Success for Stalham Brass band’s training section for youngsters - but the search is on for funds to keep it going
- Credit: Archant
A brass band which launched a pioneering 'youth scheme' says it has proved a success by bringing in new blood.
The training section at Stalham Brass Band has attracted more than 150 youngsters over the two years - introducing them to music, and resulting in some progressing to join the main band.
But with its initial funding running out next summer, the director of music Dr Tim Thirst, said the search would soon be on to find more money to keep it running.
'We won't need to buy all the instruments this time, but we need money to keep it ticking over,' he said.
The training section is now 50 strong, and a dozen of them had joined the main band as probationers.
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'It brought the average age of the band down from 50 to 25,' he added.
Children played a full range of instruments from cornet and horn to euphonium and trombone.
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Most of the sessions were during or after school but every term there was a big rehearsal bringing everyone together. One at the weekend saw children attend from high and primary schools at Stalham, Ludham and Lessingham.
Youngsters, aged from seven to 16, practiced pieces of music at various levels including Christmas carols.
Dr Thirst said the scheme began in October 2011, supported by £37,000 worth of grant funding, in a bid to return music-making to schools.
The cost of instruments, music, tuition, visits and special events is all paid for by the scheme which has received generous support from local and national charitable trusts. Children and parents have to bear none of the cost.
He added: 'These weekend sessions are not only about training, but also about the children making music together outside the normal school environment and feeling much more a part of the brass band which they are aiming to play in.
'It also gives parents - who may not see their children being trained within school - a chance to come and join in as well.'
It had resulted in some parents and grandparents, who had once played, joining the band too.
Other rural bands in the same situation as Stalham were now looking at following their lead with a training scheme, he added.
More information from Dr Thirst on 01692 650865.