National Championships saw the presentation of the first ever Marie Leighton-Morgan memorial award.

The award, which was kindly donated by Paul Morgan, husband of the late judge, was presented by Paul, Marie’s daughter Rhianna and Marie’s mother and father. Marie sadly lost her fight against cancer earlier in the year. She was a great friend to Thurrock Marching Brass and to BYBA, having most recently judged wind at the 2017 Individuals and Ensembles competition. The award is for members of a BYBA unit that reflect her core values of perseverance, respect for others, attention to detail, passion for music, and giving opportunities to others regardless of background.

There is no age restriction on the award which consists of a large trophy and a smaller keepsake trophy, both engraved with the winner’s name.

There were four nominations for the 2018 award:

  • Meadow Clampin aged 10 from Thurrock Marching Brass
  • Ellie Hopkins aged 26 of Beeches Performance Ensemble
  • Mitchell Owen aged 14 of Comets Performance Ensemble
  • Rubie Parker-Musgrave aged 10 of Lanesfield BB/GB Cadets

The nominees were put forward by BYBA member bandmasters and corps directors, who also voted on the winner.

In 2018 the award went to Ellie Hopkins, mellophone player for Beeches Performance Ensemble. Ellie was overwhelmed at being nominated and winning the award and said,

“I am so honoured to have received this award in memory of Marie Leighton-Morgan. The feeling I had upon hearing my name was truly incredible and it will be a moment I will cherish for a lifetime".

Meadow ClampinEllie HopkinsMitchell OwenRubie Parker-Musgrave

Paul Morgan said,

“The 2018 British Youth Band Association National Championships day was always going to be the culmination of emotions, knowing how much my wife, Marie, meant to so many. As a member of the BYBA Fellowship, Presidents Cup winner, judge, mentor and teacher, Marie’s connections to people within the Association at a very deep and personal level was clear for all to see. To be able to honour Marie’s memory by allowing myself and her family to put in place a memorial trophy is something we will be eternally grateful for. The recipient, Ellie Hopkins, is an incredible winner of this inaugural award and she demonstrated in abundance all the very important values that Marie held dear. We are so delighted for Ellie and would like to thank her for all that she does. Congratulations from all of us on being selected the 2018 recipient.”

Nominations for the 2019 award will open in August 2019. Summaries of each nominee are below.


Mitchell Owen

Comets Performance Ensemble
Mitchell is a great trumpeter and a showman. He shows great respect to all the members of the band and the staff, treating everyone the same whether they are the newest member or the most senior. He is a good listener and will pass on advice. He attends all band practices and when at band camps, he takes part in extra practice in the evening. Mitchell won’t move on until he has mastered what he is practicing. Despite being bullied at school for being in the band, Mitchell has a passion for playing the trumpet and has gone from strength to strength. He is a well-respected member who helps other members. Despite his health issues, he is a credit to The Comets and to his family.

Meadow Clampin

Thurrock Marching Brass
Meadow has recently been diagnosed with epilepsy and despite having several seizures during rehearsal, she picked herself up, got straight back onto her section and pushed through. She has only played trumpet for just over one year but has been an excellent section captain. When she missed rehearsals due to her epilepsy she makes sure she gets up to date with any changes that have been made by being extra focused and attentive. She helps new recruits by making them feel welcome and helps them settle into the organisation. She shows great passion for the activity and is an incredible ambassador for Thurrock Marching Brass and for other sufferers of epilepsy.

Ellie Hopkins

Beeches Performance Ensemble
Ellie has Asperger’s syndrome, a lifelong disorder that significantly affected her childhood. Being part of the Beeches family has given her a safe space to develop confident communication and social skills. Despite her challenges, she is a key part of the corps where she is a soloist and member of the mellophone line. Despite the difficulties Ellie faces in understanding non-verbal cues and behaviour in social contexts, she has reached a level where she is able to identify and have empathy towards others. She is caring and attentive and knows when others are struggling. She has welcomed new members with an open heart and good spirit. Ellie’s passion for banding is without limits.

Rubie Parker-Musgrave

Lanesfield BB/GB Cadets
Rubie was completely new to banding less than two years ago but has learnt to play well enough to take on first trumpet. Confidence in her own ability was very low to start with but she has simply grown into it. She’s determined, single-minded but very tolerant of other players who find the music difficult. Rubie leads by example and is never critical. For Rubie, every little thing has to be right. She was born to play, and she plays from the heart. She loves band, and the band love her. She is self-motivating and it rubs-off on others. The staff often say… ‘if only they were all like Rubie’.