Dunston Silver Band has had its most successful year to date, reaching the finals of two national competitions, thanks in part to a continued partnership with Bristol Street Motors.
Bristol Street Motors has been supporting the band since 2009, helping to fund running costs including rent and conductor's fees. The support has also allowed the band to develop beginner and intermediate players of all ages by funding individual tuition and upgrading the band's instruments.
In March this year the band, which has more than 40 members, achieved a second place finish at the North of England Regional Third Section Brass Band Finals and as a result was promoted to the Second Section the highest rank that the band has attained to date.
Dunston Silver Band is a community initiative which aims to encourage members of the local community to engage with the brass band movement, which it considers to be part of the North East's heritage. Thanks to the band's partnership with Bristol Street Motors, it is able to provide free instruments, tuition and practicing space to players and potential players of all ages and abilities.
As part of its commitment to make a positive impact on the local community, band members have regularly performed at fundraising concerts for charities, such as Tiny lives, and performed at community events, such as the Durham Miner's Gala.
Keith Lee, Dunston Silver Band Committee Member and Trustee, said: "It's been a fantastic year for Dunston Silver Band. We are all very proud to be able to represent the North East at a national level in such a fantastic way.
"Moving forward we have ambitious plans for 2016, including the expansion of our Junior Brass Band, which will develop players aged between eight and 16 by delivering free tuition so that that they can continue to develop their skills and continue to enjoy brass band music as they grow older.
"We are, as always extremely grateful for the on-going support we receive from Bristol Street Motors, which, since 2009, has allowed us go from strength-to-strength, to realise our ambitions to engage more young people and secure the future of an important North East tradition."
Robert Forrester, CEO of Vertu Motors which owns Bristol Street Motors, said: "I believe it's vital that local businesses support local community projects. Brass bands are part of the cultural heritage of the North East and it's important that young people learn about the music and the history behind it. Dunston Silver Band is doing a great job of encouraging young people to do something positive and to appreciate their heritage and history through music and I expect the band will be just as, if not, more successful in 2016. I look forward to seeing it continue to grow and provide musical opportunities to young people."
by: Laura Thomson