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Development Bands: Image


RESPECT the Past, THRIVE in the Present, NURTURE the Future

Whitburn Band is incredibly proud of all three of our development bands and the innovative Player Pathway that we have developed in our local banding community. With all levels catered for from beginner brass and percussion up to those auditioning for places in music schools across Scotland, we are able to nurture our future and thrive in the present.

Our beginner band, Whitburn Wee Band rehearses on Sundays from 2:30 -3:15pm with  senior band bass trombone player Charlie Farren.  

We have a limited supply of instruments to offer, but also support those learning through the local instrumental music services by allowing them to develop ensemble skills and forge important relationships with their peers.

Whitburn Youth Band rehearses on Sundays from 3:30-5:30pm with our Flugel horn player, Caroline Farren. Again, we encourage learning in a group environment and perform several concerts and competitions throughout the year. Youth band members are also encouraged to play at community events in small ensembles or as soloists and we support our young people in every musical decision they make.

Senior band mentors are also brought in at regular intervals to offer a different perspective to the youngsters.

Our community band, Whitburn Heartlands, rehearse on Monday evenings from 7:30-9:30pm. They are led by Paul Kiernan and consist of our older Youth Band players who are learning how to play in a more mature setting, alongside our more mature brass playing enthusiasts and adults who have returned to brass bands after extended absence.

Whatever your level, or style, there is space for you in our development bands.


Mondays, 7:30 - 9:30pm

Whitburn Heartlands is the latest addition to the Whitburn Band organisation and was founded in 2013 under its first conductor Charlie Farren.

The idea behind the band was to create somewhere for our most advanced youth players to flourish in a mature band setting alongside some of our stalwarts and players from the wider banding community who were returning to playing after an extended absence.

The band set off to a great start, and qualified for the 4th section National Brass Band Championships in October 2015 with Robert Fraser at the helm, and has since then competed in several competitions across Scotland.

Heartlands also serves the purpose of sending out our young players to other bands within the local community so that they can develop their skills even more before hopefully returning to the senior band in the future!

Heartlands is currently led by Paul Kiernan. The band is always on the lookout for people to join its ranks – so please get in touch if you would like to find out more!

Who: Brass and Percussion players from around age 16 to 100!

Where: Whitburn Band Hall, Murraysgate Industrial Estate, Whitburn

When: Mondays, 7:30-9:30pm

How: Contact us for more information at



Sundays 3:30 - 5:30pm

Whitburn Youth Band was first formed in 2007, but took off in its present format around 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 thoroughly 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 place in 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 several competitions and has also introduced a solo festival to Whitburn.

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 also worked with some of the top conductors in banding, including Ian Porthouse, Erik Janssen and Michael Fowles.

It has also hosted the Youth Band of Upper Austria and 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 own school bands as well as regional bands and also the National Youth Brass Band of Scotland.

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.

Where? – Whitburn Band Hall, Murraysgate Ind Estate, Whitburn

When? – Sundays 3:30-5:30pm

How? – For more information please contact



Sundays, 2:30 - 3:15pm

Whitburn Wee Band was formed in 2012 to cater for our youngest players.

It gave them the opportunity to learn the basics well: to read music properly, to understand rhythm and musical terminology and to gain confidence in their ability before being promoted to the Youth Band.

Now under the direction of Charlie Farren, the Wee Band competed in their first contests in October and November 2016, gaining Silver awards on both occasions.

Charlie is an excellent musician and educator and has been involved in brass bands for over 30 years. He is a brass instructor for East Lothian Council and also works as a tutor for the National Reserve Brass Band of Scotland. In high demand as a conductor and bass trombone player, Charlie took on the role of Wee Band Musical Director in 2015.

Who: Whitburn Wee Band is for all beginner level brass and percussion players (up until around Grade 2) who want to learn how to play as part of an ensemble and make long-lasting friendships!

Where: Whitburn Band Hall, Murraysgate Industrial Estate, Whitburn

When: Sundays, 2:30-3:15pm

How: For more information, please contact

Development Bands: Arts Education
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