07830 515357   | info@whitburnband.com

Development Bands

Musical Director

Caroline  Farren

Rehearsal Details

Wee Band: Sundays 2 - 3pm

Youth Band: Sundays 3:30 - 5:30pm

Heartlands Band: Mondays 7:30 - 9pm

 Whitburn Band Hall,

Murraysgate Industrial Estate,


Email: Youth@whitburnband.com


Whitburn Youth Band was first formed in 2001, but took off in its present format in 2009 under the leadership of Laura McMahon and Musical Director, Caroline Farren.

After a short spell of building numbers and confidence as well as bagging several concert performances with the senior band, Whitburn Youth Band first took to the stage to compete in November 2011 at the SBBA Youth Championships in Perth. Entering the Preparatory section, it delivered a throughly polished and professional performance, delighting the audience and adjudicators and receiving a Gold award.

 More success was to follow with a win at the Innerleithen Youth Band contest in September 2012 under the baton of Chris Bradley. In November the band returned to Perth, this time claiming a second placein the Novice section.

 In April 2013, the band travelled to the National Youth Brass Band Championships held at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester and was awarded a silver award for its efforts. With an average age of just 11, and in a category with an upper age limit of 21, this was no mean feat!

 The band has gone on to win gold awards at every competition it has entered and most recently, won for the second year in a row, the Development section of the Scottish Youth Championships. It has also introduced a solo festival to Whitburn, now in its fifth year. Whitburn Youth Band has travelled to Leeds to perform alongside Black Dyke Band in its own festival as guests of conductor, Nicholas Childs. The band has worked with some of the top conductors in banding including Ian Porthouse, Erik Janssen, Michael Fowles, and Nicholas Childs. It has also hosted the Youth Band of Upper Austria and  associate soloist Steven Mead. The band has taken part in an annual band camp with members of the senior band as tutors and coaches.

 Many of the band members are also part of their school bands as well as regional bands and also the National Youth Brass Band of Scotland. Whitburn has a healthy beginner band, known affectionately as the Wee Band, and also the development pathway, which houses the Whitburn Heartlands Band (current third section) and the players within the associate pathway bands (Bathgate and Broxburn & Livingston).

 Whitburn Youth Band is keen to support the local communities in a similar fashion to the senior band, and can provide entertainment at a variety of public and private events including gala days and winter fayres. The band is always keen to invite new members along to join us at any stage in its playing career, from beginner, to advanced. Rehearsal times are detailed below, and anyone looking for more information is welcome to get in touch!

 Whitburn Youth Band would like to thank the Whitburn and Bathgate Rotary clubs for their continued generosity as well as Creative Scotland and YMI

Whitburn Youth Band contested in the Novice section of the Scottish Youth Brass Band Championships held in Perth on Sunday 24th November 2013, hoping to better their second place at the previous years’ contest. Whitburn didn’t disappoint and stormed to victory with the only Gold Award of the day, earning the thoroughly deserved title of Scottish Champions, making it a fantastic double for the organisation with the senior Whitburn Band also holding this years’ coveted Scottish Champion Band title.

Coming to the Scottish Championships, after retaining their winners’ title at the St.Ronan’s Youth Brass Band Contest in September, Whitburn wowed the appreciative audience in their claret and gold uniforms under Director of Music – Caroline Farren.

The band appropriately kicked off their performance with the Robbie Williams hit, ‘Let Me Entertain You.’ Next up was ‘My Heart Will Go On,’ better known as the theme from the film Titanic. The tempo was then raised for the band’s rendition of The Andrew’s Sisters iconic 1941 hit, ‘Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,’ and the performance rounded off with the catchy beat of ‘African Funk’.

Arran McMahon, Whitburn’s solo cornet player, also drew a special mention for his overall performance from the contest adjudicators, Brett Baker and Jappie Dijkstra, and they summed up the bands performance as, “Well rehearsed with much to commend.”

Having won the Novice Section of the previous year’s contest Whitburn Youth Band travelled back to Innerleithen, on Saturday, September 7th, to take part in the higher level, Development Section.

 Following on from taking 4th place in Manchester at the British Championships in April, Whitburn triumphed with a gold award and overall champion band on the day.

 The adjudicator Bryan Allen, summed it up with his assessment: “A truly excellent performance, musically and technically and delivered with a great sense of style and commitment.”

 Conducted by resident Director of Music – Caroline Farren, Whitburn played Michael Buble’s – ‘Just Haven’t met you yet’, the hymn ‘Crimond’ better recognised as Psalm 23, The upbeat ‘Viva la Vida’ by Coldplay and topped off a superb performance with the theme from ‘James Bond’.

 The contest saw debut performances for Morgan Tait (Cornet), Melanie Pollock (Tenor Horn), Amy Gray (Trombone), Calum Welsh (Tuba), Megan Elliott (Trombone) Kerry Gordon (Cornet).

