Astley Youth Band recently celebrated its 25th anniversary with a superb concert and reunion party.
The event brought together players, parents and friends from throughout the 25 year history of the band, and was attended by the Mayor of Wigan.
Held at the local Leigh Sports Village it celebrated the achievements of the band formed in 1994 by Helen and Steven Minshall, who have worked tirelessly for over a quarter of a century to give local children the experience of learning to play a brass instrument and the chance to play in a band.
Hundreds of children have since benefited hugely form having brass band music making as part of their lives, with many going onto to enjoy professional musical careers.
The band has also notched up no less than 15 exciting tours in the UK and Europe thanks to the amazing fund raising activities of dedicated supporters.
The Youth Band currently rehearses every Thursday evening under the direction of Toby Hobson with the Training Band for beginners meeting under the baton of Samantha Raisbeck.
In 2015 the organisation expanded with an adult band, Astley Unlimited formed which comes under the umbrella of the organisation. This rehearses during the daytime on a Monday at St Stephen's Church in Astley, catering for around 30 players of all ages and abilities; retirees, shift workers, ranging in age from 20 — 85.
All this and the organisation also runs Astley Unlimited Choir, formed in 2017, which meets under Sue Stirzaker on Mondays before band practice.
Hundreds of children have since benefited hugely form having brass band music making as part of their lives, with many going onto to enjoy professional musical careers4BR
To help mark the occasion, Helen Minshall has written a book 'Astley Youth Band — The First 25 Years' with the full history of the band, and many photographs.