Marching band of nearly 80 years could fold without new members

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Melton’s Tally Ho Marching Band, which has been running for nearly 80 years, could fold unless it attracts new members.

The band, which was formed in 1936, has seen its numbers dwindle from about 40 ten years ago to currently 22.

It gives youngsters the chance to learn how to play musical instruments and to travel around the country taking part in marching and street parades, arena displays and competitions.

The band practices at the Well Fit Studio on Beler Way on Tuesdays (percussion), 8pm-9pm, at The Crown Inn on Burton Street on Wednesdays (brass), 7pm-9pm and at Melton’s Cattle Market on Fridays (marching), 7pm-8pm.

Committee member Jay Chaney said: “It’s difficult to raise awareness for traditional marching bands, and unfortunately this day and age it has become a dying art.

“At the moment, with the number of members at one of the all-time lows, we are battling to keep going.

“We have got members who have been in the band for well over 40 years, so it would be such a sad time for us all if we couldn’t keep going as we are not only a band but a family.”

The band, whose current members range in age from seven to 67, teach newcomers (aged eight plus) how to play a range of instruments, which are all provided, and how to march. Uniforms are also provided.

Jay said: “We are currently one of the last military style marching bands left within the East Midlands and for us it’s an honour and a privilege for us to go out and entertain the crowds.

“Being a military style band we keep some of the old marching style songs going, and without the support of people around the county we couldn’t be where we are today.”

The band is desperately in need of snare drummers as well as brass instrument players.

It costs 50p for children and £1 for adults per week to join the band. This is for the upkeep of the instruments as well as uniform and insurance.

The band will celebrate 80 years since it formed next year. It was originally called the Melton Steeple Chasers. The band broke up during the Second World War and reformed soon after, renamed The Tally Ho Band.

l To find out more you can pop along to a practice night, call Nicke Coleman on 07772 800 335 or visit www.tallyhoband.com

l The Melton Mowbray Tally Ho Marching Band will be performing at The Crown Inn in Melton on Wednesday, May 20 (7.30pm-9pm) to raise awareness of the band.

Tickets cost £3 and all the proceeds will go to the band.

www.tallyhoband.com