Sparke provides Youth Champ test piece

A new work by Philip Sparke will test bands at the 2025 National Youth Championships of Great Britain.

National Youth Championships
  The work will receive its premiere at the 2025 National Youth Championships

Brass Bands England (BBE) has announced that composer Philip Sparke has written a new work to be used as the test-piece at the Championship Section of the 2025 National Youth Brass Band Championships of Great Britain.

Titled, 'Fanfares, Songs and Dances' it is a joint commission between BBE, the Lithuanian Brass Band Association and the Dutch National Brass Band Championship organisers, NBK.

It will receive its UK contesting première at the 2025 Youth Champs on Saturday 29th March at Hymers College in Hull.


Speaking about the work, Philip said: "I'm so thrilled that it has been selected as the test piece for the 2025 National Youth Championships.

Brass Bands England was one of the sponsors of the original commission and I found it an immensely satisfying piece to write. It's a real challenge to incorporate the passion and excitement usually associated with 'top section' pieces at a lower grade level!

He added: "I hope the young players in our wonderful youth bands will enjoy the robustness of 'Fanfares', the delicacy and solo opportunities of 'Songs' and vivaciousness of 'Dances', as they prepare this piece for the championships."

Test returns

The announcement confirms the return of the test-piece discipline as part of the Championship Section at the event.

It was discontinued to help bands with their post-Covid development, and it is now felt the time is right for it to be re-instated as an effective way of being a gateway into adult competition.

Registration for the contest will open this Wednesday 19th June via organisers Brass Bands England's website.


Test and own-choice

A BBE spokesperson told 4BR: "Bands competing in the Championship Section wishing to perform their own choice of music will still be able to do so, with an additional 10-minutes of own-choice time remaining alongside the 11-minute test piece."

It was confirmed that bands performing in the Performance or Showcase Sections are not required to perform the work and will play up to 15 or 10 minutes of own-choice music respectively.

Brass Bands England was one of the sponsors of the original commission and I found it an immensely satisfying piece to writePhilip Sparke

Discount for BBE members

Brass Bands England member organisations can purchase the test piece directly from BBE, which will be sent once entries close in December.

BBE member bands can purchase the full parts and score for the price of £52.80 by emailing jess@bbe.org.uk on the point of entry.

This discount is made possible by the support of Hal Leonard, Philip Sparke and Anglo Music Press.

Non-member bands can purchase the test piece from Band Music Shop for the price of £91.99.

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