Published on October 26th, 2021 by gavin

Youth Champs restrictions relaxed to assist more bands in taking part

Applications for the National Youth Brass Band Championships of Great Britain are now open, with the event due to take place on 26 and 27 March 2022 at Corby Business Academy.

Brass Bands England, which runs the Championships, has announced a number of changes to the 2022 event, put in place to help support as many youth bands as possible. Aspects of the contest format have been temporarily relaxed to assist more young people to return to public performance after Covid-19 restrictions on playing.

Set test piece

The most significant alteration to the usual format is for the Championship Section, where the requirement to play a set test-piece will now be dropped for one year only. Instead, bands will be required to play at least ten minutes of original brass band music as part of their overall 20-minute programmes.

BBE’s Partnership and Relationship Development Manager, Alex Parker, said: “Whilst we are pleased with the number of entries to the Championships so far, we have also been talking with bands about the challenges they face in rebuilding after the pandemic. It is clear that the young people we want to support have progressed in different ways and at different speeds. We recognise that, right now, bands need the freedom to play music that challenges and develops their players in a way that’s right for them. We are very happy to be able to accommodate their needs within the changes to the 2022 event. We are making this decision now while there is still plenty of time for bands to be making their preparations.” 

Any bands wishing to play Saint-Saëns Variations (Philip Sparke), which was the original test-piece at the cancelled 2020 Championships, will be welcome to include it in their set. No one will be either favoured for playing it nor penalised for not.

Besson Prodige Debut Section

The Besson Prodige Debut Section is the Youth Champs’ non-competitive section. This year, more than any other, this section has seen numbers of entries rise as bands use the opportunity to take part and contribute a great performance without the pressure of a competition. Bands of all standards are welcome to play in the Debut Section and join in the fun, even if they’ve played at the contest previously.


The order of play for the morning session 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 first sector, 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.

Bands already entered 

Any bands already entered into the Championships which, on the basis of these changes, might want to enter a different section or change their entry, are welcome to do so and should contact [email protected] or phone 01226 771015.

How to take part

Full information on how to register for the event can be found on the Brass Bands England website, where spectator tickets are also available. Grab your tickets by 9 January to benefit from a 10% discount.

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