The organisation was formed in 1989 as the Crewe & District Brass Band, by a group of parents whose children played brass band instruments. At the beginning of the year there were 29 players in the Youth Band and 18 in the training band. The membership quickly increased and the organisation began to receive financial support from the local Lions clubs of South Cheshire and North Staffordshire and which continues to this day. The band changed its name to Lions Youth Brass, and is believed to be one of only two organisations of its kind in the world to operate in the name of Lions Youth.

The band has over the years taught hundreds of children to play a brass instrument, has raised thousands of pounds for charities, and won many competitions. Some of the key dates and events of the organisation are.

1990 Ron Yarwood was appointed Musical Director of the Youth Band. Lions Junior Brass formed and directed by Nigel Birch. Lions Beginner Band formed and directed by Derek Gardener.

1991 Nigel Birch appointed Musical Director of Youth Band. Junior Band directed by Kevin Birch.

1995 Junior Band directed by Kevin Mowbray. Played for the Queen and obtained Lottery Grant for £25,000 to buy instruments.

1996 Shaun Roache appointed Musical Director of the Youth Band.

1997 Paul Andrews appointed Musical Director of the Youth Band. Rachel Woollam appointed Musical Director for the Youth Band. Derek Gardener appointed Musical Director for the Junior Band. Vicky Gardener appointed Musical Director for the Beginner Band.

1999 Dave Woollam appointed Musical Director of the Youth Band and Jane Stubbs takes over as Chairperson.

2001 Nigel Birch re-appointed Musical Director of the Youth Band and Stewart Thompson appointed Musical Director of the Junior Band. Derek Gardener Musical Co-ordinator of Beginner & Junior Bands.

2003 Ian Raisbeck appointed Composer In Residence.

2005 Vicky Gardener appointed as Musical Director of the Junior Band. Andrew Felton, Hayley Scott and Chris Thompson were appointed Musical Directors for the Beginner Band.

2005 Katie Smallwood appointed as Junior Band Musical Director.

2007 Sarah Raisbeck appointed as Junior Band Musical Director.

2008 Tom Hancock appointed as a tutor for Junior Band.

2009 Ian Raisbeck appointed as Junior Band Musical Director. Matthew Darlington appointed as tutor for the expanding Beginner Band.

2011 Ashley Taylor replaces Matthew Darlington as tutor for the Beginner Band. Chris Thompson appointed as sole Musical Director for the Beginner Band.

2012 Tom Hancock appointed as the Junior Band Musical Director. Matthew Darlington returns from University to tutor both Beginner and Junior Bands. Steve Barwick appointed as a tutor for the Junior Band. Derek Gardner moves from the Junior Band to the Beginner Band as a tutor.

2013 The organisation became a registered Charity.

2014 Ashley Taylor leaves the Beginner Band

2015 Charlotte Birch appointed as Beginner Band Tutor

Throughout the Bands history  many of our players have qualified to play in the following Children / Youth bands; Cheshire County Youth Brass Band, National Youth Brass Band, National Children’s Brass Band of Great Britain.

Competition Results.

The Youth Band entered its first contest The Action Research Entertainment Contest 1989, Spurley Hey Manchester, and since then has had many contest successes, including winners of the National Youth Brass Band Championships of Great Britain. The Youth Band has been runners up four times over the last six years in the Championship Section of the competition. The Junior band came 4th in 2016 in the Junior Band section, meaning they were the best placed "second tier" band for any organisation in the whole competition. The Beginner Band have also won the “Band Showing Most Potential Award” for the last three years meaning they were the best placed "third tier" band for any organisation in the whole competition.

Contest achievements shown below.

Newcastle Music Festival Overall winners. 1991, 1992, 1993, 2001, 2003, and 2005

Newcastle Music Festival Youth Band Winners. 1991, 1992, 1993, 2002, and 2004

Newcastle Music Festival Junior Band Winners. 1991, 1992,1993, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2014, 2015, 2016

Quartet Winners. 1992, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2008. In addition, many individual results including “The Most Promising Player” five times.

