The players of Pleasley Colliery Welfare Band are celebrating after securing a place in the brass band national finals, but they need your help to take it to the next level.
The band came in second place out of their qualifying section at the Midlands Regional Championships in March.
Their success is even more impressive after a period of uncertainty in which several key members left the group for pastures new.
It is the first time since 1963 that the band have finished on the Midlands podium. For most members, it will also be their first time competing at a national level.
Musical director Geoff Benson said: “I’m really very pleased. It’s been a difficult year, so a big cheer goes to the band, supporters and the whole Pleasley Band family.”
The band were the 16th to play out of 17 groups, meaning they had to maintain focus for the entire day.
“It was a very long shift but the band did all that I’d been asking them to: play with control, confidence and concentration.
“They played magnificently, all 29 of them are heroes.” said Geoff.
The band played the test piece An English Pastorale by Dean Jones and received acclaim from the adjudicators for outstanding poise, balance and musicality.
Percussionist Angela King, who specialises on the timpani, said: “I think even my cats could play the parts with all the practice that has been put in.”
The result means that Pleasley have now been promoted to the Third Section ahead of the national finals at Cheltenham, which take place on the weekend of September 19-20.
However, they are seeking local support to raise funds for trip essentials like travel and accommodation.
Anyone willing to sponsor a play for the day, or make a one-off donation can contact band secretary Linda Clarke on on 0772 781 3459 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The next opportunity to see the band in action will be a free concert at 7.30pm on Friday April 24 at Pleasley Welfare, NG19 7PD.
The band are also looking to recruit new members, or simply share the joy of playing. Beginners lessons and a training band are available for brass and percussion every Friday. Contact Ms Clark for further details.