Education and Outreach

Youth Brass 2000

The GUS band is delighted to be associated with Youth Brass 2000, one of the leading youth bands in the world of brass bands.

They were formed in 1989, when an intrepid group of parents, led by Eddie Pain (father of the then principal cornet Marcus Pain) set out to form the “best youth band in the world”! In the second week they were joined by the highly acclaimed young trombonist Chris Jeans as the band’s conductor. It was a modest start, with only about a dozen players, but undaunted early in 1990 the band took part in the European Youth Championships and The National Entertainment Youth Championships of Great Britain.

The very next year the band surprised everyone – including the players themselves – by winning the Action Medical Research National Youth Entertainment Championship in Blackpool! Over the next ten years or so it went on to win that same Championship three more times, taking many soloist prizes along the way. (Helen Casewell, Fiona Casewell, Paul Marshall, Peter Collins, Matt Gee, Steve March, Tracy Colston, Ed Benetts) Also, the band became British Open Champions, in those days held at the Pontins Holiday Camp Prestatyn, and finalists in the Radio 2 “Youth Band of the Year”.

After several attempts to enter the National Youth Brass Band Championships (The Nationals) – a contest which always clashed with the very important National Youth Entertainment Championships – the band finally entered the intermediate section. For four or five consecutive years the band was awarded Gold Standard, until it eventually won the section, and became the Intermediate National Champion Band.

Meanwhile, in 1999 and 2000 the band was selected to represent England at the European Championship in Edinburgh. For two years running the band was placed 2nd overall, winning the “most entertaining band” prize, and seeing Peter Collins crowned the European Youth Champion soloist.

The new millennium saw the band move up a league, winning The Action Medical Research National Entertainment Championships of Great Britain three more times, the British Youth Open three times, the French Open Youth six consecutive times, the Butlins Mineworkers’ title six out of seven years. In 2013 the band was crowned BBC Youth Band of the Year and eventually, in 2014 the band was crowned the Champion Youth Band of Great Britain. The band has now completed the Hat Trick by winning again in 2015 and 2016, resulting in the band being invited to represent England at the European Championship, fifteen years after the first time.

In the new era, their soloists have continued to win individual prizes – Alice Norman, Jacob Phillips, Sarah Lenton, Matt Letts, James Fountain, Thomas Fountain and Siobhan Bates (who incidentally was the 2016 European Solo Champion). The band has consistently had a higher representation of players in the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain than any other band.

Each year the band continues its tradition of embarking upon a European Tour, having travelled to France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Holland, Germany, Austria, Italy and Spain over the years. The band also has a collection of sixteen CDs to its name, which are available in our shop.

There are two things that certainly haven’t changed over the years. One is the band’s desire to entertain and to perform music at the highest possible level. The other of course is that the band is so lucky to enjoy the enviable talent of that young trombonist Chris Jeans, who has now been Artistic Director of the band for over three decades. This is the longest unbroken partnership between any band and conductor anywhere in the country, and it is this partnership that makes Youth Brass 2000 so special.


Footsteps to Music

This is the GUS initiative to raise corporate sponsorship for a community education programme for young children. The aim of this is threefold:

  • to raise the profile of the band in the community
  • to provide value to the sponsor by way of community interaction/outreach and brand visibility
  • to augment the ‘feeder’ system already in place with YB2000 by creating     an entity that will feed them with players, some of whom will ultimately join the GUS band.

If you would like to find out more, please contact