Report & Results: 2022 British Open Solo & Ensemble Championships

There were some great solo and ensemble winners at Butlin's in Skegness on the weekend — claiming prestigious British Open titles for themselves

  Shirland Youth Band was one of the British Open Solo & Ensemble winners

Sunday morning at the Butlin's Open Festival of Brass has traditionally been a showcase youthful talent.

However, with just a single entrant in the Youth Championship contest, the performance of Youth Brass 2000 was moved to the Centre Stage venue where under the baton of Gary Fountain they produced a wonderfully uplifting aperitif to the Championship Section entertainment fayre that followed.

That gave ample time for the supportive audience in Reds to enjoy some equally outstanding solo and ensemble playing for the various British Open Solo & Ensemble titles on offer, with generous prize money up for grabs for the eventual winners.

Unfortunately there were a number of late withdrawals, but like the band contests themselves the quality was by no means diminished, with adjudicator John Doyle emphasising just how much he had been impressed by what he had heard.

Junior Solo:

The Junior Solo title went to the brilliant Skye Stokes. The 12-year-old baritone player is a member of Elland Silver Youth Band as well as the Foden's Youth Band and the National Childrens Band of Great Britain.

Her characterful rendition of the famous operatic aria 'Largo al Factotum' from Rossini's 'Barber of Seville' saw her claim the £200 first prize and British Open Junior Trophy.

In what was a great battle for the prizes, it was 13-year-old Millie Davenport who eventually came runner -up with her fine performance of 'Blue John' on trombone, with her 12-year-old brother Robert in third with his tender rendition of 'The Holy Well' on euphonium.

There were also excellent performances to enjoy from Skye's brother Rhys on cornet with 'Wiederkehr', Rowena Findlay Ashfield's upbeat cornet solo 'Funk' and 9-year-old Vivien Findlay Ashfield on 'Hedwig's Theme', played with remarkable confidence.

Youth Solo:

The Youth Solo event was something of a Youth Brass 2000 battle, with the podium places going to talented trio of winner, Jordan Ashman, Edward Culpin and Jake Humphrey.

Jordan's virtuosic performance of 'Strawberry Therapy' on xylophone took the £300 first prize and British Open Youth Trophy to pip Edward's super baritone 'Slavische Fantasy' and Jake's 'Whirlwind' cornet solo.

It was also great to hear 14-year-old tuba player Leonie Tissie playing the classic 'Iceberg' solo with a wonderfully warm sound and 11-year-old Rowena Findlay Ashfield's reprise of her cornet solo 'Funk'.

Open Solo:

At the other end of the experience scale was 43-year-old Open Solo winner Stephen Lomas, a veteran of numerous solo events as well as the highly respected bass trombonist of Brighouse & Rastrick Band.

His hugely accomplished rendition of 'Sonata Breve' by Hartley was fully deserving of the British Open title accolade and the £500 first prize.

Jordan Ashman pushed him all the way as the 17-year-old reprised 'Strawberry Therapy' to end runner-up with a sparkling rendition of 'Zelda' by 16-year-old Jake Humphrey was third.

There were also fine performances to enjoy from Edward Culpin on 'Grandfather's Clock' and Andy Harris on 'The Debutante'.

Ensemble Sections:

There were just two competitors in each of the Ensemble Section, with a keen, but friendly battle between the players of Shirland Youth and Shirland Training Band in the Youth event.

In the end it was Shirland Youth — made up of Evelyn Trow, Leonie Tissie, Millie Davenport and Robert Davenport, which piped their Training rivals of Izzy Owen, Jocelyn Trow, Emily Toyne, Jack Toyne and Evelyn Hill thanks to their cultured rendition of 'Excerpts from Richard' to claim the £300 first prize and trophy.

It was the overture to 'The Barber of Seville' that provided the quartet of Colin Davenport, Dave Hill, Luke Newbrough and Jack Newbrough of Shirland Band with victory and the £500 first prize in the senior Open Ensemble competition.

However there was also a great family performance to enjoy from the Witney Town Band Ensemble of Sarah Ashfield, Rowena Findlay Ashfield, Vivien Findlay Ashfield, Luther Findlay Ashfield and Stuart Findlay who performed 'Medallion Calls'.


Adjudicator: John Doyle

Junior Solo:

1. Skye Stokes
2. Millie Davenport
3. Robert Davenport
4. Rhys Stokes
5. Rowena Findlay Ashfield
6. Vivien Findlay Ashfield

Youth Solo:

1. Jordan Ashman
2. Edward Culpin
3. Jake Humphrey
4. Leonie Tissie
5. Rowena Findlay Ashfield

Open Solo:

1. Stephen Lomas
2. Jordan Ashman
3. Jake Humphrey
4. Edward Culpin
5. Andy Harris

Youth Ensemble:

1. Shirland Youth Band
(Evelyn Trow; Leonie Tissie; Millie Davenport; Robert Davenport)
2. Shirland Training Band
(Izzy Owen; Jocelyn Trow; Emily Toyne; Jack Toyne; Evelyn Hill)

Open Ensemble:

1. Shirland Band
(Colin Davenport; Dave Hill; Luke Newbrough; Jack Newbrough)
2. Witney Town Band Ensemble
(Sarah Ashfield; Rowena Findlay Ashfield; Vivien Findlay Ashfield; Luther Findlay Ashfield; Stuart Findlay)

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    

Paul Cosh

Tuesday interview with Paul Cosh

January 18 • We speak to the highly respected player, conductor, teacher and lecturer about his new teaching publication — 'Brass Essentials — An Arban Collection'.


Empty seats filled at Littleport

January 18 • Littleport Brass has filled their empty seats ahead of their Area challnge in a few weeks time.

New signings

New additions at Ratby Mid Band

January 18 • New faces young and old join the set-up at Ratby Mid Band in time for their assault on the Midlands Area title.


75 years of brass and coal

January 18 • The national newspaper will hopefully remember the link between brass bands and the National Coal Board this weekend thanks to photographer Lorne Campbell.

Contest: 168th British Open

Sunday 23 January • Symphony Hall, Broad Street, Birmingham. B1 2EA

Glossop Old Band - Cadishead Public Band

Sunday 23 January • Glossop Band Club, Derby Street, Glossop. SK13 8LP

Black Dyke Band - RNCM Brass Band Festival

Saturday 29 January • Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9RD

Regent Hall Concerts - The International Staff Band of the Salvation Army

Saturday 29 January • Regent Hall (The Salvation Army). 275 Oxford Street. London WC1 2 DJ

Black Dyke Band - Gladstone Theatre

Sunday 30 January • Greendale Road, Birkenhead, Wirral CH62 4XB

The Cobham Band

January 17 • The Cobham Band is fully up and running again and requires a EUPHONIUM or BARITONE player. We have some great concerts planned including bandstand dates for the new season under our new conductor, Jim Lynch.. .

Shrewsbury Brass Band

January 15 • Are you looking for a change of scene or want to get back into banding with an ambitious and hardworking band? We have a vacancy for an experienced front row cornet player, BBb Bass player, and 2 percussionists.

Reading Spring Gardens Brass Band

January 15 • A vacancy exists for a capable and committed **EEb BASS PLAYER ** to join the band as it establishes itself in the third section.

Jack Capstaff

Bmus (Hons)
Conductor | Composer


 © 2022 4barsrest.com Ltd