YOUNG musicians certainly have something to beat their drums about after generous community groups across the area donated thousands of pounds to them.
A total of £8,250 has been donated to the Arundel and Littlehampton District Scout Band over the past year and a bit, with the Littlehampton Town Council, Littlehampton Carnival Association, Littlehampton District Lions Club and West Sussex Scout Council providing the lion’s share of the cash.
And to celebrate, the Scout band has splashed out on a whole range of new, lightweight, music equipment which it hopes will entice more younger members to swell its ranks.
Mark Hewson, of the band, felt it was an exciting time for the group.
“The band’s instruments, and in particular its drums and percussion, were in need of a major overhaul,” he told the Gazette last week. “In summary, a lot of our instruments were old, mismatched hand-me-downs or ad hoc purchases and significantly they tend to be heavier than more modern replacements.
“One of the biggest reasons we were seeking to purchase smaller lighter weight instruments is to encourage and enable younger members to participate more fully in our activities and engagements.
“Our current drums and cymbals – our novice instruments – are very heavy and this makes it very difficult and cumbersome for the younger members to achieve a satisfactory standard and to maintain an acceptable marching style.”
The cash has been used to buy a matching set of parade drums – four snare, two tenor and a bass drum – together with the cases and carriers. Three sets of replacement cymbals and two new marching glockenspiels were also bought.
Andrew Knight, band master, was thrilled with the donations and thanked everyone who was kind enough to back the group.
Mark added: “The band has just completed its annual inspection and has almost reached the standard required to make it eligible for national scouting parades and performances – such as the annual St George’s Day parade held at Windsor Castle.
“We would have achieved this standard if we had a few more younger musicians under the age of 25 in the band – unlike myself who is old enough to know better!”
Mark is now urging as many young people to come forward and give the band a try.
New recruits need to be members of the Scout Association and aged ten or older. Adults with marching band experience are also sought.
The group meets at the 7th Littlehampton Scout Hut, in Southfields Road, Littlehampton, on a Tuesday night, 7.30pm to 9pm.
For details, or to book the Scout band, email email@example.com or call 07976 009552.