North Wales Entertainment Championship Youth Section 3 1991

North Wales Rally Hymn Tune Winners 1991, 1992, Youth Champions, 1992, 1994

Bangor Contest Quartet Winners 1992

NW Area Youth Champions Qualified for National Championship 1992

North Wales Champions Youth 1993

Manchester and District Youth Champions 1993, 1999, 3rd place 2001

Rhyl Festival of Brass. 1st place 2002 (Ian Raisbeck best soloist), 2nd place 2003, 1st place 2004 (Greg Holsgrove best soloist)

Huddersfield Youth in Brass Festival 1st place 2005 (Sarah Raisbeck best soloist), 2nd place 2006

Torquay Brass Festival 3rd place 2005, Junior Section 1st place 2006

Tameside Youth Festival 2nd place 2006, (Alex Holsgrove won best soloist)

Gwent Music Festival 1st place 2008 (Alex Holsgrove won best soloist), 2nd place in 2009.

Butlins Mineworkers Youth Brass Competition 2nd place 2010 and 2011.

National Youth Brass Band Championships 

Youth Band: (old format)1st 1994 & 1995, 3rd place 2002, 3rd place 2004, 2nd place 2005, 3rd place 2009

Youth Band: (new format) 2nd place: 2011, 2012, 2014 & 2015, 3rd place: 2013, 4th place 2016 (Will Dakin won best soloist)

Junior Band: 4th place: 2015 & 2016 (Junior Section)

Beginner Band: "Band Showing Most Potential Prize": 2014, 2015 & 2016.

Preston in The Guild - Open Youth Section - 3rd place 2014

Music for Youth Regional Finalist 2014. 

Whiston Festival of Brass Junior Band 1st in training band section 2014: 2nd 2015 & 2016


The band has made a number of recordings over the years. The band first featured on a cassette Tape “Christmas in Sandbach” 1990 and since then has published the following recordings in their own right.

1.            Pride of the Lions I 1994, cassette tape (no longer available)

2.            Pride of the Lions II 1996, cassette tape (no longer available)

3.            Sounds of Youth 2003, CD (no longer available)

4.            True & Trusty 2005, CD (no longer available)

5.            Loyal and True 2006, CD (no longer available)

6.            Entertain You 2008, CD (no longer available)

7.            Celebration 2010, CD (no longer available)

8.            Lions Youth Brass at Christmas 2010, CD

9.            Conquest 2013, CD

10.          Twenty Five 2015, CD

10. Twenty Five 2015, CD released Spring of 2015 to celebrate 25 years of Lions Youth Brass.

email us at lionsyouthbrass@yahoo.co.uk should you wish to purchase any of the available CDs


A committee of friends, supporters, parents and former parents organise the band.  A lot of work goes on in the background with administration, fundraising, accounting, insurance, bookings, uniforms, music, music stands, transport, CD sales, advertising, child protection compliance and administration of the web site.  The band is a registered charitable incorporated organisation (Number 1154884).

The committee and organisation take child protection very seriously.  The organisation has a child protection policy, which is reviewed on an annual basis, and all the committee, tutors and musical directors have undertaken applicable Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) / Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks.

There are a number of documents that govern the organisation.  These can be viewed and downloaded from the following links.


Code of Conduct

Child Protection Policy

Health and Safety Policy

Diversity and Equality Policy

Maintenance and Cleaning of Brass Instruments

Slow Melody

For those who are new to the band this is an annual event, which has been running since 2006. Everyone who would like to can participate by playing a slow melody piece in front of a small group of spectators. Each entrant receives an adjudicators report and a certificate, and there is a trophy for the winner of each section. The contest is normally followed by the Christmas concert for all three bands in the evening. 

There are sections for all ages and abilities, and the aim is to give every one constructive feedback and encouragement to improve their slow playing ability. If anyone needs help or advice on their entry; for example suitable pieces, players and parents should speak to any of the musical directors or tutors. 

The contest normally starts at 9.30am and finishes early afternoon.