Queensbury school has praised the community for helping ensure its pupils will be able to continue the village’s musical legacy.
To say they were overwhelmed with responses would be an understatement – they had to cut off new applicants at 22 because of the sheer number of pupils putting their names forward.
After the successful call for new members, the school realised its meagre four instruments would not be enough to create a successful school band.
In February, the school made a plea through the T&A for members of the Queensbury community to donate any unwanted instruments – and just a few months later, the band has received donations of both instruments and cash.
Garry Walls, who teaches music at Foxhill and several other schools, said the school had been delighted at the response of the appeal, and now that the band is not forced to share one instrument between five pupils they can start preparing for regular concerts.
Queensbury is no stranger to brass bands – its 150-year-old Black Dyke Band and the Queensbury Brass Ensemble have received national acclaim – and head Sally Hey believes that giving children a taste of brass will ensure this important aspect of the community continues.
Mr Walls said: “We’ve had both instruments and money donated. In terms of actual instruments we had about five or six donated, and at least three of these were anonymously.
“The push to keep the band going has been an amazing success. We even got one of the teachers at the school coming forward. He can play the euphonium. We can hopefully try and build on this and get a few more adults involved.
“The entire response from the community has been fantastic, the appeal has worked brilliantly. We got everything we wanted and more. The band has hit the ground running and we think that now our music concerts can be bigger than ever. We in the process of some serious planning for some concerts.”
Mrs Hey said: “We got enough instruments that everyone who wants to take it up has an instrument they can play. Some have really old instruments, but at least they have an instrument and that opportunity to play.
“The children are so excited. We are not Black Dyke yet, but there are now around 22 students who are now able to play. Before the school just couldn’t afford to provide them.
“As well as being given instruments we used some of the donated money to buy more. We bought them on ebay to save money.
“Queensbury is the home of brass and we didn’t have a brass band in the school until I started one a few years ago.
“This is giving the children the opportunity to take up a brass instrument and hopefully in years to come they will become some great players.
“It has been so worthwhile, the parents are delighted and other children are waiting to join the band.”
There are already a number of concerts featuring the school band planned for the coming months.