Brass academy to open in Sidmouth - helping to ensure future of 155-year-old town band

Sidmouth Town Band. Picture: Kyle Baker

Sidmouth Town Band. Picture: Kyle Baker - Credit: Kyle Baker

A brass academy offering free tuition and instruments on loan to young people is set to open in Sidmouth next year.

The scheme will be run by Sidmouth Town Band - giving the next generation of brass players an opportunity to learn an instrument for free.

Martin Cordy, chairman of the town band, revealed details of the exciting plans at the latest Sidmouth Town Council meeting on Monday.

He said they had a real vision for Sidmouth, where he believed there was a lack of free music tuition.

He added: “I see it as a real gap.We have had a band here in Sidmouth for 155 years – it would be a shame for it to go just because there is a lack of education and opportunities.”

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Martin said the brass academy would start in Sidmouth in 2019.

“It will be free – free tuition, free instruments to borrow and free music and that will be open to anyone in Sidmouth,” he added. “We will be working with Sidmouth schools to promote that - and with anyone that wants to learn free of charge.”

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Martin said the academy would be focused on helping young people learn an instrument but they also had a training band for anyone, of other ages, who wanted to learn. He added: “Myself and the band are very excited it about it.”

Speaking at the meeting Councillor David Barrett said: “Congratulations on leading this organisation from strength to strength and I love this idea about teaching the youngsters.”

During the meeting Martin also gave an update on the band’s success this year. He said: “We have had a fantastic summer season. We have had more people in for our concerts than we have ever had and that has resulted in the financial benefits as well.

“It shows how well-respected the band is, both in Sidmouth and as a whole with the wider appeal of the band.”

Martin said they had also started their move into St Francis Church Hall. “It has taken a lot of work and effort by members of the band,” he said. “It will help the quality of our rehearsals and the concerts and entertainment we are able to provide and it will enable us to take the next step in the main purpose of moving which is enabling us to provide the brass academy here in Sidmouth.

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