Band Supplies and Brass Bands England have linked-up to help bands invest in the next generation of young players with the launch of the 'Starter for 10' project — designed to provide ambitious bands with a kick-start in taking control of their own futures.
Endorsed by Brass Bands England (BBE), it is hoped that the project will encourage well-founded groups working in conjunction with leading brass bands in their own area, with the overall aim of bringing them together to participate in various events, including the Debut Section of the National Youth Brass Band Championships and other collaborative projects.
Split costs and help
Through the scheme, bands would rent ten instruments for £10.00 per month each. Parents and families would pay £5.00 towards the total with the other half coming from the band. Tuition and music costs would be covered by the bands themselves.
However, Brass Band England member bands would be encouraged to apply to its Norman Jones Trust Fund for funding of up to £600, which represents their entire contribution to the first year equipment costs of each project.
Area 'champions' will be recruited to take part in the programme by Band Supplies and development would be based upon three terms' worth of activity, delivered on a timeline consistent to each group, with the possibility of online targets and even some informal competitions on social media.
Each group would comprise:
1 tenor horn
1 Eb tuba
Band Supplies Managing Director, Ronnie Tennant told 4BR: "We're aware of a large number of bands that have the desire to start youth groups in order to bring more sustainability to their organisations, but currently lack the resources to do so.
'Starter for 10' has been designed to allow these groups to make initial steps in this direction. The scheme will provide a set of high-quality student instruments to be used alongside approved teaching materials to allow these small ensembles to develop into viable bands.
We are delighted that BBE has given its approval to the project and would encourage all bands to engage with the organisation and seek funding for their own group."
Brass Band England member bands would be encouraged to apply to its Norman Jones Trust Fund for funding of up to £600, which represents their entire contribution to the first year equipment costs of each project4BR
In response, BBE Chief Executive Officer, Kenny Crookston, added: "We're impressed with this initiative from Band Supplies, which will help organisations to provide the foundations for a healthy banding environment in the years ahead.
We advise our member bands to apply for funding through the Norman Jones Trust Fund to assist with their first-year costs of the project. We consider projects like this to be very worthy of our support but, with funds limited, early application is advised."