We're delighted that Julie Allen MBE has won the Brian W Hicks Memorial Shield for Services to Youth category at the Brass Band England Awards on Saturday 25 September.
The Brian W Hicks Memorial Shield for Services to Youth celebrates people who have contributed and had a positive impact on young people.
Julie Allen has recently retired from being a Head Teacher at Birkwood Primary School. During her career, Julie put music at the heart of her school and believes passionately about the positive impact music has on school life and the local community.
Barnsley Music Service has partnered with the school to provide a range of instrumental lessons. Now, seven of the service's music tutors visit the school every week - making this an extra special award.
Julie and her staff saw the impact music lessons had on the school and wanted all Key Stage 2 pupils to spend a year learning brass together. After Grimethorpe Colliery Band played an inspiring performance in the school hall, the school requested one of our brass tutors Michael Dodd lead a school band.
Julie is particularly passionate about future opportunities for the band and pathways to secondary schools. The band's success continued, and they even entered the National Youth Brass Band Championships. Outwood Academy in Shafton saw this success and is now also working with Barnsley Music Service in their own brass band.
Esther Sutton, Music Lead at Birkwood Primary School, said: “All of us at Birkwood are so proud of Julie! Her passion for music education, community and opportunity has enabled so many of our children to engage in high-quality music making. Julie's commitment to our families is an inspiration to those of us who try our very best to continue this outstanding brass-playing legacy.”
Cllr Tim Cheetham, Barnsley Council's Cabinet Spokesperson for Place (Regeneration and Culture), said: "It's truly remarkable to see how Julie celebrates all musicians and gives them the self-belief to be the best they can be.
“For Barnsley to be the place of possibilities, it's important that everyone can fulfil their learning potential. It's fantastic to see these schools nurturing talent and growing the skills and passions of their learners.
“Congratulations to Julie for winning this award and, thank you for sharing your passion for music with the next generation.”
To learn more about Barnsley Music Service, visit our website here