Fellowship Award Announcements

Posted in: News,BYBA News

BYBA Members will be aware that today we acknowledged the service to the association and the marching band activity of three hard working individuals who were welcomed into the BYBA Fellowship:

  • Andrew Crowden
  • Gill Crowden
  • Marie Leighton

Usually these awards are announced at the AGM and then presented at National Championships, and whilst Marie Leighton was not well enough to attend the AGM, plans were made to make that presentation which we will do at the earliest opportunity.

The citations for all three recipients were circulated ahead of the AGM.

Gill & Andrew Crowden

Citation: Andrew and Gill Crowden have been involved in banding for more than 35 years. Andrew started Millfield Militia with Tony Payne in the early 1980s and together Andrew and Gill ran the band until its closure in 1998. From 1990 they have been great friends to Ibstock Scouts where they have chaperoned the members at events and band camps, as well as helping out at fundraising events.

Andrew and Gill are well known to the bands on the BYBA competition circuit. Key members of the former Team Red, they have given their time to regional contests, national championships and Individuals and Ensembles, providing a friendly and welcoming face to competitors, band masters, and members of the public; many an event would not have succeeded without their help. They have been regular attendees and contributors to BYBA national and regional meetings.


Marie Leighton

Citation: Starting out as a nine year old girl at Trinity Girls’ Brigade and Boys’ Brigade as an Eb Calvary Trumpeter, from 1980 to 1986, Marie enjoyed playing a wide array of musical instruments in brass, percussion and woodwind, settling on the latter as her musical section of choice with expertise in both Alto and Tenor Saxophones. In 1989, Marie was a founding member of the local, national and European title winning marching band, The Cavaliers based in Basingstoke, Hampshire and enjoyed 13 years as a performing member and instructor of the woodwind section before spreading her invaluable musical knowledge through the Pegasus Drum & Trumpet Corps, exposing her first foray into G instruments in 2001.

In 2003, Marie joined some of her former Cavaliers friends and played Alto and Tenor Saxophone in the Surgical Spirits Big Band, so named because of the many hospital gigs they enjoyed, although they gave many other private performance for the next six years.

From 2009 onwards, Marie has given solid input to many bands as a BYBA Judge, which has also extended to being part a small mobile team of judges giving support around the country through mentoring workshops. Across 2011 and 2012, Marie took on the role of Chair of Communications for BYBA, bringing her professional communications experience from the day job to Council.

A move to Essex in late 2009 saw Marie get involved with the re-launch of Thurrock Marching Brass where she manages all press related matters, and looks after the wardrobes for the band and colourguards. A brass instructor between 2010 and 2012 Marie helped lay down important musical foundations for the youngsters and as with her other parent and staff members Marie also enjoys performing and is often seen donning a bass drum for carnivals, picking up a Saxophone to play alongside the kids. In 2015, on her local patch, Marie was recognised with Jack Petchey Leadership Award for her outstanding contribution to the furtherance of youth development in Thurrock and its surrounding areas.


Paul Cartwright

BYBA Performance Chair