BYBA Individuals & Ensembles 2018 – Review
By Barbara Leach
On Sunday November 18th, around 100 young competitors gathered in Northampton for BYBA’s Individuals and Ensembles contest. Hosted by Liberty, the event showcases young talent in three broad categories – wind, percussion and colourguard (dance). It culminates in the Young Guard Performer of the Year and Young Musician of the Year contests.
Nic and Toni from Stafford Brigades opened the show with a trumpet duet in the open age category, followed by duets from Elliot and Euan (Liberty), Abbie and Kelly (Stafford Brigades) and two trios from Knights Academy (Shannon, Teisha and Joshua; and Sophie, Maizie-Lynne and Kaidon).
We then entered a very competitive individual wind contest, with five 10-and-under competitors, seven 14-and-under competitors, six 18-and-under competitors, and two over-18 competitors. Emma (Warwick Corps of Drums), Amelia (Liberty), Dan (Lanesfield), Steph (Stafford Brigades) and Nic (Stafford Brigades) were awarded first place for their age category.
Three wind ensembles then competed for glory, two in the youth category and one in the open age category. Liberty and NeXus emerged triumphant in their age groups, but Thurrock Marching Brass was a very fine runner up in the youth category, just one point behind Liberty.
Thanks go to our judge from the Corps of Army Music, Captain Laura Stead.
At one o’clock the colourguard contest started, judged by WGI’s Peter Lippiatt. Grace, Tegan and Ellie, all from Thurrock Marching Brass, competed in the 14-and-under age group, with Grace taking the category with her fellow bandmates just three and four points behind her. The duos then took to the floor, with lovely performances from Riana and Lauren from Liberty, Bethany and Hannah from Warwick Corps of Drums, Ellie-May and Willow from TMB, and Sophie and Rebecca from The Company, who were awarded first place.
Finally the audience were wowed by three high quality performances in the 18-and-under guard category, with Sophie and Rebecca from The Company and Rhianna from TMB competing. All three went on to compete for Young Guard Member of the Year. Sophie was awarded both category winner and Young Guard Performer with an emotional and technically skilled performance, and congratulations are due to Rebecca for a skilled performance and to Rhianna for an emotional tribute to her mother.
After lunch the percussion took over the theatre with Neil Wright taking over the judging in place of the poorly Michael Potter.
In the untuned percussion (drums) eight individuals took part in three age categories, with first places going to Matthew from TMB, Jake from TMB and Tyler from Liberty. In the tuned percussion (mallets) contest, three individuals contested in two age categories with Olivia from Lanesfield and Ryan from Beeches taking first place.
Three duos/trios also took to the floor, each in their own age category – well done to Connie and Summer from Concord AllStars, Daniel, Matthew and Jake from TMB and Ryan and Kelsey from Beeches for strong performances.
The ensembles categories were tightly fought, with five percussion ensembles and four mixed ensembles in competition. A quartet from Beeches took the honours in the percussion ensembles with a version of the YouTube sensation, Loca the Irish Pug.
Well done to two ensembles from Knights Academy, to TMB and to Concord AllStars for great performances. In the mixed ensembles Thurrock Marching Brass were awarded first place, with Liberty Juniors, Stafford Brigades and a brass trio from TMB only a couple of points behind.
NeXus ably entertained the audience while the Young Musician of the Year contestants warmed up outside the theatre. Contending the title were Emma from Warwick, Olivia from Lanesfield and Tyler from Liberty. All three played fabulously but Olivia just edged ahead with a technically difficult performance of Flight of the Bumble Bee on marimba.
Overall it was a highly enjoyable day – and I am looking forward to an even bigger event in 2019!