The Academy band is the second stage in our organisation. In the Academy band you will take everything you’ve learnt in the Debut Band and use them to improve your playing skills and musical ability. The main aim in the Academy band is to prepare the youngsters for the Youth Band.
The Lions Academy Band were crowned National Champions in the Elementary section at the National Youth Brass Band Championships 2022!
Today, Youth band parent, Rob is travelling to Poland to drop off donations to refugees who have had to flee from Ukraine. Thank you to all our players, parents, committee members and supporters who donated towards this very worthy cause. Here is a video of all three of our bands performing the Ukraine National Anthem
What a weekend…!
Lions Academy Band
First to play was our Academy Band in the Elementary section on Saturday morning.
1. The Muppet Show
2. Londonderry Air – Soloist, Charlie Kearon
3. The Saddleworth Suite – Pots ‘n’ Pans, Grasscroft Ghoul & Friezland Fiesta
4. Abide With Me
4 Bars Rest said “Lions certainly had a gold hallmark about their set under conductor Tom Hancock, as they opened in a long line with the ‘Muppets Theme’ (with brilliant car horn soloist), before segueing skilfully into the euphonium solo ‘Londonderry Air’ played wonderful by ‘Best Soloist’ winner Charlie Kearon.
Their original brass band work, Dave Chapman’s ‘A Saddleworth Suite’, featured great percussion and plenty of spooky ‘Grasscroft Ghoul’ sounds before it closed with a wicked ‘Fiesta’ complete with signature jester hats. They rounded off their set with a warmly played ‘Abide with Me’.”
Lions Academy Band were absolutely thrilled to be crowned National Champions and are so proud of Charlie for being awarded Best Soloist as well! Also, a special shout out to Musical Director, Tom Hancock, who is currently celebrating 25 years as a Lion!
Lions Debut Band
On Saturday afternoon it was the turn of the Lions Debut Band to take to the stage in the Debut Section!
The aim of the Debut section is to enable beginners to receive their first experience of public performance as well as provide a space for more experienced players to perform in a non-competitive environment. All competitors in this section should have a positive experience so to encourage them to continue to progress on their instrument.
2. Rock Steady
3. Heavy Metal
4. Samba Party
5. The Hip Hop Train
4 Bars Rest Said “Such an innovative set from Lions ‘Debut’ Band. Pre-made backing tracks really helped aid the youngsters to produce a wonderfully fun performance. Great stuff, well done!! Lions Debut Band featured a number of new compositions from their MD. They opened with a wonderful piece called “Debut” – very fitting indeed. Followed by a trio of pieces including “Heavy Metal” in which they released their inner Iron Maiden!”
The Debut Band thoroughly enjoyed their performance, for some of them this is the first time they ever performed in front of a LIVE audience, we are so proud of them.
Lions Youth Brass
Sunday then saw Lions Youth Brass take to the stage in the Championship section!
1. Out of the Mountain
2. First Light – Soloist, Hannah Taylor
The Youth Band were absolutely over the moon to be awarded second place and a gold award! Musical Director, Nigel Birch, said this will go down as one of the bands greatest ever achievements. Nigel celebrates his 27th performance at the National Youth Championships this year!
4 Bars Rest said “A deserved Gold Award went to runner-up Lions Youth Brass, with a set that showed their growing maturity under MD Nigel Birch. Their opening ‘Out of the Mountain’ by Ian Raisbeck was followed by ‘First Light’ played confidently by cornet soloist Hannah Taylor and Christopher Bond’s popular ‘Neverland’.”
Our annual Christmas concert is back for 2021 and it’s one not to be missed! Come along and hear Christmas classics from all 3 bands (including the usual audience participation)!
Price £5 or £3 for under 16’s
Tickets are available from:
Tim Bramwell – 01270 766638 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Keith Ludlam – 01270 762726 or email@example.com
Also available from The Market Tavern, Sandbach.
Band parents will be able to purchase tickets on a Tuesday evening.
This is our first performance to the public for nearly 2 years, where all our fantastic young players will be performing. The proceeds from the event will go back into the band and other Rotary Charities. We would like to thank The Rotary Club of Sandbach for organising this event.
Our Beginner and Junior band joined together on Tuesday night and enjoyed a fantastic hour of music making!
The evening started with some singing and rhythm games led by Beginner band Musical Director, Jamie Sharp and then moved to the rehearsal of several pieces from a booklet called ‘Playing in the Band’. Junior band Musical Director, Tom Hancock, gave some brilliant tips to our young musicians including how to stop and start together and how to stagger breathing between you and the players sat around you.
The evening went so well that both Jamie and Tom decided that this wouldn’t be the last time you see these two bands collaborate…watch this space!
Our brand new CD ‘Reflection’ is due for release this Easter! It features our youth, beginner and junior band with three additional tracks from our reunion band made up of over 50 past members!
If you can’t wait until Easter, we have included some sneaky little previews below. Enjoy!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.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.
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.
As part of the band’s fundraising efforts for Switzerland, a large number of photos from recent concerts are available for sale. Photos are priced at £1 for a high resolution digital download and the band will get 66p from each photo purchased.
