National Youth announce Conductor Competition finalists

Six talented conductors claim their places in the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain Conductor Competition Final.

  The six finalists will have the opportunity to work with Martyn Brabbins and the NYBBGB

The National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain has announced the six finalists who will take part in its inaugural Conductor Competition.

Supported by the Garfield Weston Foundation it provides the opportunity for emerging conducting talent to make an impact on the brass band and wider musical sector.

Six finalists

The six finalists were chosen from 28 international entrants and will now work directly with the National Youth Band of Great Britain in an assessment process led by Martyn Brabbins, Musical Director of English National Opera, Dr Robert Childs and Captain Sam Hairsine RM.

The repertoire will include the traditional brass band marches 'Mephistopheles', 'Knight Templar' and 'The Cossack', with the trio of selected finalists working on a choice of Eric Ball's 'Resurgam', 'Music for a Festival' by Phillip Sparke and 'Shine as the Light' by Peter Graham.

Looking forward

Speaking about the process, Martyn Brabbins told 4BR: "The prospect of encountering a new generation of conductors is always exciting. The competition attracted a plethora of conducting talent, and I look forward to engaging with the six finalists in January.

My aim is to create a collaborative and creative atmosphere in order that all involved have a positive musical experience."


The finalists are:

24-year-old Anna Berrisford, who is currently studying orchestral and choral conducting at the Royal Northern College of Music. A freelance conductor for the Northern Film Orchestra, Abney Orchestra, Opera Viva, Anna regularly assists conductors at the BBC Philharmonic and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic orchestra.

27-year-old Chris Binns is the principal trombone of Grimethorpe Colliery Band. Studying conducting in his fourth year at the Royal Northern College of Music, he has conducted several bands and recently led Hebden Bridge to the Second Section National Championship of Great Britain title.

Leon Franzten hails from the Netherlands. The 23-year-old currently studies conducting at the Royal Northern College of Music. Leon held the role of assistant conductor of the Youth Orchestra of The Netherlands and has also been chief conductor of the Koninklijke Fanfare St. Dionysius Opoeteren and the Harmonie St. Antonius Lomm.

27-year-old Derrick Morgan recently graduated with a Masters in Conducting from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and was the recipient of the Hugh S Robertson Prize for Orchestral Conducting.

He has conducted the Edinburgh Symphony Orchestra and given the fringe premiere of two mini operas with Edinburgh Studio Opera. He has conducted Ensemble Alba and organised a performance of Mendelssohn's Second Symphony with the Edinburgh Practice Choir.

Enyi Okpara is a law graduate and currently studies conducting at the Royal Academy of Music. The 22-year-old has conducted the Bristol University Symphonia and the Bristol University Chamber Orchestra and is the founder of the North London Orchestra.

In 2021, Enyi was awarded a Young Conducting Scholarship with Sing for Pleasure, conducting workshops and masterclasses in London, Cambridge and Manchester.

26-year-old Lewis Wilkinson studied conducting at the Royal Welsh College of Music &and Drama and was resident conductor of Filton Concert Brass, with which he won the Welsh Open.

Lewis gained a place in the semi-final of the 2020 European Conductor's Competition which unfortunately was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He is a busy guest conductor with bands at all levels, such as Elland Silver, Easington Colliery, Llwydcoed, NASUWT Riverside and Solna (Sweden). He is currently Director of Music for Fishburn Band.

The competition attracted a plethora of conducting talent, and I look forward to engaging with the six finalists in JanuaryMartyn Brabbins

Beyond expectations

Speaking about the response to the event, NYBBGB CEO, Mark Bromley, commented "The response went beyond our expectations. I would like to thank everyone who made the effort to submit an entry.

Whatever the outcome, the passion of each of our six finalists for brass banding is clear and that alone fills me with hope for the next generation of music leaders. If you are free please do come and support our finalists in January. It's going to be so inspiring."


The National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain has also thanked the Garfield Weston Foundation for their support and everyone who has taken part in the competition and has offered its congratulations to those been selected to take part in the final rounds.

Dr Robert Childs stated: "The submissions were really good and I was looking for good beat fluidity, musical phrasing and hand independence.

The six going through to the finals also demonstrated a solid understanding of the peculiarities of the brass band score, a good knowledge of the brass band movement and excitement at the prospect of working with the NYBBGB and Martyn Brabbins."

Become a supporter and help make our future secure.

4barsrest continues to be a proudly independent voice. There are no paywalls to overcome to be able to enjoy what we do to keep our journalism at the heart of the brass banding world. Support us with a one-off donation or subscribe from just £2.50 per month.

Support us    

Perth Concert Hall

Result: 2021 Scottish Open

November 27 • It's a descriptive musical portrait full of artistry and class from Whitburn as Howard Snell's 'Gallery' gives them their seventh consecutive Scootish Open title.


Yorkshire Youth continues reinvigorated progress

November 26 • The Yorkshire Youth Band has met up again to showcase their progress and enhance their skill sets under the team of Black Dyke Band stars.


Checking the quality...

November 26 • Steven Mead and Roger Webster have been testing the latest batch of Besson euphoniums and cornets to come off the production line in Germany.


Quintet of key signings for Dobcross

November 26 • Dobcross Silver Band has welcome five new players to the ranks as they look forward to the 2022 contesting season.

Regent Hall Concerts - RAF Central Band Wind Ensemble

Friday 26 November • Regent Hall (The Salvation Army). 275 Oxford Street. London WC1 2 DJ

York Railway Institute Band - Richard Marshall

Friday 26 November • York St John University Chapel. York. North Yorkshire YO31 7EX

Bodmin Town Band - Switch on of Christmas lights, Mount Folly, Bodmin

Friday 26 November • Mount Folly, Bodmin PL312DQ

Contest: Swiss National Championships

Saturday 27 November • Stravinski Hall, Montreaux. Claude-Nobs 5, 1820 Montreaux, Switzerland 1820

Contest: Scottish Open 2021

Saturday 27 November • Mill Street, Perth

Derwent Brass

November 26 • PRINCIPAL EEB BASS / TUBA | DERWENT BRASS | CHAMPIONSHIP SECTION | MIDLANDS. . Derwent Brass - Derbyshire's Premier Brass Band - have a rare vacancy on Principal EEb Tuba. Recent winners of 'Most Entertaining Band' at Bolsover and Wychavon Brass Festivals.

Glossop Old Band

November 26 • GLOSSOP OLD BAND, 1st Section Midlands Area, are looking to recruit the following players with immediate effect. One experienced Front Row Cornet player, position negotiable. (Principal seat available to right applicant), Solo Trombone and Solo Baritone.

Dobcross Silver Band

November 26 • Dobcross Silver Band request applications for the positions following: Eb BASS, FRONT ROW CORNET, BACK ROW CORNET. Come and complete our progressive band!

Neil Samuel



 © 2021 4barsrest.com Ltd