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Issue 6088

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Dalmellington looks to the future

Monday 29 March, 2021

As it looks to brighter times ahead, Dalmellington Band is working to ensure it is ready for action, in and away from the rehearsal room.

The East Ayrshire band recently launched a new patron scheme as it seeks to bolster its funding streams. Comprising several tiers, the initiative enables supporters to receive a host of benefits in return for their contributions to the band. Minimum annual donations are £15 (bronze), £30 (silver) and £75 (gold), with benefits including specific concert seating and refreshments, a free gift, discounts on merchandise and tickets and a newsletter.

Meanwhile, the band is making plans for how it might be able to resume rehearsal activities, when it is deemed safe to do so.

Reflecting on a year without band, conductor Gary Williams said: “The band was working really hard and producing some amazing sounds before the 2020 Regionals and I was really looking forward to taking it to the Spring Festival in Blackpool. I don’t think any of us back then thought that this year’s contest would also be cancelled but we have such a strong, committed and loyal bunch at Dalmellington and as soon as restrictions are lifted, it’s great to know that the team will all be back in the band room ready to work hard.

“I see COVID-19 as an enforced break that none of us wanted but I believe with the people we have, Dalmellington will come back just as strong. In my relatively short time with the band, I have seen the strength and pride in the history and traditions the band has. The players, conductors and supporters all feel it; it’s something special.”

The next generation of young performers at Dalmellington are also looking forward to getting back into the swing of things as soon as they can. The Dalmellington Brass Academy was established in 2016 and usually offers free music tuition to young people in the Doon Valley area. A team of tutors – all members of the senior band – dedicate their time on a voluntary basis to teach the youngsters.

Brass Academy manager Karin Lowrie said: “The Brass Academy has been working really hard to ensure that we continue to build on the success we had after our win at the Scottish Championships in November 2019. We've had virtual banding videos, Zoom calls and quizzes, like bands up and down the country. Staying connected during the pandemic has been central to everything we are doing with the young people in our organisation. I'm really looking forward to getting back in the band hall and making music with them soon.”

Contact patrons@dalmellingtonband.com