President’s Award 2018 presented to Marie Leighton

Posted in: News,BYBA News

If that wasn’t enough to be awarded BYBA fellowship, Marie Leighton has a double celebration, as Council wished to recognise Marie not simply for a long career from her own youth band experience to those she has influenced since, but to acknowledge the challenges Marie has endured in recent years, which is set out it the citation which follows.

The President’s Award 2018 is therefore presented to Marie Leighton.


Marie has dedicated 37 years of her life within the marching and performing arts capacities from marching member through to senior leadership teams where her advice and input has helped to steer organisations from the ground up to major success and recognition.

Woodwind was the preference, though with experience in brass and percussion, and it was in the wider field of music that Marie turned from marching and teaching to BYBA judging in 2009, where she studied Field Wind as a speciality. Her time and dedication to the educational process through the judging family has seen her attend and lead training weekends for bands in various parts of the country, where young people have benefited from her input and knowledge. She remains today, a respected judge on the UK circuit, having also expanded her abilities into additional music captions.

Marie was recognised for her leadership qualities by becoming the recipient of the 2015 Jack Petchey Leadership Award for her outstanding contribution of youth development in Thurrock and its surrounding areas.

Marie always brings a smile to every occasion despite how she may be feeling and what makes her such an inspirational person is that since 2015 she has been battling cancer, beating off the cervical cancer, yet by the end of 2017 only to be diagnosed with additional challenges in this area at that time. That has not stopped Marie from giving maximum efforts to the British Youth Band Association judging, as we saw an the Individuals & Ensembles Showcase in November, 2017. Marie has continued to dedicate her time for the benefit of the youth of Thurrock and its surrounding areas, and all while she continues to fight against something that can so often take so much out of her. Marie doesn’t know how to give up and is an example to us all for her continued positive focus, whilst also supporting those around her in their musical and performing careers.

Paul Cartwright
Association Chair
On behalf of BYBA Council

Presented Saturday 3rd February, 2018