East Woodhay Silver Band - £3,400

he Band plus training band in relaxed mood at St.Martin's Church, East WoodhayEast Woodhay Silver Band was awarded £3,400 purchase instruments and materials to help younger musicians gain in confidence and progress to the senior band.

In 2009 local primary schools began to implement a new national programme to introduce children to playing a musical instrument, providing instruments on loan and some basic introductory tuition for a time which varied between six months and a year depending on the Local Authority. However at the end of this introductory period, there was no provision for free or low cost on-going teaching.

Peter Stanley who plays E Flat Bass said: “As a long established (1884) local band we have always had a commitment to training people of all ages and currently have a senior band with around 30 regular players, a training band with around 12 players some of whom have individual tuition, and a Saturday morning learner group with 15 members.

“This latter group was established in 2009 to provide a follow on to the schools initiative at a very affordable cost to parents and now has 15 members, each being provided with the loan of a refurbished instrument, music and tutor books and regular Saturday morning tuition groups at a charge of £25 per year.

The trombone section in action at the Corn Exchange“The initial set up of the group, refurbishment of instruments and purchase of music and teaching material was funded by the Band.

“We now want to take the project further and in addition to buying more teaching material and repairing old instruments we need to purchase two small tubas which are small enough and light enough to be carried and played by children. This will give a full harmonic range to the group's sound, a full performance of the music arrangements and most importantly, provide an instrument that can be played by children who are not physically suited to an instrument with a small mouthpiece.

Such instruments are expensive - a small tuba costing around £1500.

Peter said the scheme encourages children, provides training at affordable costs, gain confidence and provides an ongoing feed of musicians into the senior band.