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Thursday 4 December 2014

Council hits right note with grant boost for youth brass band


Cheshire East Council has struck the right note with a grant donation to a local youth band.

Sandbach-based Lions Youth Brass, which is regarded as one of the country's leading brass ensembles for youngsters, has been awarded £500 from the Council’s community grant fund.

The Lions will use the money to help them produce a CD of their music – to promote and publicise the band and sell to boost their coffers.

Cheshire East Mayor Councillor Wesley Fitzgerald went along to see the band to present the cheque and enjoy their annual Christmas Concert (on Sunday, November 30).

Cllr Fitzgerald, the former leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “The evening was a wonderful occasion.

“We heard performances from the beginners, the juniors and the youth band – and they were all excellent. The bands had been playing all day in a competition, with a number of trophies and prizes being awarded during the day, culminating in that evening’s annual Christmas concert.

“Cheshire East is a great supporter of this sort of thing. The Lions’ music is something which we really want to help develop and, to that end, we’re not just talking about it, we have presented Lions Youth Brass with a cheque for £500, which will help them to promote their work and generate awareness of the great job that they’re doing.

“I was delighted to be there – both to listen to the music and to present the cheque.”

Accepting the cheque on behalf of the band, musical director Nigel Birch said: “We’re very pleased and privileged to receive this grant from Cheshire East Council, which is going to go towards helping us to record and produce a new CD in February.

“The CD costs us about £6,000 to produce, so to have a £500 donation from Cheshire East is a great boost for us.”

Committee member and fundraiser Jackie Flanders added: “It is great to feel supported by Cheshire East. Last weekend we held our annual Slow Melody Competition, which is now in its ninth year.

“One of the most difficult things to do as a brass player is to play slowly, as it really demonstrates the tonal qualities of the instruments and just how good the young people are at playing them.

“This is just one of the ways in which we encourage and develop our young musicians. We also work closely with the Love Music Trust of East Cheshire to provide specialist instrumental teaching and further development and we are always keen to take on new members – even if they’ve never played an instrument before.

“We can often provide a loan instrument for those just starting out – and who knows where it could lead? Many of our past youth band players have since gone on to play with well-known championship and first-section bands including Fodens, the Black Dyke Band, Roberts Bakery Band, Grimethorpe Colliery Band and  United Co-Op Crewe Band.”

For more information on Lions Youth Brass, see the band’s website at:

For more information about Cheshire East Council’s community grants scheme visit the Council’s website at:  and click through via the ‘council and democracy tab’ and then the ‘community funding and grants’ tab.

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