Our Swiss Adventure

Charlotte Birch : 5 May 2019 10:42 am : News

Review coming soon!

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Charlotte Birch : 23 February 2019 11:40 am : News

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Lions Youth Brass receive funding from Bathgate Silica Sand

Charlotte Birch : 18 February 2019 6:55 pm : News

Bathgate Silica Sand helps Lions Youth Brass go for gold at the 2019 European Brass Band Championships

Bathgate Silica Sand are thrilled to support Lions Youth Brass as they prepare to compete in the 2019 EuroBrass Championships in Montreux, Switzerland.

For over 25 years, Lions Youth Brass, a registered charity, has enabled hundreds of children aged five to 18 years to play and perform brass or percussion instruments in beginners, junior or youth bands. Currently there are around 120 members, all from different backgrounds, and all are provided with musical instruments, tuition and support. They practice every Tuesday evening at Sandbach School.

The children perform and compete at the highest levels. Following their recent success at the 2018 Youth Brass Band Championships of Great Britain, they will represent England at the 6th European Youth Brass Band Championships in April 2019.

Jane Stubbs, Chairperson of the Youth Band at Lions said, “This is a huge honour and opportunity for Lions Youth Brass but, most importantly, for the children to play at the very highest level at such a prestigious event.”

Lions Youth Brass rely on annual support received from local Lions and Rotary Clubs, as well as funds raised from concerts, fund raising events and membership. However, the cost of getting their 43 band members, conductor, committee members and parent helpers to the event is a staggering £25,000! Therefore, Bathgate Silica Sand’s pledge of support and sponsorship has been very well received.

“It is a relationship we’re keen to develop further given our shared wish to support local children and see them grow and succeed both in the band and out,” says Nigel Birch, Conductor of the Youth Band (pictured).

Andy Brookes, representative from the Bathgate Group and former Sandbach School student, delivered the cheque for £550 to the Lions Youth Band. “Lions Youth Brass enables children from a wide range of backgrounds not only to access musical training, but to reach standards of excellence. This is great for the children, but also for the local community. We are very pleased to support this charity, and we want to extend our congratulations to the Lions and wish them the best of luck in April’s international tournament!”

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The Road to Montreux

Graham Shaw : 10 February 2019 2:01 pm : Home, News, Switzerland, Youth Band

The youth band has been working hard on its programme for the upcoming European Youth Brass Bands Championship, which is now only 77 days away!

As well as our regular rehearsals, most weekends have included additional practise time, ensuring we bring “Sanctuary” up to contest standard at the same time as our Nationals programme and concert repertoire.

Foden’s Band

In January, members of Foden’s Band led sectional workshops. It’s great to have such a high profile band as neighbours and we’re grateful to the players for their time.


The Band of the King’s Division

Today we welcomed Major Stuart Halliday and players from The Band of the King’s Division to Sandbach. Another fantastic opportunity to work with professional musicians.


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Bells are jing, jing, jingling

Charlotte Birch : 25 November 2018 4:58 pm : Concert, Home, Switzerland


Bells are jing, jing, jingling as busking begins!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas for Lions Youth Band as a dedicated team were up on Sunday morning for the first busking session of the year.

Bright and chipper for 9.30am they were station at Tesco Extra, in Crewe, bringing a bit of festive cheer to the shoppers.

It was the first of five, yes FIVE, busking sessions the band will be doing and helped raise £358 to get the bank to Montreux, in Switzerland, for next year’s EuroBrass19 competition.

It came after, four Youth Band players, Emma and Katy Stone, Amy Hext, and Leanne Smith, raised £121  towards the appeal at St Luke’s Fair in Goostrey on Saturday.

And after a busy weekend the band members have a busking break, with the Christmas concert fast approaching, but will find themselves back out at the Makers Market, in Sandbach, on December 8.

They will then find themselves at Morrisons in Nantwich on Sunday, December 16, for more Christmas carols before heading to Waitrose in Sandbach for the traditional busking slots on December 23 and Christmas Eve to raise funds for the band.

Money raised from the other sessions will go towards the £25,000 the band need for the EuroBrass competition, which will take place between April 25 and 28.

Lions qualified for the prestigious tournament for the first time by coming runner up in last year’s Youth Brass Band Championships of Great Britain.

Want all of the latest Lions Youth Brass updates? Follow us on Twitter @LionsYouthBand or like our Facebook page, Lions Youth Brass.


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Annual Slow Melody

Charlotte Birch : 18 November 2018 4:23 pm : Beginners Band, Contest, Home, Junior Band, News, Youth Band

On Sunday 2nd December, Lions Youth Brass will be hosting its 13th annual Slow Melody Competition.

