Formed in 1986, the Burgess Hill Marching Youth is an independent, traditional style youth marching band. The members of BHMY, primarily from Burgess Hill and surrounding villages/towns, are predominantly children and young people supported by adult instructors.
BHMY currently consists of 50+ regular members who receive 2-4 hours of tuition per week in both music and marching. These members regularly take part in a variety of events and performances such as contests, fetes, bonfire processions, massed band events and annual residential trips.
Over the years, members of the Burgess Hill Marching Youth have had the opportunity to perform at a variety of venues such as the Royal Albert Hall and Wembley Arena here in England as well as performing on tour in Germany, Belgium, Holland and France. More recently, the band has enjoyed performing at the Kingston Borough Band Tattoo, The Burgess Hill Tattoo and the London New Year’s Day Parade. As well as performing as a marching band, the young members have taken part in outdoor pursuit activities as part of an annual weekend camp, have performed together in concert to raise funds and performed as part of the National Massed Bugle Band.
Each year, the members work very hard towards various performance projects which can include a marching display to contemporary or traditional music, concert pieces, ensemble or special groups or even silent drill displays. Through this, members learn skills in music, drill, social skills, teamwork and self discipline, all valuable life skills.
The band is self-funding and therefore actively raises funds through performance and hosting events. However, BHMY is extremely fortunate to have the support of the Burgess Hill District Lions through their ‘Adopt a Youth Group’ scheme.
Since 2010, the band has introduced a full brass section to work alongside the original bugles and percussion. This change to full instrumentation has allowed the band to increase the performance opportunities to include concerts and seasonal performances. The band teaches basic music theory and now has a wide repertoire of music.
Hundreds of young people from the Burgess Hill area and beyond have passed through the Burgess Hill Marching Youth, many of whom state that their band years were the best years of their lives. Some members of the current band are the sons and daughters of ex BHMY members with more children slowly growing old enough to one day follow in their parents or siblings footsteps.