Sidmouth Town Band to blow its own trumpet with brass youth academy

Jerome Blackburn, Jasper Dommett, Josie Denning, Sam Chamberlain-Keen and Evan Usher all back Sidmou

Jerome Blackburn, Jasper Dommett, Josie Denning, Sam Chamberlain-Keen and Evan Usher all back Sidmouth Town Band's push to start a brass youth academy. - Credit: Archant

Young musicians have backed Sidmouth Town Band in its wish to develop a brass youth academy.

The group has been advancing musical talent for more than four decades, offering free lessons and performance opportunities in their junior and senior band to local young people.

With feelings that it has outgrown its current headquarters, the band has set out to raise £350,000 to purchase the United Reformed Church to create bigger rehearsal, tuition and performance space to accommodate more young performers.

Backing the youth academy is current baritone player Jasper Dommett, who joined the training band seven years ago at the age of 12 before moving to the senior section three years later.

Now 19, the baritone player is preparing to study at the Royal Welsh College of Music from September.

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Jasper said: “I have grown as a person and musician through the support of Sidmouth Town Band.

“The band has a lovely family feel and their enthusiasm and mentoring has been fantastic.”

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Percussionist Jerome Blackburn joined the band to gain ensemble experience and has now been awarded a scholarship to study orchestral percussion at Birmingham Conservatoire in September.

The 18-year-old said: “Sidmouth Town Band has been a defining moment in my musical development.

“I am so grateful for all their support and the opportunities to perform in competitions and concerts.”

Musical director Adrian Harvey said: “With bigger premises, we would be able to give more young people the opportunity to learn and develop their musical talent.

“Learning a musical instrument can be challenging and we enjoy mentoring young musicians.”

To donate, visit the band’s MyDonate page on its website, or contact Anne on 01395 519855.

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