CAMBORNE has been put firmly on the map after its youth band stole the National Youth Brass Band Championships with a stunning musical and visual display.

The 40-strong band composed of musicians aged 16 or younger took to the stage at The Northern School of Music in Manchester to perform a set featuring four contrasting pieces.

A packed audience demanded an encore following the band's performance of the first movement of Lydian Pictures by young Cornish composer Simon Dobson, a moving piece called Elegy, a lively South American number called Mama's Salsa and finally music from the score of the film Backdraft.

Carole Richards, who watched the performance, said the reaction was an apt response.

"They were wonderful. They put on a performance that was absolutely stunning visually. They weren't just playing, they came on to entertain," she said.

The highlight was Mama's Salsa, which saw eight percussionists dancing as well as playing maracas and other South American instruments.

"The theatre they were in was huge and everybody was cheering, the atmosphere was just wonderful. It's great for the area and it's great for Camborne," said Mrs Richards.

The band competed in the "junior section" of the youth band championships, which was specifically for youngsters aged 16 or under.

Nine bands competed in the youth section, including entries from Yorkshire and Lancashire, where there is a strong brass band tradition.

In March, 2003, the Camborne Youth Band became Cornish Junior Champions. In November of the same year they became South West Junior Champions and now they are British junior champions, completing the hat-trick.

The next move for the band is appearing on-stage at the Hall for Cornwall, Truro, on Sunday May 23. This will be a charity concert to raise money for the Merlin Project.

Camborne youth band rehearses at Camborne Community Centre on Mondays and Wednesdays. It also has a training band so youngsters just starting to learn instruments can get into the swing of things.