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Brass band's grand plan to extend rehearsal room
A POPULAR brass band is celebrating its continuing success with plans to extend its rehearsal room in order to accommodate its blossoming membership.
Cockerton Prize Silver Band has outgrown its headquarters - a stable block in the grounds of Cockerton Band and Musical Institute, in Woodland Road, Darlington.
The band, established in 1870 is currently in the second division of the National British brass band championships and will be promoted to the top flight in January, after finishing third in the regional qualifier heats in March.
Plans are in place for a single-storey extension which will give the band more practice and storage space.
Band chairman John Steel said: “We have been teetering on the edge of promotion for about three years now having occupied each of the top three positions in the second section at successive regional qualifying heats.
“Our standard of playing is improving year on year and we’ve been able to attract new players as well as developing established musicians.
“Being able to consistently turn out a standard array of 28 bandsmen and women is so important if we are to maintain our reputation and raise our ‘game’ to rise the challenges of playing in the first section.”
The band has a ‘squad’ of about 40 registered players from which to select.
This level of membership has put immense pressure on the band’s practice room.
In order to accommodate a large band, and a rapidly growing academy band of younger players, plans are well advanced to extend the bandroom.
This will give the band’s musical director the flexibility to place players in a variety of positions to achieve a more authentic sound.
The band, which is a registered charity, has been working with architect Pam McCormick of Darlington-based PA Designs Architects Ltd to draw up plans for the extension.
Planning permission has been granted by Darlington Borough Council, with building work expected to take six to eight weeks.
Mr Steel said it was hoped the extension would be complete by the end of the year.
The band looking to appoint a building contractor to carry out the work.
Interested parties are asked to call the architects, on 01325-356767.