Best Youth Bands

Steve

Active Member
Having spent the last 8 years doing the youth band contests I think the following can all be classed as the top youth bands on either current form or the fact they are always there or there abouts come results time.

In no particular order.......

Smithills (currently about the best around)
Stockport (dried up a little recently but always in there)
Youth Brass 2000 (two poor years recently but have rebuilt well)
Wardle High School (too many players to do badly)
West Lothian (Scotland, were class a few years back)
Greater Gwent (Wales, always very good)
St Helens (always do well)
Rochdale (had a cracking band last year)

Sorry to the ones I missed out but these all stick in the mind.

What are the best sets of soloists any of you remember from your Youth band days. in 1999 Youth Brass 2000 had....

Sop: Gaz (cant remember his last name cos he was not a regular, NYO player)
Cornet: Pete Collins (playing with dyke,YBS,Desford now and conducting foresters)
Horn: Daniel Powell (Solo Horn at NYBB for ages)
Trombone: Matt Gee (Orchestral player now, one of Bousfields starlets)
Euphonium: Steve March (me, lol)
Bass: Paul Mcgee (was at Travelsphere with Robin Norman, what a team!!!!)

Also had good percs from NYJO and a wicked tuned player. What a team that was, and with a decent band between them too.
 

richieramsaran

New Member
Wardle used to be a great band, well when there werent so many youth bands about. I was there five years ago and the bands where ok. Most of you know they have a band for every year plus a youth band, senior band and old peoples band. As good as it is that they get most of the children involved in banding, it doesnt make for winning form.
If they where to get the best players from every year group they would be the band to beat. But instead a few players are good while the majority arent for the year. I know it goes against the ethos of music for all but wouldnt it be great if they had a contesting band with there best players!

Oh and they missed out on some good music teachers coming to the school especially a head of music at another school who is very successful with his band at the moment!!!
 

nickjones

Active Member
Gwynedd Youth Brass Band ( now Gwynedd and Mon Music Centre Bands ) for years have had many players from Town and Village Bands who all have there own youth setups..( Deiniolen , Llanrug , Menai Bridge , Trefor , Royal Oakley , Nanlle Vale , Beaumaris , Abergynolwyn , Harlech).
Players of note -
Iwan Williams - Flugel YBS , NYBBW
Mike Jones - principal NYBBW , Point of Ayr , Former rep YBS.
Glyn Williams - Prinicpal Euph Fodens , NYBBW
Gavin Saynor - YBS , Leyland , Fairey .
Paul Hughes - Grimethorpe , Point of Ayr , Beaumaris , NYBBW
Eilir Williams - YBS , Deiniolen
Dylan Williams - TMP all star , Deiniolen and NYBBW
Bari Gwyliam - Beaumaris , Todmorden ,NYBBW sop and trumpet mad man
Arwel Davies - Point of Ayr, Beaumaris , NYBBW
and everyone who has gone through the band really

I think the Beaumaris Youth Band is the current " Youth Entertainment Champions" which was held in Blackpool earlier this year.
 

lynchie

Active Member
Steve said:
What are the best sets of soloists any of you remember from your Youth band days. in 1999 Youth Brass 2000 had....

Sop: Gaz (cant remember his last name cos he was not a regular, NYO player)
Cornet: Pete Collins (playing with dyke,YBS,Desford now and conducting foresters)
Horn: Daniel Powell (Solo Horn at NYBB for ages)
Trombone: Matt Gee (Orchestral player now, one of Bousfields starlets)
Euphonium: Steve March (me, lol)
Bass: Paul Mcgee (was at Travelsphere with Robin Norman, what a team!!!!)

Also had good percs from NYJO and a wicked tuned player. What a team that was, and with a decent band between them too.
Ahh, I still have vague memories of turning up to that band with an old battered king student trombone... and bricking it when the band started playing!

Anyway, I think that was the best youth band around at the time, but now I guess Smithills are pretty hard to beat! Hopefully my old mates at Youth Brass can pull it together for the National Entertainment Championships in february, and win it back!

And of course all the other bands mentioned, particularly I can remember Wardle, Rochdale, St Helens, Abraham Darby, Stockport, Greater Gwent, Beaumaris.

I'm always amazed by the success of Youth Brass, since they're from a very non-bandy area, and for what players there are they have to compete with the northamptonshire and leicestershire county set ups, who provide the teachers to most of the schools, and so they usually get most of the best players. Just shows the benefits of having an awesome conductor!
 

Jan H

Moderator
Staff member
I have little question that's somwhat related to this subject.

A few months ago, I was doing some research in our bands archive, and I found some letters and other material dating back to 1987, when the band celebrated it's 125th birthday.

From these letters, I found out that one of the activities that was organised during these celibrations, was a concert of a British secondary school band, called the "De Ferrers High School Band", which was at that time conducted by (a still very young) Steven Mead. They must have been quite good at that time, and were on a tour of Belgium and Holland.

Do they still exist? Does anyone remember them? (Or was one of you a member maybe?). I did some searching on the internet, but couldn't find anything, only a small reference in Steven Mead's biography that he indeed conducted this band for a couple of years.
 

mcboyd

New Member
drummergurl said:
arent the players in west lothian schools band taken from all over west lothian county? (someone please tell me if im wrong bout west lothian being a county)


i think that west lothian are definately one of the top youth bands in great britain...
Yes you are correct, West Lothian Band uses players from all over the County.

