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Youth Brass Band Championships Reinstates Test Piece for 2025 Event

Sparke Work Chosen for 2025 Youth Champs

After a hiatus prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Youth Brass Band Championships of Great Britain (Youth Champs) is reintroducing the Championship section test piece for its 2025 competition. This event, organised by Brass Bands England (BBE), provides a unique and inspiring platform for young brass players across the country.

For the 2025 Youth Champs, the selected test piece is "Fanfares, Songs and Dances," a specially commissioned work by renowned brass band composer Philip Sparke. The piece, a joint commission by BBE, the Lithuanian Brass Band Association, and the Dutch National Brass Band Championships (NBK), will have its UK contesting première on Saturday, March 29, 2025, at Hymers College in Hull.

Speaking on the announcement, Philip said:

“I’m so thrilled that my Fanfares, Songs and Dances has been selected as the test piece for the 2025 National Youth Brass Band Championships, Championship Section. Brass Bands England was one of the sponsors of the original commission and I found it an immensely satisfying piece to write – it’s a real challenge to incorporate the passion and excitement usually associated with ‘top section’ pieces at a lower grade level!
I hope the young players in our wonderful youth bands will enjoy the robustness of Fanfares, the delicacy and solo opportunities of Songs and vivaciousness of Dances, as they prepare this piece for the championships.”

Contest Details

The set test-piece element was temporarily suspended post-pandemic to allow youth bands to rebuild their numbers during a period of uncertainty. However, the BBE team believes now is the right time to reintroduce this aspect of the competition, fulfilling the Championship Section’s goal of serving as a gateway to adult competition.

Bands competing in the Championship Section will still have the opportunity to perform their own choice of music, with an additional 10 minutes of own-choice time provided alongside the 11-minute test piece. Bands in the Performance or Showcase sections are not required to perform the set piece and will continue to have up to 15 or 10 minutes for their own-choice music, respectively.

Brass Bands England Members Discount

BBE member organizations can purchase the test piece directly from BBE at a discounted rate of £52.80. To avail this discount, members should email upon entry. This price reduction is made possible through the support of Hal Leonard, Philip Sparke, and Anglo Music Press. Non-member bands can buy the test piece from Band Music Shop for £91.99

Registration Details

Registration for the contest opens on Wednesday, June 19, through the Brass Bands England website. This is a fantastic opportunity for young players to participate in this reinvigorated competition, showcasing their talents and hard work on a prestigious platform.

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