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VIDEO: Striking up the band at Foxhill Primary School

Watching Foxhill Primary School's brass band rehearsing, the pupils' love of music is obvious.

Conductor Garry Walls leads renditions of music varying from the theme tune to the A-Team to Somewhere Over The Rainbow and, by the end of the session, the 20 enthusiastic children are red-faced from their exertions.

Band practice at Foxhill School, Queensbury.

Band practice at Foxhill School, Queensbury.

Music matters at Foxhill, where every child learns the recorder and up to 80 children per week take part in specific music lessons; brass band on Mondays and Fridays, guitar on Wednesdays and piano on Thursdays.

"We place a great importance on it," says headteacher Sally Hey, who plays in the band, "but I have no money in the school budget to support it, so we collect with a bucket when we play outside Tesco or anywhere else.

"But that only gets us £40 or £50, which isn't enough to maintain what we have.

"The children pay for music lessons but that doesn't pay for the band, for Garry's time, for replacing instruments or for transport.

Band practice at Foxhill School, Queensbury.

Band practice at Foxhill School, Queensbury.

"What we need is sponsorship. Even if it's only for 12 months.

"What's the point in learning an instrument if you can't perform? That's what it's about.

"We do it for the children because they love it. They have the skills if we can continue it."

"We need around £10,000 a year to run music at the school," says Jo Mitchell, the school's music co-ordinator.

Band practice at Foxhill School, Queensbury. Ten year old Libby Richardson with head teacher Sally Hey.

Band practice at Foxhill School, Queensbury. Ten year old Libby Richardson with head teacher Sally Hey.

"The parents do pay a subsidy for the lessons - our music teacher charges them rather than the school.

"But the instruments, uniforms and travelling all cost money.

"A lot of the instruments were donated originally so they need replacing now.

"We won the Harrogate Music Festival in March, which was the first competition we've ever entered, but it cost £300 for the coach to get there."

Band practice at Foxhill School, Queensbury.

Band practice at Foxhill School, Queensbury.

The band will perform a summer concert on July 2, but are already rehearsing for their Christmas concert.

Conductor Garry Walls said: "It's amazing the sound they produce after very few lessons.

"I write special parts with fewer notes in for them, but they do remarkably well.

"There just doesn't seem to be music in primary schools any more. We've made links with the Black Dyke Band, who we played with at Huddersfield Town Hall.

"Even in upper schools they're cutting music lessons left, right and centre."

The school has already received more than £1,500 in donations since the story of the band appeared in the national media.

Band practice at Foxhill School, Queensbury. Garry Walls conducts.

Band practice at Foxhill School, Queensbury. Garry Walls conducts.

"The response has been great," says Jo. "We've had donations from a lady in London who gave us £500 and a man who phoned up and gave £750."

When asked what impact it would have if music was no longer taught in the school, Jo said: "It would certainly affect some children. Not every child is academic and they really benefit from music.

"One of our pupils hits out at times and gets really angry, but they play the drums, which is a fantastic release.

"It does make a difference to their results.

"Our local secondary school has cut it's GCSE music, but a lot of schools want to do music but can't because of budget cuts or wage increases, and something has to give."

Libby Richardson, 10, is from Queensbury, and plays the trumpet. She said: "It's my favourite lesson at school.

"I definitely want to do something with music when I'm older."

Head teacher Sally added: "There was nothing music-wise when I joined the school.

"I'd run choirs for many years here and then when I took over as head, I held an instrument up in assembly and said 'I'm going to learn to play it, would anybody like to join me?' and I got a load of kids on board, we got a grant, bought some instruments and started the band.

"10 years on, I'm not much better but the kids are great!

"The children leave here reading music as well as books. They all play recorder at Key Stage 2, we have daily music for 15 minutes from nursery to Year Six, and a curriculum lesson once a week on music.

"It's a massive part of the school. And the children perform better because of our wider curriculum.

"What does it teach them? Listening skills, working together, music is very mathematical. It teaches them so many other skills they need for other subjects, as well as social skills.

"It would be a massive, massive loss, but I'm going to fight to keep it going."