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National Youth Brass Band Championships

Welcome to the Youth Champs homepage! Please use the menu to the right of the screen (or bottom of page on mobile) to navigate between information pages to access all information related to the event.

Contest timeline  

•    Tuesday 20 September 2022 – Applications open.  
Band entry fee only is required on application along with provisional participant numbers.  
•    Tuesday 11 October 2022 – info drop-in session.
•    Wednesday 11 January 2023 – info drop-in session.
•    Tuesday 17 January 2023 – Applications close.
•    Friday 20 January 2023 – Live draw & drop-in session.  
•    Tuesday 31 January 2023 – Deadline for confirmed participant numbers and band information.  
•    Tuesday 21 February 2023 – Deadline for Band Ticket Sales. Deadline for individual player fees (£1 per player).
•    Thursday 9 March 2023 – drop-in session.
•    Saturday 25 March 2023 – Contest Day

Overview - Contest Sections:

Besson Prodige Showcase Section (18 and under)  - The Besson Prodige Showcase Section is the Youth Champs’ non-competitive section, offering an opportunity to take part and contribute a great performance without the pressure of a competition. Bands of all standards are welcome to play, even if they’ve performed at the contest previously. All competitors in this section should have a positive experience to encourage them to continue to progress on their instrument. Bands will be able to select the length of performance to facilitate groups at different developmental stages to engage with the section. We can also make arrangements for bands also opting to play in competitive sections to avoid a scheduling clash between sections. Those who are over 18 years of age but who are still studying within the formal education system will be permitted to take part in the event. Where this is the case please apply in writing for confirmation to

Performance Section (18 and under) - The principal aim of this section is to give young people an introductory 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 This section also aims to introduce young people to the concept of assessment of original brass band performance, in preparation for advancement to performing more adventurous pieces in future years. Those who are over 18 years of age but who are still studying within the formal education system will be permitted to take part in the event. Where this is the case please apply in writing for confirmation to

Championship Section (18 and under)  - The aim of this section is for young people to perform together at a high standard and provide the final step through the doorway to student or adult banding. All the players in this section will be young people still in formal education. The principles established earlier mean that it is not appropriate for those over the age of 18, who have left the education system or who are studying in tertiary education, to still be taking part in youth contesting. Those who are over 18 years of age but who are still studying within the formal education system will be permitted to take part in the event. Where this is the case please apply in writing for confirmation to

Provisional Timings

We are providing provisional timings based on previous entries to assist participating bands in their planning but these timings will be confirmed at the time of the draw. These times represent the earliest start times for the contest but will be relative to the number of bands which enter. Bands should be able to plan to be able to arrive at these times as, in the interests of fair competition, requests to play later will only be considered under exceptional circumstances. For the Besson Prodige Showcase Section, if up to 14 bands enter it will run as a single section. In the event of 15 bands entering there will be two sessions with separate Ceremonies to help facilitate travel to or from the venue. In this case bands will be able to request either a morning or afternoon session performance.  

Saturday 25 March 2023

Besson Prodige Showcase Section – up to 14 bands - First band performs 11:30 (arrival 10:30) 

  • 15+ Bands – Morning - First Band Performs 9.15 (arrival 8.30) 
  • Afternoon - First Band Performs 13:00 (arrival 12:00) 

Performance Section – First band performs 9:00 (arrival 8:00) 

Championship Section – First band performs 12:30 (arrival 11:30)  


Draw Method

The order of play for the morning sessions will be drawn bearing in mind bands’ geographical distance to the contest. To avoid very early starts for morning sections, bands within 50 miles of the contest will be drawn in the first group, those within 50-100 miles will be drawn next and anyone over 100 miles will be drawn in the final part of the contest. For afternoon sessions the process will be reversed.

Requests for an early draw will be accepted, but requests to play later will only be considered in exceptional circumstances.

Additional Information:

Entry fees

Championship, Performance and Besson Prodige Showcase Sections

£75 (£25 for BBE member bands) plus £1 per player

Please note that any band wishing to play in both a competitive and non-competitive section may be able to do so (depending upon entry levels) but will require 2 separate entries at the full entry fee rate.

Please note that due to limitations on the number of bands competing it may not be possible for your application to be accepted but be assured that all applications will be dealt with on a ‘first come first served’ basis. If we are not able to provide a performance slot for your band then a full refund will be given.


• A digital copy of the score of each band’s own choice pieces must be provided for the adjudicators. 
• All adjudication will be open. 
• Points will not be awarded. 
• The adjudicators’ decisions are final. 


There will be space to leave coats, bags and cases but due to child safeguarding this cannot be used as a changing area. Please arrive in uniform ready to perform. Dedicated warm up areas are available to all participating bands/groups.


Wristbands for players, the Musical Director and up to four helpers will be given to the official of each band upon arrival.  These wristbands will provide access to the backstage area prior to and during the performance, and into the auditorium for the duration of the section in which the band is competing.


Tickets will be available from the BBE website from 20 September: 

Advance tickets: Adults: £13, Children: £5, u5: Free
Day tickets: Adults: £15, Children: £7.50, u5: Free

Please note the 2023 contest will not be broadcast online. 

Ticket sales scheme 
This year participating bands will be able to earn back their entry fee by buying tickets at a discounted rate from BBE and selling them to supporters at the advanced sales rate. The scheme will allow bands to buy up to 25 tickets at a £1 reduction meaning they can earn back the BBE members’ rate cost of entry. Bands will be able to buy as many tickets in advance as they like, but the maximum discount available is £25 per band per section (i.e. if the band enters 2 sections the limit will rise to £50 and equally if a band organisation has 2 bands playing the limit will also be £50).

Bands will be given an order form on application to purchase the discounted tickets. After returning this form an online sales invoice will be sent to the band to pay after which the tickets will be sent to the bands in advance of the event. Tickets must be ordered by 21 February 2023.


For any information regarding the championships, please contact the contest controller on

Youth Champs 2023 is delivered by BBE Events Ltd.