The GT Group Band Peterlee has announced plans to establish a music academy as part of its 25thanniversary celebrations.
The County Durham based organisation hopes that the academy, together with the creation of a youth band, will encourage and inspire the next generation of brass and percussion players in their area.
The band, which is marking 25 years since striking what has been a hugely beneficial sponsorship link with local manufacturers, GT Group, is currently in negotiations to buy a building in Shotton Colliery to use as a rehearsal space. They also intend to celebrate the quarter of century of support with a concert later this year.
Money raised from that event will be donated to a cancer charity in memory of former professional MD, Simon Kerwin who was an enthusiastic supporter of establishing a music academy.
Band Secretary, Trevor Langthorne, told 4BR: "The academy will be open to youngsters who will be helped by skilled tutors to develop their musical education.
We will also work in partnership with local councils, the police and community-based organisations to engage with youngsters and promote the academy as an important community resource.
The band has gone from strength to strength thanks to GT Group's generous sponsorship. However, by setting up an academy and youth band we hope to ensure it will continue to flourish for many generations to come."
GT Group Band Peterlee is currently in the process of appointing a new professional MD who will work with the Resident conductor to set up the academy.
Trevor added: "Our 25th anniversary year is a momentous one. It allows us to reflect on past successes as well as look forward to exciting new projects such as the academy and youth band.
We wish to encourage local young people to join us and feel a pride and passion for a musical tradition which is deep-rooted in the North East.
Our 25th anniversary year is a momentous one. It allows us to reflect on past successes as well as look forward to exciting new projects such as the academy and youth bandBand Secretary, Trevor Langthorne
In response to the news, Tim Jayes, Managing Director of GT Group added: "Brass band music and the GT Group Band Peterlee are embedded in the culture of County Durham.
We fully support the initiatives announced to develop the musicians of the future and further strengthen the band's bond with the local community.
GT Group has been delighted to sponsor the band over the past 25 years and will continue that support going forward."