3 July 2018 All 3 bands Remembering Nell / Awards Concert – https://goo.gl/amc6BA
7 July 2018 Junior Band Whiston Contest – https://goo.gl/9xyu9n
8 July 2018 All 3 bands Congleton Park – https://goo.gl/1qsYKc
8 July 2018 All 3 bands Macclesfield Lions – https://goo.gl/2Hww9e
The annual National Youth Brass Band Championships of Great Britain was a roaring success for the young Lions as the Youth Band secured second place.
The success didn’t stop there as the Beginner Band were awarded a certificate of merit and the Junior Band a silver award – a top result in a category containing 12 bands!
It was all change for the competition this year as the venue moved to Warwick Arts Centre in order to avoid a clash with the East holidays. Brass Bands England chairman Mike Kilroy told audiences the competition could well stay put next year as well.
A section containing 12 bands was always going to lead to an early start, and it was the Juniors who were drawn to take to the stage first.
An excellent performance consisted of a range of pieces stretching from traditional hymns and marches – both mandatory in this section – and ending with the instantly recognisable Star Wars.
Their pieces were:
- Slam Dunk
- Scarborough Fair
- True and Trusty
- Ellers featuring Lydia, Isobel, Jim, Tom, Lily-Mae, Jonnie, Maddy, Joe and Ollie
- Star Wars
The band were given a silver award and joint fourth with Fred Longworth High School, from Tydesley. This result matches their success in 2015 and 2017.
The eventual winners were Wardle Junior Band with Beaumaris Band coming second and Chalford Youth Band coming third.
Beginner Band Section
The Lions Beginner Band were again drawn out of the hat to open their section at Warwick Art Centre’s The Goose Nest – a temporary auditorium.
The band were commended by the ajudicators for their smiley faces and managed to perform well, even though delays in previous sections meant a lengthy wait before going on.
A vibrant choice of pieces from the young Beginner Band even included a featured piece from Charlotte Shaw and friends – with some fantastic boomwhacker skills!
Their pieces were:
- Minni March
- Pop Rock
- Little Stars ft Charlotte Shaw and friends
- Ode to Joy
Beginner Band musical director Chris Thompson said: “I couldn’t be prouder of the way our youngest members played. They gave it their all and did everything we could possibly have asked of them.
“To play like that, after the huge turnover in players we’ve experienced, is just reward for the effort and commitment the players have shown. For me, that was worth more than any trophy.”
The Beginner Band were awarded a certificate of merit along with Stockport Schools Junior Brass Band. Band of the day went to Wardle Junior Blast with Birkwood Brass and Marriot Brass picking up band with the most potential and highly commended.
The final section of the day was the Championship, with Gordon Langford’s daughter on hand to witness the young players perform her father’s composition Overture Metropolis as this year’s test piece.
Brass Bands England chose the piece shortly after Gordon’s passing in 2017.
The Youth Band played second, following Youth Brass 2000, and began with Road to Run by Paul Lovatt Cooper. Up next it was the test piece before a world premier of The Fall of Icarus – a composition commissioned by the band from Foden’s solo horn Jonny Bates.
Pieces and features included:
- Road to Run featuring Natasha Brett, Jamie Reid, Emma Drew and William Brooks
- Overture Metropolis
- The Fall of Icarus
The Youth Band came second winning £200 and a glass trophy. Youth Brass 2000 came first, while Birmingham Schools’ Brass Band took third.
Musical director Nigel Birch said: “This was my 22nd Nationals and the performance ranked among the very best, as all three pieces were very good. I was extremely proud of all the players, not just on the day but for their dedication and hard work in the preparation.
“I would also like to congratulate Tom, Chris and all the tutors who develop the players so that we can continue to achieve our fantastic results.
“Thanks to our great team lead by Jane Stubbs for everything you provided for the performance and their fabulous work on the day in testing circumstances. I am proud to be the Lions Youth Brass Musical Director.”
For anyone wanting to hear more of the Lions, the Youth Band will be performing at The Civic, in Alsager, on Friday (April 27), at 7.30pm. Or the previews of the new CD – Carnival! – can be found online.
Our Junior and Beginner bands were in action at the weekend, taking part in the annual Newcastle-under-Lyme Festival of Music, Speech and Drama.
It was an early start for the Beginners, who took to the stage in the Under 14 stage before 10 am. Performing last in their section they played a short programme that included Madrigal, Mini March and concluded with Ode to Joy. A performance that MD Chris later described as ‘close to perfect’ was rewarded with a hugely well deserved second place, placing the band (who had an average age of around 8/9) ahead of older and more advanced bands.
Full of euphoria they then joined in the Junior Band in the hunt for the Under 19 section trophy. Tom and the Juniors took to the stage to perform a slick and polished rendition of Slam Dunk (a corker of a piece by Paul Lovatt-Cooper), full of choreography and even, at one point, conductor-less! They were followed on stage by the Beginners, who featured the multi-talented Charlotte (horn and glock expert!) and friends (all armed with boomwhackers!) in Little Stars, before finishing with a Beginner Band ‘banger,’ Pop Rock. Again, both bands were up against much older and experienced and ensembles, but both bands were richly rewarded with third and fourth place finishes respectively.
Quite a morning in Staffordshire, then!