£2,000 grant joy for South Yorkshire brass band

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A brass band which used to borrow its instruments can finally blow its own trumpets, thanks to a grant from a green energy firm.

Established last year, the independent Rother Vale Community Band has 20 members aged from ten to 58 years old.

Musicians were using instruments owned by Rotherham Music Services and other brass bands to get up and running.

But, with a £2,000 grant from Banks Renewables, the band has now bought its own cornets, horns, euphonium, a glockenspiel and drums.

The self-sufficient band will play several charity concerts this year, including free events at St Simon and St Jude Church, Thurcroft, where it practises every Saturday.

Band treasurer Pamela Stevenson said: “Having our own instruments was a crucial part of standing on our own two feet.

“While we were grateful for the instruments we’d borrowed from Rotherham Music Service — and would have happily continued to use them — the ones we’ve been able to buy will help the band sound even better.

“We’re looking forward to getting out and playing to as many people as possible across the local area.”

The cash came from Banks’ Penny Hill Wind Farm Community Fund, which offers financial help to community and volunteer groups.

The scheme has already given £40,000 made in support of organisations in Aston, Thurcroft, Treeton, Ulley and Whiston — all near the facility.

Community relations manager Lewis Stokes said: “Bands like this have a special place in South Yorkshire communities’ industrial heritage.

“They provide an important link to their past as well as a much-loved part of their present.”

He added: “Both the enthusiasm and ability of the band’s members is clear and we’re very happy to be using funds from our renewable energy operations in the area to support such a worthwhile group.”

Groups interested in applying to the fund should contact James Eaglesham at the Banks Community Fund on 0191 3786342.

For more information on The Rother Vale Community Band, visit www.rothervalecommunityband.com