National Youth at Home

Grand Finale - Statement 29/07/20

The National Youth (NYBB) and National Children’s (NCBB) Brass Bands of Great Britain are to feature two brand new works for virtual brass band at their inaugural joint concert on Friday 7th August.

Broadcast live as part of its National Youth at home initiative, the NCBB will include the premiere of Peter Graham’s Strange New Worlds and the NYBB will include the premiere of Bramwell Tovey’s Madrigali, both written for virtual performance.  Professor Nicholas Childs will lead the NCBB and Bramwell Tovey will lead the NYBB.

The NCBB recorded Peter Graham’s Strange New Worlds during its recent virtual course. A five-movement work, which in the words of the composer, “some may interpret … as being one from the ancients while others might identify with the science-fiction of H.G. Wells. Others still will relate to the recent surge of interest in1980s culture and the Netflix series Stranger Things (to which the title of my work pays homage). Nor would it be unreasonable to consider the piece an analogy reflecting events in 2020.”

Meanwhile, the NYBB will perform Bramwell Tovey’s Madrigali, which in the words of the composer, “is a set of instrumental madrigals for each section of the band which will use a specially prepared click-track and involve individual and sectional preparation. The full band sections will be edited and pieced together post-course.”

Guest soloist for the NCBB will be Black Dyke Band principal trombone, Brett Baker. Viewers will hear La chica sin nombre (The girl with no name), by Rob Wiffin, completed during lockdown by the former conductor of the RAF Central Band. Spiritual Sometimes I feel like a motherless child, arranged by the soloist during lockdown, “focuses on the higher aspects of the range for the trombone”; and the challenging Autumn Dreams by Leo Zimmerman, a trombone soloist with the J P Sousa Band.

Soloist for the NYBB will be international euphonium soloist, David Childs. Childs will play one of his favourite solos, The Better World by Norman Bearcroft, The Song: I’ll Make Music by Karl Jenkins, and Carnival of Venice by Paganini / Arban, a work he previously played under Bramwell Tovey with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. The Better World, will be performed in tribute to the composer, who passed away recently. 

Alun Williams, the Band’s interim administrator, said: "The concert will feature 140 of the UK’s finest young brass and percussion soloists from across the UK, led by two leading conductors, with two of the UK’s best brass soloists, what’s not to like? 

Featuring brand-new compositions and arrangements for brass band coupled with the opportunity to hear the winner of the the NYBB’s Mortimer Prize, the broadcast will have something for everyone.”

The virtual concert will begin at 7pm on 7thAugust via the Band’s YouTube and Facebook sites.

Open Day 2020 - Statement 08/07/20

Funded by Arts Council England and the Department for Education, the National Youth (NYBB) and National Children’s (NCBB) Brass Bands of Great (NYBBGB) are to hold an interactive virtual open day for young brass and percussion players on Tuesday 28th July.

The workshop – part of the NYBBGB’s National Youth at Home initiative - will give brass and percussion players, aged eight to 18, the chance to join a sectional and full-band band rehearsal.

Participants will also get the chance to ask questions to the NYBB's artistic director, principal conductor of the BBC Concert Orchestra, Bramwell Tovey, Music Director of the NCBB, Professor Nicholas Childs, Musical Director of Black Dyke Band, senior house tutors of both the NCBB and NYBB as well as members of the band’s leading team of tutors. These include Kate Moore (cornet), Tracey Redfern (cornet), Paul Young (cornet), Siobhan Bates (horns), David Childs (baritones & euphoniums), Carol Jarvis (trombones), Nick Etheridge (tubas), and Mark Landon (percussion.)

Alun Williams, the NYBBGB's interim administrator, said: "The open day has proven a welcome innovation in recent years to the residential courses, and are always a great opportunity for children and young brass and percussion players to come together and experience a flavour of what to expect in being part of the NYBB or the NCBB. Not only will this be the first-time that the organisation has held its courses virtually, but it will be the first-time that the band’s open day has moved online.”

Alumni of the two bands include Philip Cobb (London Symphony Orchestra), Mark Wilkinson (Fodens Band) and David Childs (euphonium soloist.)

The Open day will be held between 10am and 1pm. To register your interest and be a part of this exciting open day please register on Eventbrite by searching for National Youth at Home Open Day or via

Summer Courses 2020 - Statement 23/06/20

The National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain (NYBB) and the National Children’s Brass Band of Great Britain (NCBB) – made up of 140 of the UK’s most young talented brass and percussion players – are to perform a joint virtual concert on Friday 7 August.

The concert – the first time the two bands have performed together - will be the culmination of two innovative back-to-back virtual courses, the first time the organisation has replaced its residential courses with online courses since the NYBB was founded in 1952.  The NCBB course will be held between 19 and 21 July, and the NYBB course will be between 27 and 30 July.

The NYBB will be led by Artistic Director, the Grammy and Juno award-winning conductor and composer Bramwell Tovey, Principal Conductor of the BBC Concert Orchestra; and the NCBB will be led by Artistic Director Professor Nicholas Childs, Musical Director of the Black Dyke Band. The concert will feature guest soloists, David Childs (euphonium) and Brett Baker (trombone.)

The two courses will also premiere two new compositions for virtual brass band, Bramwell Tovey’s  Madrigali for Brass Band and Percussion and Peter Graham’s Strange New World.

The technical delivery of the course will be led by NYBB and NCBB alumni Ben Stratford of Mango Design, who was also commissioned to create a new brand identity for the two course under the theme National Youth at Home.

Dr Robert Childs, the Chairman of the NYBB and NCBB, said: “We’re really excited about our forthcoming virtual courses and end of courses joint concert. This will the first time that the two bands have performed together in concert, the first time that we’ve gone online, a necessary move during the current pandemic, and the first time that the two bands have gone under the same banner.”

“Although we will never be able to replace the physical courses we are known for, our two artistic directors, the trustees and I really felt that the young musicians shouldn’t miss out. We are therefore, delighted to have created two courses which will offer something really special for the children and young musicians, something we’d like to think, aren’t offered elsewhere.”

More details of the two courses and the end of courses concert will be announced soon.