Music Commission/soprano cornet Bjorsvik Brass); David Hirst (Conductor/Association of Brass Band Adjudicators); Alexander Zwann (Chief contributor CU Brass); Tom Davoren (conductor/composer); Tim Mutum (writer/brass band recording and history specialist); Owen Melhuish (President: North Shore Brass New Zealand); David Gallaher (Director of Air Force Music — Royal New Zealand Air Force Band)