A NEWLY-formed band for young people in Verwood has won trophies just two weeks after it formed.

The Verwood Youth Band, which was set up as part of Verwood Concert Brass, won second place at the Wessex Brass Band Association Youth Contest, while two players took prizes as well.

Although Verwood Concert Brass, now in its 150th year, has a long tradition of nurturing brass players of all ages through its training band, ‘B’ band and ‘A’ band, but has never had a youth band.

The new section is for players aged under 19.

Mike Dunnings of Verwood Concert Brass was behind the idea.

He said: “Although we already had a core of good young players within Verwood Concert Brass we needed more to make up a whole band. We put the word around that all young players would be welcome to come along, but to be honest it was a bit of a leap of faith as to how many would turn up for the first rehearsal.

“But I needn’t have worried as we ended up with a great bunch of young players. The challenge was, though, would they be ready for the first youth band contest taking place just two weeks later?”

With just two rehearsals under their belts, the 22-strong band headed to the Trafalgar School in Downton for the competition.

They performed a 20-minute programme before finding out that they’d come in as runners-up.

What’s more, Rowan Powis, aged seven, won a prize for youngest player of the day and Emma Graves was awarded best soloist of the day.

Kevin Smith, musical director of Verwood Concert Brass, who conducted the band, added: “I am extremely proud of the Verwood Youth Band on their first outing. It just goes to show what can be achieved in just a short space of time when working with a group of enthusiastic and talented young musicians. We are all looking forward to taking the Youth Band on to even bigger and better things.”

To get involved contact Mike on m.dunnings@ntlworld.com or phone 07791 340870.