Lions Youth Band has started the New Year with an extra spring in their musical step as look towards their appearance at the European Youth Championships in Montruex in April.
They also returned to action this weekend with extra support too — with Foden's Musical Director Mike Fowles and his team of stars putting the band through their paces with a special series of rehearsals and tutorials supported by the Love Music Trust.
On Friday evening Mike led a rehearsal with the band's MD Nigel Birch, whilst Saturday will be spent tackling the intricacies of the European set-work, 'Sanctuary' by Daniel Hall with Mark Bousie.
Nigel told 4BR: "This is going to be such a memorable year for the band and it's great that Foden's continue to help us in this way.
There is a real buzz about the organisation at present, boosted by some amazing fund raising activities and support which has seen us close in on our £25,000 target to get 44 players and supporters to Switzerland."
He added: "The players are all looking forward to working with the stars such as Mark Wilkinson, John Barber, Melanie Whyle, Stuart Baglin, Anthony Mann, Gary Curtin and Jonny Bates, as well as be conducted by Mike and Mark.
'Sanctuary' is a great piece that suits the band and we're also thrilled that Andy Scott will be writing a brand new commission for us to perform at the European Championships."
There is a real buzz about the organisation at present, boosted by some amazing fund raising activities and support which has seen us close in on our £25,000 target to get 44 players and supporters to SwitzerlandNigel Birch
Three National bands
Nigel also revealed that the organisation will also be sending three ensembles to the National Youth Championships in Warwick in March.
"We are determined to give our youngsters the best possible musical opportunities to shine, so we already have one eye on the Nationals."