Vote for windfall of cash for Mawdesley brass band Red Admiral Music Academy

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Top brass musicians are bidding for a £25,000 boost so that they can upgrade their instruments.

Members of brass band, Red Admiral Music Academy (RAMA) in Mawdesley are finalists in a bid to win the grant from the One Family Foundation.

Thomas Cobham on euphonium

Thomas Cobham on euphonium

But they are still up against about 14 other organisations in the showdown so they are calling on Chorley to cast a vote in their favour.

“With this injection of funds we’ll be able to upgrade instruments for our top band,” said volunteer Mark Cobham, 42.

“Because of the demand for places we have been using beginner level instruments.

“If we are successful it will make an enormous difference to the development of our organisation and the numerous people who benefit from it.

Lewis Barton, 12, playing the cornet. Lewis recently qualified for the National Children's Brass Band of Great Britain

Lewis Barton, 12, playing the cornet. Lewis recently qualified for the National Children's Brass Band of Great Britain

“We’ve achieved a lot in three years growing from 15 members to over 80 and becoming National Brass Band Junior Entertainment Champions earlier this year.”

Mark says that the funding would allow the band’s more experienced players to progress without being held back by the quality of the basic starter level instruments.

And, by freeing up these instruments, it would allow the band to grow by making the existing instruments available to new starters, enabling more people to benefit from playing brass.

The new instruments would also allow RAMA to enter more competitions and events through playing at a higher standard, giving greater opportunity and experience for players.

From its youngest five year old musician to its oldest at 73, RAMA takes on budding students of all ages and abilities.

And the band is so popular that in just three years since its inception it has seen a fivefold increase.

“Initially we just started to teach brass to children,” said Mark, who plays the euphonium. “Interest grew pretty quickly and now we have four bands rehearing every week.”

Mark, who lives in Mawdesley says his entire family are part of the band.

His wife Christine, 42, plays a flugelhorn, and his sons 14 year old George and 17 year old Thomas, play a tenor horn and an euphonium respectively.

He says it is because when parents initially take their children along to the sessions they often decide to take up a brass instrument as well.

“It’s one of those things that people can take up as a family.”

The group play everything from traditional brass band marches to proms theme tunes and mashups of All About That Bass by Meghan Trainor and Disney musical Frozen.

Previously RAMA has performed for disability organisation Rainbow House, school fairs and even hosted a emergency concert for victims of the 2015 Boxing Day floods in Croston.

The not for profit community group is led by 10 volunteer musicians who train band members every Friday evening at Parish Centre of St Peter & St Paul Catholic Church in Ridley Lane.

Daniel Brooks is the main tutor and has many years playing, teaching and conducting experience.

To vote go to https://foundation.onefamily.com/projects/red-admiral-music-academy/

Voting closes on Wednesday, September 6.