Young soloists release their inner musicality – four years after locking down!

Sunday 24 March 2024

Four years to the day former prime minister Boris Johnson announced a lockdown of the UK because of Covid, a group of young brass instrumentalists released their inner musicality to take part in the finals of the Scottish Youth Solo and Ensemble Championships.

Yesterday’s event in the Bellshill Salvation Army Hall featured over 25 soloists and 16 ensembles vying for the Junior, Intermediate and Youth titles.

An Open solo contest at the end of the day attracted an entry of just three cornetists, which was disappointing for the organising Scottish Brass Band Association who are actively trying to relaunch this event.

Adjudicator for the day-long competition was renowned trombonist, tutor and musical director Brett Baker. Pianist Gina Baker provided the accomplished accompaniments to the soloists. Many thanks to them both for their professionalism and endurance!

In his remarks, Brett commented on how impressed he had been by the improvement in the quality of the soloists since he adjudicated the event a year ago, which he described as “transformational”.

The full results of the day were:

Junior Solos

Gold awards

1. Isla Gillespie (Galashiels Town and Selkirk Silver) (below)

2. Jamie Gillespie (Galashiels Town) (below)

3. Evie Boax (Irvine & Dreghorn Brass)

4. Hope Hill (Campbeltown Brass)

Bailey Dickson (St David’s Brass)

Beth Drury (Kinneil Youth)

Silver awards

Lewis Smith (Campbeltown Brass)

Erin Drury (Kinneil Youth)

Caitlyn Robb (St Ronan’s Silver)

Mila Dickson (St David’s Brass)

Stuart Smith (Riverside Youth)

Vivien Giergerich (St Ronan’s Silver)

Intermediate Solos

Gold awards

1. Mae Barr (Campbeltown Brass)

2. Ash Paton (Riverside Youth)

3. Robert Riddiough (Kilmarnock Concert Brass)

Tyler Clark (Whitburn Youth)

Amber Gourlay (Whitburn Heartlands)

Cara McFadzean (Campbeltown Brass)

Robert Riddiough, Mae Barr and Ash Paton with Brett Baker. It was quite a day for Mae. After winning her category she went on to perform her solo with the cooperation band in a joint concert with The Kirkintilloch Band

Silver awards

William Tawn (Kinneil Youth)

Emily Aldridge (Earlston High School)

Roxy Clark (Whitburn Youth)

Iris Deane (Selkirk and Galashiels)

James Grassick (Peebles Burgh Silver)

Youth Solos

1. Andrea Crumlish (Riverside Youth)

2. Siobhan Crumlish (Riverside Youth)

3. Ryan Borthwick (Selkirk Silver)

4. Scott Smith (Riverside Youth)

Andrea and Siobhan Crumlish and Ryan Borthwick with Brett Baker

Junior Ensembles

1. Jamie and Isla Gillespie - Gold

2. Campbeltown A Junior - Gold

3. St Ronan’s Silver – Silver

Campbeltown B Junior – Silver

Kinneil Youth Junior – Silver

Intermediate Ensembles

1. Gala Youth – Gold (below)

2. Campbeltown B Intermediate – Gold

3. Peebles Burgh Youth Intermediate – Gold

Campbeltown A Intermediate – Silver

Argyll Brass – Silver

Kinneil Youth Intermediate – Silver

Youth Ensembles

1. Clackmannan District Development (below)

2. Iris Deane and William Scott

3. Riverside Youth Quartet

4. Selkirk Silver

5. Abbey Brass

Open Solos

1. Douglas Couchman (Whitburn)

2. Calum Blair (Coalburn Silver)

3. Freya McLernan (Bo’ness & Carriden)

Adjudicator Brett Baker and piano accompanist Gina Baker



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