Inclusive performance opportunities as Youth Champs visits South West | Brass Bands England

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Inclusive performance opportunities as Youth Champs visits South West

Tuesday, 8 August, 2023

Following recent events taking place in the North West and East Midlands, organisers of the National Youth Brass Band Championships of Great Britain announced earlier this year that the next Youth Champs will take place at Dean Close School in Cheltenham on Saturday 23 March 2024.

This year’s location will present a more manageable journey for groups in the South of England, who have found the logistics of travelling to the most recent two Youth Champs events challenging.

In an attempt to break down further barriers to participation, organisers BBE have highlighted rules of participation which allow for flexibility when entering a group of young players into the contest.

Youth Champs is open to bands of all shapes, sizes and experience levels

There are three Sections groups can perform in, all of which allow for flexibility in terms of performers and music played:

Besson Prodige Showcase Section

Is your group a learner band? This section is for you. It’s:

  • Non-competitive

  • You can play what you want, with a set time of 10 minutes per band!

  • Up to four adult performers (in non-principal positions) permitted to assist young players

  • Any number of performers, from as little as 5 to as many as 55

YAMAHA Performance Section:

  • Competitive performance opportunity in a supportive environment

  • Own-choice programme of 15 minutes (must include one original brass band work)

  • Up to two adult performers (in non-principal positions) permitted

  • Any number of performers, from as little as 5 to as many as 55

Championship Section:

  • Competitive performance opportunity on a national platform

  • Own-choice programme of 20 minutes (must include 8 minutes of original brass band music)

  • Any number of performers, from as little as 5 to as many as 55

Ages… All Sections will be open to all performers who have not reached their 19th birthday on or before 31 August in the year of the contest (in the case of 2024, players born on or after 1 September 2005).

Instrumentation… Youth Champs is an extraordinary opportunity for our community’s future players to develop and grow. The day celebrates inclusivity and support, so much so that we welcome our ‘non-standard’ brass band instrument friends such as plastic instruments, trumpets, and French horns (but all instruments must be from the brass or percussion families).

The music… There are no set-test pieces in any sections, but rather an own-choice; at least one original brass band work must be played (in the Performance and Championship sections).

BBE CEO Kenny Crookston commented: “There’s a lot more flexibility in entry requirements than people think. After all, it’s all about providing the very best opportunity possible for young performers, and that requires a bit of give and take.

You don’t need a full band and you can perform in a non-competitive Section should you wish. Even if you only have a small group of young players, your band includes non-traditional brass instruments, or you need a few adults to support the performance, there is likely to be a Section that fits your needs. If you’re unsure if you qualify, call us, we’d be happy to answer any questions.”

The full Ycuth Champs aims and rules document can be viewed here.