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British brass band champions Youth Brass 2000, based in Wilbarston, Northamptonshire, appeal for new recruits



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A champion brass band wants to change perceptions to help persuade young musicians in the area to join their ranks.

Youth Brass 2000 have been crowned the Premier Section National Youth Champion Brass Band of Great Britain for the past seven years.

Yet the band, based at Wilbarston Village Hall, is struggling to recruit.

Youth Brass 2000 have been British champions for the last seven years, but aim to be accessible to all
Youth Brass 2000 have been British champions for the last seven years, but aim to be accessible to all

"You would imagine the waiting list to join the band would be very long, but like most brass bands at the moment, recruitment is challenging," said band chairman Don Collins, who lives in Rutland.

"Because of our totally independent status, there are no natural feeder channels into

the band, no senior band connections, no Music Hub connections, no school or natural

community links."

The band has attracted players from London and Manchester, but Don believes others may be put off by its high profile.

"We have no entry requirements at all, just full commitment," he said.

The band is also the current National Youth Champions, The Brass in Concert Youth Champions, British Open Youth Champions, 4 Bars Rest Youth Band of the Year, and Butlins Premier Section Youth Champions.

New members could join this year's tour to Lake Garda, in Italy, and represent England next May at the European Youth Championships in Malmo, Sweden.

Volunteers are DBS checked, and there are five licensed chaperones and a trained safeguarding team.

The band is a registered charity and receives no funding from the Arts Council or other external sources.

"We have no major sponsor, but we do try very hard to keep costs down so being part of our band won't break the bank," Don added.

"It's been a difficult couple of years for everyone, but we are really working hard to keep this part of our British heritage alive and kicking."



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