Smithills Brass Band fundraising for American tour
WHEN a school brass band takes to the stage in America, members are welcomed with a rapturous reception.
A total of 55 talented youngsters, aged between 11 and 18, will play nine concerts in 10 days following a successful American tour last year.
Chris Wormald, assistant headteacher and senior band director, said: “Every night they’ll do a sell-out concert to hundreds of Americans.
“They start crying as soon as we start up with the American national anthem. They are emotional beyond belief.
“Then you set off playing everything else, it’s amazing.
“They absolutely love the band. They can’t believe we’re not a music school and that the kids are all from a comprehensive background.
“They can’t believe the kids don’t pay, it’s all fund-raising. In America, if you want something, you pay for it. If you get a band director, they get paid a fortune.”
This Saturday will see the band launch its fundraising marathon with a matinee concert at Victoria Hall at 2pm, including songs by Frank Sinatra and Michael Buble and from films including Mary Poppins, Toy Story and Walt Disney favourites.
Mr Wormald, previously the school’s head of music for 20 years, is now in his 31st year leading the band at concerts across the world, including Japan, New Zealand, Norway and Dublin.
The band, National Champions for the past 16 years, were invited by the people of North Carolina to perform at multiple concerts across the state.
They will fly from Heathrow Airport to Charlotte next July for the whistle stop tour which will also see them enjoy visits to attractions including North Carolina Zoo, the largest walk-through zoo in the world.
Tickets for Saturday’s concert are £5 or £4 for concessions and can be bought on the door at 1.45pm.
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