Cash boost has youths blowing own trumpets

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SELKIRK Silver Band has received a grant from Awards for All Scotland to buy new instruments to start a learners’ group and was delighted to get funding of nearly £4,000, writes Mark Entwistle.

Last week it all came together with 12 youngsters between the ages of seven and 10 visiting the band hall to receive a brand new instrument and tuition from resident bandmaster Colin Kemp.

Chairman Graham Borthwick commented: “We are delighted and grateful to receive such a grant. The future of the band is always a concern especially when there are so many other things to occupy young minds. But seeing all these youngsters with the passion to take up the challenge of a new instrument not only at Selkirk but across the Borders shows that the future of the Border bands seems to be healthy for some time to come.

“Certainly for us it’s a great time to look to the future.”

The band also has plans to form a ‘B’ band. This is aimed at former players who wish to return to playing but do not have the time or commitment to be able to give to the senior band.

A spokesperson for the band told us: “At the moment, the band are in the process of looking at what other grants are available with the view to replacing the instruments in the senior band so they can be used as a starting point for the ‘B’ band.”

Any former members that may be interested in swelling the ranks of the new band can contact any band member who should be able to point them in the right direction.

This month also saw the Scottish Borders Brass Band Association hold the Annual Youth Solo and Ensemble Championships. Selkirk were represented with four entrants all playing very well on the day.

But it was local butcher Colin Heatlie who took the silverware, winning the youth contest and qualifying for the Scottish Solo Championships in Livingston on February 5.