This is a great chance for all members of Lions Youth Brass to showcase their skills. This year we welcome back Elizabeth Lawrence and Mareika Grey as our adjudicators with Fenella Haworth-Head as our piano accompanist. The last 12 years have been very successful with high participation from members and we’re hoping for the same again. Please see attached entry form with all details on.

Section times will be announced shortly after the closing date but will between 9.30am and 2pm.

This year we will be featuring a family section which will allow brothers and sisters to play together  

Please print off and return the entry form and money to any of the committee on a Tuesday night with the closing date being the 20th November.

If you have any questions about the event please email Charlotte, our contest organiser, directly at charlottebirch1996@gmail.com


Section 1: 8 years and under (Beginner Band)
Section 2: 9 years and over (Beginner Band)
Section 3: 11 years and under (Junior Band)
Section 4: 12 years over (Junior Band)
Section 5: 13 years and under (Youth Band)
Section 6: 14 and 15 years of age (Youth Band)
Section 7: 16 years and over (Youth Band)
Section 8: Group; 2 or more players (all bands)
Section 9: Family section; A chance for family members to play together (all bands)

Section 10: Open Section – Non-Brass instrument
Section 11: The Challenge (Youth Band – Any age)


Sections 1-9 & 11 – 1st Place Trophy and Certificate, 2nd Place Certificate, 3rd Place Certificate
and a Merit Certificate.

Section 10 – Best Beginner Band player, Best Junior Band player, Best Youth Band player

The contest is open to all members of Lions Youth Brass. The draw will be made in advance and all
players must report to Charlotte who will be sat in the foyer of the Maxwell Davies Centre on the
day. Please arrive no later than 10 minutes before the start of your section, even if you’re drawn
last. The first section is to start at 9.30 am and all competitors will be informed of their section
start time before the event (to be announced no later than 29th November). Results will be
announced and awarded at the end of each section.

Maximum performance time for all sections is approximately five minutes (not including warm-up
or tuning). Players will be allowed to warm up in the Rigby Block where the Junior Band rehearse.
Piano accompaniment or backing disc may be used which must be stated on the entry form. Fenella
Haworth-Head can accompany performances on piano for £5. Please hand in your entry form well
in advance to make sure Charlotte can arrange a rehearsal time on Sunday 18th November for
you. The player must leave their accompaniment with Fenella on the day of the rehearsal.

An unmarked copy of the chosen piece must be provided for the adjudicator on the day (A
photocopy is acceptable and copying facilities will be available on the day). Please do not hand
this in before the day. Each player will receive an adjudicators report.

No entry will be accepted without an entry fee. If paying by cheque, please make this payable to
Lions Youth Brass. You may hand your entry in on a Tuesday night no later than the 20th
November. If there are any problems or questions, please contact Charlotte, the contest
organiser, directly at charlottebirch1996@gmail.com

The most important rule is to have fun! We all come to Lions because we love playing music,
this contest is about showing our friends, family and tutors what we can do whilst supporting our fellow players at the same time.

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Biking to Switzerland

Charlotte Birch : 16 September 2018 4:09 pm : Concert, Home, News, Switzerland, Youth Band

Members from Lions Youth Brass will be swapping the stage for the saddle as they prepare to cycle the distance between Sandbach and Montreux on static bikes.
The Lions Youth Brass team will be cycling around 790 miles, the distance from their Sandbach base to Montreux, in Switzerland, where the band will be competing at the European Youth Brass Band Championships.
The Lions qualified to represent the UK at the prestigious competition after scooping second place at the National Youth Brass Band Championships of Great Britain earlier this year.
It’s a fantastic achievement for the young band and has resulted in a major fundraising campaign to find the £25,000 it will cost to send around 50 young people as well as a team of tutors over to Switzerland.
With a number of fundraisers already under their belts, including race nights, bingo, and afternoon tea, the Lions will now be saddling up to see if they can complete a sponsored cycle to raise those all important funds.
Band members – and of course parents too, led by Jonathan Miles and Mick Ronald – will be cycling on a static bike at six of the upcoming concerts to raise money towards the total goal.
They will be at:
– From Sandbach to Switzerland, Northwich Memorial Hall, September 23
– Sandbach Makers Market, Sandbach Common, October 13
– Joint concert with Audley, Sandbach School, October 21
– Vale Royal Lions, Grange School, November 16
– Christmas Concert, Sandbach School, December 2
– Macclesfield Christmas Concert, St Paul’s Church Macclesfield, December 7
To keep up-to-date with all of the progress and upcoming events search for Lions Youth Brass on Facebook or @LionsYouthBand on Twitter.
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From Sandbach to Switzerland

Charlotte Birch : 12 September 2018 9:33 pm : Beginners Band, Concert, Contest, Home, Junior Band, News, Switzerland, Youth Band

Sit back, relax, and enjoy the movies as some of the county’s top musicians take you on a tour of the silver screen.

