Youth band strikes Gold in Cheltenham

On March 23rd, the Youth Band headed off to Cheltenham where they took part in the National Youth Championships of Great Britain. They competed in the Yamaha Performance Section where they faced a stiff challenge from well established bands like Elland Training Band and Pembrokeshire Music Service. They performed really well and played with confidence. Those of us who were unable to get to the performance on the day were able to watch the live stream of the contest on the WOBPlay platform and the recording will be available there should you wish to catch up.

The band were unlucky not to be in the prizes on the day, but came away with a Gold Award with the judges saying their performance was “based on the most solid of banding basics”.

A solid result and a really great performance. Well done.

Imogen shines in Taunton

At the recent National Youth Brass Band course held in Taunton, our Solo Baritone player Imogen Fewster participated in the prestigious Harry Mortimer solo competition. This sees all the section winners of the Katie Ogden solo competition held in the spring course compete against each other. As you will appreciate this is a competition held between players who really are at the top of their game.

Imogen chose to play the Baritone Concerto by Martin Ellerby, a fiendishly difficult piece that demonstrates just how good a player we have in the band. Sadly she missed out on the top spot in the contest, but you will agree this is a stunning performance.

Imogen was once again successful in her audition for the solo baritone seat in the NYBBGB in what is the band’s 70th anniversary year. During the course the band worked with renowned trumpeter Louis Dowdeswell and performed the premiere of a specially commissioned piece, Hyperlink from the pen of Peter Graham. Hyperlink will be the test piece for the forthcoming National Championships held at the Albert Hall in October

Imogen with the other principal players at the NYBBGB Summer 2022 course

A new ambassador in the band.

Imogen Fewster

We are delighted to hear that our solo Baritone Player Imogen Fewster has been appointed as a Young Ambassador for Mercer and Barker mouthpieces.

Imogen started her playing career in the Shepherd Group Academy band and has progressed through our band organisation and is now our Solo Baritone player. She is a member of the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain and has been the Principal Baritone player with the NYBBGB since 2021. This year Imogen won the Euphonium/Baritone section of the NYBBGB Katie Ogden solo competition and will represent her section in the concerto final at the forthcoming NYBBGB summer course playing the Ellerby Baritone Concerto.

We are so proud of Imogen and listening to her rehearsing her concerto piece in the bandroom before a recent rehearsal, the band were in awe at the virtuosity on display.

George Barker, one of the founders of Mercer and Barker mouthpieces said “We are looking forward to working with her and all the young ambassadors in the future. She’s a fabulous player”.

More details on the Young Ambassadors can be found on the Mercer and Barker Website along with details of their range of mouthpieces.

The website address is