Micro-sponsorship helps seed fund raising activities

Highland Brass is currently the only brass band in the Highlands providing performance opportunities for talented amateur musicians. With players from as far afield as Nairn, Speyside, Ullapool and Sutherland, the group aims to widen interest in brass music across the Highlands by arranging performances throughout the region. Set up in August, the first concerts were planned over the Christmas period, thanks to funds from debbie & andrew’s micro-sponsorship scheme. This scheme was set up to provide starter funds to help set up rural community projects.

Highland Brass are using the £500 donated to them through the scheme to buy music, while the free debbie & andrew’s sausages will be used to set up a sizzling fund raising supper. The micro-sponsorship is also helping promote the Highland Brass scheme through the debbie & andrew’s website and press office.

The inspiration for Highland Brass came from a ‘playthrough’ day organised in the summer. The response was positive with enough players interested to create a band. Many of the instrumentalists had been keen players previously but were frustrated at the lack of opportunities to play as a group or to perform. These problems are typical of rural areas, but are exacerbated in the Highlands due to the low population densities and large distances. However, where there’s a will there’s a way. The determination of music teacher Mark Bell and his new Highland Brass committee means the brand has already completed a series of rehearsals and was ready to start performing to the public. The micro-sponsorship from debbie & andrew’s meant the group can invest in sufficient quantities of sheet music to cover the whole band. “This project is exactly what the micro-sponsorships were set up to support,” commented Ian Bagnall from debbie & andrew’s. “Not only does this enterprise support musical talent in a rural community, it also aims to play concerts in some of the remoter towns in the region. For the future, the plan is to create a youth band to and also to enter competitions. Everyone at debbie & andrew’s looks forward to seeing how the band does and we will be posting pictures and promoting concerts on our website.”

debbie & andrew’s micro-sponsorship applications can be for sums from £50 to £1,000 with preference going to applications for funds of under £500. Every successful micro-sponsorship will also be provided with up to £150 of debbie & andrew’s produce for use in fund raising, team teas, launch events or socials. So, if you know of a good rural cause, whether it is the local football team running low on kit or a much needed re-vamp for the village hall, support for a local rescue centre, or setting up a circular parish walk, why not register for an application pack.

Highland Brass (pictured) playing at Inverness Tesco over the festive period.