I left West Lothian Schools about 8 years ago. The bands I remember competing against are Hampshire Youth, Greater Gwent Youth Band and Tredegar Youth. One year at the British Youth Championships I remember the test-pieces included Ballet for Band, New Jerusalem and Trittico....played to a very high standard too!!

30th birthday of the West Lothian Schools Band next year. I take it there will be a reunion concert for all us oldies...maybe some drinks afterwards too???
 

lewis

Member
There's a music centre in Aylesbury which had an amazing brass band in the 90s (I lucky enough to be the youngest in the band) but they never did the formal youth band contests just the festival for youth at the Royal Festival Hall, but having played with Dobcross youth and Youth Brass 2000 since I'm sure they could have done very well.
 

trombelle

Member
T-Horn said:
Just wait till the st helens and stockport schools rabble get on here! No doubt they will put their youth bands i the mix!!
lol so true! i don't play for Stockport Schools but my lil' bro does and they're doing really well at the moment :D

*nice sister act over now jim...*
 

Caro

New Member
Course there will be a westie reunion! Not sure when it will be yet but from the resaults of the last reunion, it'll be a grand night i'm sure!!

We played 6 percussionists because 3 of them were ready to leave the band in summer, and 2 had just joined whilst the other had been there a few years. We didn't think it right to leave anyone at home, and we need to give the young guys experience of playing while the oldies are there to help. No crime in that!?? We also take players from all over the county which is quite large, but they have to audition, and not all of them get in. I can imagine its a lot different in smaller areas to find the players you need because of demands!!

I just think that every youth band should be proud of the fact that they get to represent their area or their country in competitions, and realise that they are ambassadors for these areas whenever they play! I'm very proud to be associated with my youth band, as any player involved in any other band should also feel!!
 

sugarandspice

Active Member
meandmycornet said:
I heard Mount Charles Youth Band play at SWBBA contest in november, I thought they were amazing!
agreed, Cornish youth bands are doing really well, i mean both Camborne (for the second year running) and mount charles youth bands won their sections at the finals in march! :)

Dont forget us, just cos we're a long way away down here!!
 

RacMac

New Member
I'd have to say West Lothian as well, but I'm biased...

Could someone PM me if there's a 30th reunion, don't read the local papers much!

Ta Muchly:)
 
although i play 4 rochdale youth i erd that st. helens drag players in from much more then 10 miles (wardle) were we get them from bwt 3 miles ov our music centre. but they'r all gd, west lothian, greater gwent (newport music centre) st. helens, stockport 2 name just a few but unfortunately i disagree wiv the way they all get players by draftin the in from all over, then usin the name ov sum random little town.

don' t get me wrong they'r all really gd sum ov the stuff they'v managed 2 cum out wiv is amazin playin stuf comisioned 4 sum ov the best lyk black dyke

to choose a best over all is imposible cos all bands have there strong points e.g entertainment or playing etc but u also have 2 giv bands who don't have acess 2 such gud players credit aswel cos they still play very wel and put lots ov effert in just lyk those who cum away wiv the prizes

ben

solo euphonoium rochdale
 
nickjbeaumarisband said:
I think the Beaumaris Youth Band is the current " Youth Entertainment Champions" which was held in Blackpool earlier this year.
ino i'm replyin twice (acident) now am going to have to diagree there although i play wiv rochdale unless u saw us u can't comment cos we played amazingly n i saw u n unfortunately u included very little entertainment in ur programe which is y u didn't win
 

T-Horn

Member
Rochdale_Euph/Ben said:
although i play 4 rochdale youth i erd that st. helens drag players in from much more then 10 miles (wardle) were we get them from bwt 3 miles ov our music centre. but they'r all gd, west lothian, greater gwent (newport music centre) st. helens, stockport 2 name just a few but unfortunately i disagree wiv the way they all get players by draftin the in from all over, then usin the name ov sum random little town.

solo euphonoium rochdale
Hang on a minute,

Firstly don't confuse the two welsh bands. Newport Music centre band is a seperate band to Gwent youth band. Ok there both run by the same people but they are a very different band. different auditions are held to get into the newport band.

Gwents a county band, they've never hidden the fact, therefore they bring in players from around the county!! not illegal i don't think. therefore our name isn't a random place. The players in gwent have earned thier seats there. They all audition.

If you want anymore info feel free to PM me
:)
 

lynchie

Active Member
Rochdale_Euph/Ben said:
ino i'm replyin twice (acident) now am going to have to diagree there although i play wiv rochdale unless u saw us u can't comment cos we played amazingly n i saw u n unfortunately u included very little entertainment in ur programe which is y u didn't win
I'm pretty sure his post was made last year, when beaumaris (I think) did win it...

Anyway, nice to see there's still no rivalry like an angry youth band rivalry...
 
ino they won n i cud go into the reasons behind that (nt our fault btw) but am nt cos it wos a long tym ago n this yr we played n showed we were stil the "national youth entertainment champions ov geat britain "
 

lynchie

Active Member
Oh yeah, wish I could go back! There's always a good reason why a band didn't win, and never, ever, has it been that they weren't the best band on the day...

You know you only kept winning that music for youth thing because the adjudicator loved the welsh...
 
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