The show will go on thanks to Cestria community grant
Published by Kelly Elliott for Cestria Community Housing in Housing and also in Communities
Tony Thompson, manager of the Chester-le-Street Riverside Band, which has received funding from Cestria Community Housing's Community Benefits Fund.
A group of talented County Durham musicians will perform in front of thousands of people during a major music festival, thanks to a grant from a local housing association.
Members of the Chester-le-Street Riverside Band will play alongside local opera company InterOpera at three concerts during the Brass Durham International Festival this month.
Funding for essential costs, such as transport to each event, has been provided by Cestria Community Housing, through its Community Benefits Fund, which provides financial assistance to groups and individuals in and around Chester-le-Street.
Band manager Tony Thompson said members would gain valuable experience and learn new skills by taking part in the concerts, which are being held in Barnard Castle, Middlesbrough and Consett.
He said: “This is a great opportunity to perform with very accomplished singers, musicians and directors and will benefit us all enormously.
”As with any big event, there is a cost involved with taking part and we are very grateful to Cestria for stepping in and providing the funding needed.”
The Riverside Band originally formed in 1877 and currently has about 60 members, of which 30 are junior members aged between 11 and 18.
The group perform regularly across the North East, as well as nationally, and in recent years have been finalists in the National Brass Band Championships.
This will be the second year the band has performed with InterOpera as part of the Brass festival. The annual event, which is organised by Durham County Council, takes place from 6 to 22 July and features a host of musical events at locations across the county.
Cestria Community Housing has awarded the band a grant of £800 which will pay for specialist music scores, some of which have been transcribed from original orchestral scores, as well as transporting members and their instruments to and from concerts.
Cestria’s head of corporate services Christine Scott said: “The Community Benefits Fund was set up to provide funding for events and activities that enhance the local community.
“The Riverside Band is part of Chester-le-Street’s history and we are pleased to be able to support the group and enable them to take part in this prestigious event.”
The band will perform at The Bowes Museum on Friday 6 July, Middlesbrough Town Hall on Monday 9 July and The Empire Theatre in Consett on Wednesday 18 July. For more information visit www.brassfestival.co.uk
Cestria also recently awarded £800 to help fund a musical event celebrating the life of Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore.
The Rabindra Jayanti event was organised by the Northern Friends Circle, Teeside Bengalee Institute, Bangladeshi Overseas Ladies Organisation, Newcastle Bengali Association, GEM Arts and the North East of England Bengali Puja Association.
For more information about the Cestria Community Benefits Fund, including how to apply, please visit www.cestria.org or call 0191 385 1900.