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Bumper Youth Champs entry inspires Dave Benson Phillips’ Trombone dream

27th February 2020

After the introduction of the redesigned National Youth Brass Band Championships in 2019, this year has seen a recent record of 36 bands enter the Youth Champs. The bands will be performing at the Magna Science Adventure Centre in South Yorkshire on 28 March 2020, with 18 in the Championship Section and five in the Intermediate Section competing for places in the 2021 European Youth Brass Contest in Sweden, as well national honours. The Elementary Section and an enlarged Debut Section will also return as the non-competitive introduction for beginners.

This has inspired compére and children’s TV presenter Dave Benson Phillips to pursue his childhood dream of learning the trombone and play his first piece at the contest alongside the bands in the Debut Section.

BBE Partnership and Relationship Development Manager, Alex Parker, commented: “We are very pleased to see the rise in participation at the Youth Champs, as encouraging young players is our key aim in developing bands of the future. The fact that it has inspired Dave Benson Phillips to take on his own challenge is a brilliant bonus!”

Dave, who many will remember covered many adults in gunge on the programme Get Your Own Back, presented the junior sections of the Youth Champs for the first time in 2019 and will be back again this year. In preparation, he is trying to get to grips with his new trombone and is going to record his journey with updates on his YouTube channel. You can see him getting a first look at his instrument here.

Dave now needs help from the brass band community to get to the youth champs. The first piece of advice has come from none other than Ian Bousfield, one of the world’s leading trombonists, having previously been principal trombone of both the Vienna Philharmonic and London Symphony orchestras and now a very successful teacher, soloist and conductor. You can see Ian’s video on Brass Bands England’s Facebook Page.

If you have a top tip for Dave, record your video and upload it to Facebook or Twitter with the #DavesYouthChampsChallenge or send it to to be uploaded and emailed to dave directly by BBE.

Dave said about his Challenge: “When I was a little boy I always wanted to play the trombone, but at the time it just wasn’t possible. So now as an adult I felt inspired by all the young performers to get an instrument and give it a go.”

For tickets to the Youth Champs please purchase them directly from priced £12.50, £7.50 (12-16), £4.50 (U-12).

4BarsRest made the draw for the contest live at Butlins Mineworkers Contest which can be seen here.