 Whitburn Youth Band now looks forward to competing in the Novice section of the Scottish Championships in Perth in November.

With an average age of just 11 years old, Whitburn Youth Band went up against the cream of the UK’s youth brass bands as they travelled the long road to Manchester, for their first ever appearance at the National Youth Brass Band Championships of Great Britain, on Sunday 14th April.

 Whitburn competed in the Junior section, as the sole Scottish representatives, against 11 other vastly more experienced bands and claimed a Silver award, finishing joint 4th, behind winning band – Fred Longworth High School of Tyldesley, Manchester.

 The Youth Band’s Musical Director, Caroline Farren, had the band pull off a fantastic performance of brass favourite, Blaze Away, the upbeat Viva la Vida, hymn tune Aurelia and, for their finale, left an appreciative audience ‘Shaken and most definitely stirred’ with the iconic theme from James Bond.

Whitburn Youth Band is rapidly gaining a reputation for having the midas touch when it comes to brass band contests.

 On Saturday, September 22, it took part in the novice section at the inaugural St.Ronan’s Youth Brass Band Contest, which was hastily arranged to give youth bands a chance to perform in the lead up to the Scottish Championships.

 Taking to the stage resplendent in their claret and gold uniforms, the band triumphed with a gold award – adding to the same accolade won at last year’s Scottish Youth Championships.

 The adjudicator Sam Hairsine, of the Royal Marines Band, summed it up with his assessment: “Whitburn displayed excellent presentation, accomplished playing and deportment from start to finish.”

 The youngsters, conducted by Chris Bradley, played Pastime with Good Company, the hymn Nicea, the theme from The Muppet Show and Mission Impossible. It was also the first ever contest performance for Katie Anderson (Baritone) and Aimee Watson (Percussion).

 Whitburn Youth Band – associated with Whitburn Band, one of Scotland’s leading brass bands – now look forward to the Scottish championships in Perth in November.

 The inaugural Whitburn Brass Festival featuring one of the world’s most gifted tuba players has been a success.Whitburn Youth Band hosted the event with guest soloist Les Neish in the town’s Brucefield Church on May 18 and 19. The festival began with a masterclass from Les, who is a Besson tuba artist, with students from Whitburn Youth Band and Newland’s Concert Youth in attendance. The gala concert which followed featured both Whitburn Youth Band and Exchange Communications Whitburn, with Les as guest soloist.Under the direction of Musical Director Caroline Farren, the youth band played signature tunes such as Muppet Show theme and Pastime with Good Company. It then featured its own rising soloist, as the band’s Tenor Horn player Jenny Elwis, 11, gave an outstanding rendition of Aura Lee (Love me Tender). She was then presented with the Bandsperson of the Year award.

 The senior band then took to the stage for the second half of the concert with Anne Crookston at the helm. The band’s programme included Olympic Spirit, Selections from Titanic and Dundonnell from Hymn of the Highlands, which were all well received by an appreciative audience.  Also performing  with the band, Les delivered outstanding performances, demonstrating technical and lyrical finesse in exceptional musical readings of Song for the Skies, Swing Low and Hora Stacca To bring the concert to a rousing conclusion, both bands joined forces and presented Mission Impossible with 11- year-old Ryan Bradley from the youth band excelling on drum kit.

 The following morning, the youth band hosted the slow melody competition with Les as adjudicator. As always, he gave some wise words of encouragement before and after the competition and managed to settle most of the nerves of the anxious youngsters taking part on the day  In total there were 13 competitors over four sections. The junior section (under 12s) was won by the youth band’s cornet player Arran McMahon giving a polished performance of Share my Yoke. Euphonium star Leighton Griffin from St David’s High, Dalkeith achieved victory in the intermediate section (under 16s) with his sterling rendition of the Irish folk tune The Londonderry Air,  with Lisa Callaghan of Loanhead Brass Youth winning the Senior section (under 18, displaying a beautiful tone on the Flugel Horn. The Percussion Section was won by Whitburn Youth Band’s Aimee Watson, who  joined the band in December last year.

 With the support of SBBA and Besson, the Whitburn Band organisation hopes the Whitburn Brass Festival will take place again next year and grow into one of the highlights of the Scottish brass band calendar.

Youth Contest Results


 Arran McMahon (WYB), Gold, 1

Jenny Elwis (WYB), Silver

Rachel Harris(WYB), Silver

  Aiden Shade (WYB), Silver

Owen Shade (WYB), Silver

Finlay Cook (WYB), Bronze

Robyn Mitchell (WYB), Bronze


 Leighton Griffin (St Davids High), Gold, 1

 Cameron McMahon (WYB), Silver

 Mark Elwis (WYB), Silver

 John Walker (WYB), Silver


   Lisa Callaghan (Loanhead Brass Youth), Silver, 1


 Aimee Watson (WYB), Silver, 1

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