June 9, 2016 | Community News
A new South Yorkshire community band is hitting the high notes thanks to a four-figure grant from a renewable energy firm.
The Rother Vale Community Band was established last year as an independent brass band. Until now, the band’s 20 members, who are aged between ten and 58 years old, have been using borrowed instruments provided by Rotherham Music Services, and has had other support from Brass Bands England in getting up and running.
But now, thanks to a £2,000 grant from Banks Renewables via the Penny Hill Wind Farm Community Fund, the band has purchased a selection of brass and percussion instruments that it can call its own, including cornets, tenor and baritone horns, a euphonium, a glockenspiel and various drums.
The Band will now be playing a series of charity concerts during 2016, including a number of free events at St Simon & St Jude Church in Thurcroft where it practices every Saturday.
Most of the Band members are from the immediate surrounding area, and in addition to its free concerts, it is also available for private functions, the income from which helps to meet its running costs.
Treasurer Pamela Stevenson says: “A great deal of work has gone into establishing our independence, and there’s lots of excitement amongst the musicians about everything that’s in the pipeline.
“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 if we’d needed to, the ones we’ve been able to buy thanks to Banks Renewables’ generous support will help the band sound even better and we’re looking forward to getting out and playing to as many people as possible across the local area.”
The grant was awarded to The Rother Vale Community Band from the community fund linked to Banks Renewables’ nearby Penny Hill wind farm, which is ring-fenced for use within the parishes of Aston, Thurcroft, Treeton, Ulley and Whiston, and which has already has seen grants totalling over £40,000 made in support of organisations across these communities.
Lewis Stokes, community relations manager at The Banks Group, says: “Bands such as Rother Vale have a special place in South Yorkshire communities’ industrial heritage, and provide an important link to their past as well as a much-loved part of their present.
“Both the enthusiasm and ability of the Band’s members is clear, and we’re very happy to be using funds generated through our renewable energy operations in the area to support such a worthwhile community group.”
The Banks Community Fund provides grants for community groups and voluntary organisations in the vicinity of both operational and proposed Banks Group projects. Anyone interested in applying for funding should contact James Eaglesham at the Banks Community Fund on 0191 378 6342.
For more information on The Rother Vale Community Band, visit www.rothervalecommunityband.com