FAMILIES spent a sunny Sunday afternoon enjoying the brassy sound of the Great Western Youth Band in the Town Gardens.

The concert was the first in a busy summer programme that includes Armed Forces Day at Swindon Rugby Club on June 25, The Isambard Brunel celebrations at STEAM in July and Bradenstoke fete.

Tutors are currently trying to swell the band’s ranks after expressing concern at a drop in the number of players joining at primary school level.

They were on hand at the concert to talk to prospective brass musicians and their families. An open day is also being planned for September 24 when youngsters will be able to take along a friend to sample the fun.

Players are loaned free instruments and are given free basic tuition.

Cornet tutor and chairman of Brunel Brass, Matthew Walton, whose own children have played in the band, expressed concern last month at the lack of new players joining. He believed fewer children were learning instruments in school and the band was suffering the knock-on effect.

But he said playing in a group was good for more than just music because it helped with maths skills, confidence, discipline and dedication.

The band rehearses on Saturday mornings at St Andrew’s Methodist Church in Moredon Road from 9am for the newest players and 10am for the more experienced.