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Galashiels Town Band issues appeal for more instruments

Published: 13 Nov 2012 09:002 comments

IT was only established two years ago. But it was an instant hit.

Galashiels Town Band treasurer Iain Wilson is pictured receiving a cheque for £50 from Amy Bryson, Community Life Champion at Asda Galashiels, along with her colleague Kayleigh Thin last week.

And now Galashiels Town Band has revealed it can't afford to recruit any more members to its youth section - because it has run out of instruments.

It is now fundraising for new equipment and, last week, was presented with a £50 cheque from local supermarket Asda after customers nominated it for an award under its Community Life scheme.

Welcoming the cash boost this week, Iain Wilson, treasurer of Galashiels Town Band, this week told the Border Telegraph: "The big thing now is we need more instruments.

"We can't recruit any more (youngsters) because we haven't got any more instruments for them to play on."

The band meets in the band hall in Roxburgh Street, Galashiels, on Monday nights from 5.30pm. It has performed at many local events, including the Braw Lads' Gathering celebrations.

Iain said: "We started the youth band two years ago and we've now got two on the go, consisting of 40 youngsters from the primary five to S3 age group.

"The idea is the kids don't pay for anything - they don't pay for tuition, they don't pay for instruments and they don't pay for their uniforms. We provide it all for them and it's open to everybody.

"So we are raising money for that and we are raising money for uniforms and things."

Four of the youngsters who joined at the start now play with the senior band and some of them performed on Armistice day on Sunday.

"I am one of the youngsters in the senior band at 49 years of age," Iain smiled, "so we felt it was important to get some younger players in to boost the older band.

"There isn't as much provision for youngsters to play together. When I learnt you sat on your own and played with a tutor, and then you went away and practiced."

But he added: "The first night the youngsters come in they are all playing together so it's a much more fun experience - although it's a bit madcap at times."

Galashiels Town Band will compete with 50 bands across the country at the Scottish Youth Brass Band Championships at the Concert Hall in Perth on November 25.

Iain said: "Last year was the first time the youth band had entered the competition and they got a Silver - which was fabulous." But he added: "They've decided they are going to go one better and return with a Gold this time."

For more information on Galashiels Town Band, to find out how to donate or join, log on to their website - www.galabrass.moonfruit.co.uk

Other local groups to receive cheques from Asda this month included the Border Animal Welfare Association in Earlston which was awarded £200 after winning a public vote and the Selkirk Scout Group, which was awarded £50.

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