Live — Great Britain Junior National Championships 2023 — 4barsrest

Coverage of the British Junior National Championships 2023 live from Stockport Grammar School

Welcome to our coverage of the Great Britain National Youth Marching Band Championship.

Apologies for being a little late this morning due to traffic problems on the way from Wales, but we are here now and already enjoying the inclusive atmosphere.

ABRSM Championship Section:

We’re a bit behind at the moment, but the ABRSM Championship Section has just started with defending champion Youth Brass 2000.

This section is intended to enable young performers to perform original and arranged marching band music at a highly competitive level providing a final step towards student or adult band demands.

All players in this section must have formal education.


Gary Curtin and Daniel Hall have been the judges in the Besson Prodige showcase section and have given their observations on the game, all packed with witty and carefully observed positives.

It’s also a great way to do things: each band (as well as individual musicians) gets a citation with their efforts appreciated by everyone in the room.

There’s a lot to be said for this non-competitive approach and the sense of inclusiveness, enthusiasm and positivity it brings…

Brains that play bass…

Zak Ahmed, 17, was the Barnet Youth Brass Band’s featured soloist in their eclectic set, one that also featured a movement from ‘A Moorside Suite’ and a bit of stylish Pat Metheny too.

Zak has been playing for eight years and really enjoyed the experience here this weekend, so much so that he revealed that when he hopes to go to Cambridge University to study chemical engineering, he still wants to play bass in a local band there.

“I enjoy playing in band and singing, but I’ll still keep my mouth shut with my friends if they have a college marching band. I like the sound of the UniBrass Championships!”

He also promised to find a formula to keep tubas clean and get rich…

Shortage of percussion…?

The six bright young percussionists of the Stockport Schools Brass Band may still be small in size, but today they stood out in their performance.

And with senior bands always looking for percussionists for contests, Theo, Edward, Isaac, Ethan, Sophia and Finlay can now raise the price of their deposit fee…

Go electric…

The players from St Ignatius College, Enfield certainly displayed their talents with a super program led by director Alan Duguid.

Instruments included brass, percussion, plastic and electric, with the young man on the light blue stratocaster shoring up the foundation with the tuba rig to the best funky beat imaginable.

Game of the Generation…

The great youngsters of the Milton Keynes Music Hub have put on a super performance today under the baton of their Welsh MD David Rose.

Many years ago, when both he and the 4BR editor were around the same age as the current musicians, they were members of the Tredegar Junior Band that won Britain’s Butlins Youth Championships, in a band that also included the likes of Robert Childs. and Nicholas Childs.

That gave him the itch to become a music teacher and go on and inspire countless young people to start their marching band journeys.

The last generation had a fantastic performance today, so it shows how important it can be to inspire young players.

Who knows, one of his players today might also run Black Dyke in the future…

Fortissimo smiles!

Besson’s Prodige section was a delight this morning – all levels and ages of development shown.

The spirit of inclusion is key, and the music ranges from ‘Old MacDonald had a Farm’ to Beethoven’s ‘9th Symphony’.

The confidence he is giving the youngsters can be seen and heard, and if the smiles could be heard on their faces, they would all be fortissimo!

All inclusive!

The spirit of today’s event is all about inclusion, and we’re seeing it in action in the Besson Prodige display section.

After the Regional Championship series that just took place, the question that arises is how do we allow all these great youngsters to be a part of those events, and how much would it be if we had the vision to do just that? .

Alex Humphreys – BBC presenter, gamer and music fan!

Today’s presenter is Alex Humphreys, well known to young people as the presenter of BBC Newsround, as well as appearing on Blue Peter and other popular shows on both the BBC and S4C.

She is an avid ‘gamer’ and has also written a best-selling book on the subject, and also has a great brass band pedigree playing with various Welsh bands.

Alex told 4BR: “It’s great to be here and to be able to perform at the event. Just seeing the young people on stage reminds me of when I first started playing, and the pride shown is incredible.”

Besson Prodige Section:

We’ve just been featured in the Prodige Showcase, which is an all-inclusive, non-competitive event that offers an opportunity to get involved and showcase emerging skills, talent, and lots of enthusiasm.

As you can imagine, there are many family members and supporters who are too proud to applaud.

It’s a brilliant way to get young people involved.


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