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LEICESTER UNIVERSITY SAVES 150-YEAR-OLD LOCAL BAND

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THE University of Leicester has helped a 150-year-old brass band find a new home, after its future was threatened due to losing its rehearsal base.

Enderby Band – which is one of the biggest brass band organisations in the country – was left homeless when its previous rehearsal space next to Huncote Leisure Centre in Leicestershire was closed due to high methane levels in the area. Fearing it could result in the end of the band, organisers made a public appeal for help.

After hearing the band’s plea, The University of Leicester offered them a rehearsal space at Stamford Court in Oadby. The space will accommodate the senior band and provide them with the sound requirements and accessibility they need.

“In this day and age, it is reassuring to find that community spirit still thrives and we are very grateful to the University of Leicester who stepped in to answer our appeal,” said Garry Sleath, President of Enderby Brass band.

“If we hadn’t found this appropriate and affordable rehearsal space, we would probably have faced bankruptcy and the end of our 150 year history. Now we can, once again, look forward to the future.

“After the university heard our plea on Radio Leicester, we came down and looked around, and immediately thought yes, this has everything we need. It’s got to be appropriate accommodation, acoustically it’s got to be right, it’s not got to be next to residential housing. This ticked all the boxes.”

The Enderby Bands organisation is one of the largest and highly respected amateur musical organisations in the UK. The organisation consists of five bands, catering for players of brass and woodwind instruments of all abilities, from complete beginners to advanced players and of ages from seven to seventy-plus.

The senior band (pictured), is the one which has been given space to rehearse at Leicester University.

Picture: The University of Leicester

However, other sections, including the junior band and youth band are still looking for space to rehearse, which is closer to Enderby.

“They need to have rehearsal facilities that are a little bit closer to Enderby, particularly with parents and youngsters, and with facilities that are affordable,” said Mr Sleath.

“We have six bands, comprising about 140 members in total and that’s all ages, all creeds, all abilities,” he added. And we cater for everybody.”

“However if you come down [to Stamford Hall] on Tuesday night, you’ll hear 25 brass players giving it some go at our first rehearsal. It’s quite an awesome sound.”

“We’re really pleased to be able to provide Enderby Band with a space that will allow them to continue their music,” said Martin Miller, head of Campus Services at the University of Leicester.

“We constantly strive to find ways to help our local community and we’re keen to encourage other clubs and organisations to make use of our fantastic buildings and facilities.”

To find out more about the Enderby Bands organisation, get in touch at: enderbyband@enderbybands.co.uk

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