Cambs brass band looking to lure young talent

11:43 08 September 2012

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A RED-faced Terry Wogan bouncing around to the Floral Dance, played by the Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band, may not be everyone’s idea of cool.

But Somersham Town Band is intending to change the image of brass bands.

The 63-strong group is on the hunt for a new generation of musicians to join its ranks, and what better place to start recruiting than the village primary school.

“Our oldest members are in their 80s,” chairman of the band committee Gary Cole told The Hunts Post. “So we identified that we needed more young players and made an application to Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE) to fund a new recruitment initiative.

“We’re now in a position to offer 14 primary school children the chance to learn a brass instrument with free tuition for the first term and half price for the subsequent two terms. This will cost us around £1,500.”

The band was originally formed in 1919 before declining numbers led to its demise in 1962. After re-forming in 1980, it went from strength to strength, winning awards in the 1990s and becoming the only senior working brass band in Huntingdonshire.

Mr Cole added: “Instruments will be loaned free, and the children will get the opportunity initially to join the training band and play in ensembles with children from other villages.”

Recruitment for the project begins in earnest on Monday (September 10) when the band will host Have a Blow Day at Somersham Primary School.

“The beauty of learning an instrument like this is that you have it for life,” Mr Cole added.

“You learn to read music and experience the pleasure of performing, and we’d like to give young people the chance to have a go.”

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