From John Williams to Hans Zimmer, Fodens Band, the Roberts Bakery Band, and Lions Youth Brass will be performing together for one night only for their From Sandbach to Switzerland concert. 

More than 100 of Cheshire’s top players will be helping to raise money for the Lions Youth Brass band as they prepared to head to Montreux, Switzerland for next year’s European Youth Brass Band Championships. 


The band qualified to represent England at the prestigious tournament after finishing second in the National Youth Brass Band Championships earlier this year. 


Performing alongside players from Fodens and Roberts will give the band – aged between 14 and 18 – a chance to perform with some of the country’s finest players. 


Musical director Nigel Birch said “Lions is about giving young people great opportunities and to play with musicians and bands of the quality of Roberts and Fodens will be an amazing experience for them to cherish.”


Players in the Lions organisation range from six to 18 years of age and both the beginner and junior bands will be showcasing their musical prowess before the main event on the night.


In order to enjoy their once in a lifetime trip to Switzerland Lions have to raise around £25,000 and have already held a series of fund-raising events this year. 


The ‘From Sandbach to Switzerland’ spectacular takes place on September 23 at Northwich Memorial Court. 


Tickets cost £10 with under 16s free of charge. Doors open 5.15pm. 


The next fund-raising event will be a race night at the Masonic Hall in Sandbach on September 29.

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Tour 2018: Day 6

Charlotte Birch : 29 July 2018 6:37 pm : Concert, Home, News, Tour, Youth Band
The final day started with a hearty cooked breakfast. Katie and Jane slaved over the cooker, supported by Steve, Charlotte and Julian. I even chipped in with the odd round of toast. This set us up nicely for a long day ahead.
We said our farewells to Brian as he set off early with Neil (Jane and Brian’s son) for his Hospital appointment.
Following a thorough cleanup, Jane and Katie always check our rooms to make sure it’s left to their very high standards, we set off home around 11am. Steve had now been promoted to van duty in Brian’s absence and to keep Derek on the straight and narrow.
Following a short stop off at Sandbach Park we made our way to the Bull’s Head where Jane and Katie had arranged for an end of tour roast dinner, there wasn’t much left on the plates as you can imagine.
It was here we said farewell to our great friends and coach drivers, Carol and Jose, as they couldn’t make the evening concert. Sophie Barwick presented them both with presents from the band.
It was now on to Sandbach High School for the evening concert organised by The Rotary Club of Sandbach.
This year there was a twist to the concert as I had given the choice of music to the six senior players that were leaving. In true Lions fashion they double twisted and I wasn’t allowed to know what we were playing until moments before the first note.
During the evening presentations were made to Sophie Barwick, Melissa Goodchild, Rhys Woollam, Emma Drew, Callum Hill and Natasha Brett as they had reached the ripe old age of 18 and now was the time for them to take one last bow.
There was a presentation made to Richard Gibson who had organised all the performances on tour and further presentations to Sophie and Rhys as retiring band reps.
The band kindly presented presents to myself, Jane and all the organising team for a great week.
One final presentation was for Sophie Barwick, who having given ten years of her life, and showed great dedication and leadership, was presented with Bandsperson of the Year.
The band was on great form all evening and finished traditionally with our special version of Can Can.
A great tour, with great memories. Thanks to everyone who made it a great success.
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Tour 2018: Day 5

Charlotte Birch : 26 July 2018 12:31 pm : Concert, Home, News, Tour, Youth Band

On Wednesday, we were woken up and headed off to Beverly. Our first concert was in Beverly Minster. What a beautiful acoustic! The sound after the last note lasted for seven seconds! Many band members say that it is the nicest place that they have ever played in.
We had a lovely lunch however there were no crisps, due to Leanne losing her phone down the side of the bed and Jane being preoccupied all morning! After all the fuss, all it took was one swipe of a hanger from Julian to save the day.
Then we went to our second concert. This was at a garden party where the audience enjoyed our playing and the band enjoyed strawberries and cream, then cake! Half way through our second set, Nigel made a comment about missing out on the strawberries. So the hilarious owner of the house went to get him some which he stood and ate (giving the band a break!).
When we arrived back at our accommodation, we were informed that tonight was “Talent Night”. Oh dear… Before the show we enjoyed curry and sweet & sour, followed by a healthy portion of angel delight. The winners of the talent show were Amy Hext and Cerys Smedley, with their tap routine “Beat Box”. The runners up were Hannah Taylor the future stand up comedian, and Mel, Sophie and Emma Stone with the “Mel the Genius” quiz about members of the organisation.
After the show we enjoyed our last hot chocolate and headed off to bed.
Ella & Leanne
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