Applications are now open for entry to the 2019 National Youth Brass Band Championships of Great Britain, which will be held at Warwick Hall and Bridge House Theatre of Warwick School on Saturday 30 March.
Next year’s contest will be the first to incorporate the changes implemented during the consultation process carried out earlier this year by the event’s organiser, Brass Bands England (BBE). As a result of theses changes, bands are advised to take note of some very important details, including to child licensing regulations that will affect every participating group.
There will also be a new entry fee structure for the contest, with bands in all sections paying a lower amount of £50 to enter, but with the addition of a £1 per player fee payable closer to the contest in all but the Debut Section. BBE has also provided added support for its members by lowering their entry fees by £25 per band.
Speaking on behalf of Brass Bands England, contest organiser Alex Parker commented: “Our new entry fee structure is truly progressive and means that the smallest bands will pay less than in previous years, whilst the cost to the larger groups will remain largely the same as before. BBE is also very also pleased to be able to support our member bands which, alongside the free DBS checks and substantial insurance savings that we now offer, will also save £25 per band on the cost of entry.”
The most significant changes to the event are reflected in the new age limits for each section, which are now as follows:
Debut Section (12 and under): The aim of the Debut Section is to enable beginners to receive their first experience of public performance. All performers in this section should have a positive experience so to encourage them to continue to progress on their instrument. In this section bands will play an own-choice programme not exceeding ten minutes playing time.
Elementary Section (14 and under): This section aims to give young people their first experience of competitive performance. Participating bands will be given the freedom to select their own choice of music to promote flexible teaching and suitable repertoire for performance at this level. Bands will perform an own-choice programme, not exceeding 15 minutes, which must include one original piece of music for brass band and two verses of a hymn from 120 Hymn Tunes for Brass Bands (the ‘Red’ hymn book).
Intermediate Section (16 and under): The Intermediate Section aims to introduce young people to the concept of assessment on original brass band music, in preparation for advancement to performing set test-pieces in future years. Bands will perform an own-choice programme not exceeding 20 minutes, which must include an original brass band work of at least seven minutes’ duration.
Championship Section (18 and under): The aim of the Championship Section is for young people to perform together at a high standard and provide the final step through the doorway to adult banding. All of the players in this section will be young people still in formal education. Those over 18 years of age but who are still studying within the formal education system (i.e. at Sixth Form College or similar) can seek clearance take part in the event. This can be done by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Bands will perform an own-choice programme not exceeding 20 minutes, which will include a set test-piece. The set test-piece for the Championship Section will be Corineus by Christopher Bond. It is published by the composer and available from his website at www.christopherbondmusic.co.uk
Alex Parker added: “We really hope to have a memorable contest next year. There have been significant changes to help create a really enjoyable and to support the development of young players as they build a passion for banding that can last a lifetime. The participants and audience members can expect a really enjoyable and rewarding day out, and the facilities at Warwick School are truly fantastic!”
Full details for competing bands can be found at bbe.org.uk, including links to the information pack, rules and entry form. Bands should register and pay their entry fee on the website to secure a place in the competition. All applications will be dealt strictly on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. Please note that, due to limitations on the number of bands we can accommodate, some applications may be unsuccessful. In this instance, bands will be placed on a reserve list. For this reason, we encourage bands to get their application in quickly to avoid disappointment as we expect a high turnout at next year’s event.