Stornoway-based hire firm Car Hire Hebrides has come to the aid of Lewis and Harris Youth Concert Band which faced an expensive challenge getting its array of instruments to a major event on the mainland this weekend.

CHH has given them a free-of-charge van to take all their cases and instruments to Perth and back –  the group were a bit cash-strapped after hiring three minibuses to take the 40 or so people involved and the problem was they had no space in the minibuses to take everything else – instrument cases, music stands, trombone, trumpets, drums, cymbals and even a double bass and a tuba.  They are pictured above last night (Thursday March 14th) racing to load the van as rain fell.

They are heading for Perth to take part in the Scottish Concert Band Festival 10th Anniversary National Finals.

The group of 38 young people, from various schools, won a place in the finals after being presented with a Gold Award by SCBF adjudicator Alan Friel, who attended a concert held by the band in Stornoway last November.

The Scottish Concert Band Festival is a national organisation which for the past 10 years has organised an annual wind band festival for young people consisting of seven regional heats followed by a final in Perth.

This year 57 bands took part in the heats with 26 school bands going through to the finals. There is no overall winner – the purpose is to encourage each band towards higher achievement and to showcase the best of Scotland’s talent.

Gavin Woods, band conductor said, “Only those bands which achieved a Gold Award or above are invited to take part in the finals so it is a testament to the hard work and commitment of the young people involved that the band are on our way to Perth, where we hope to improve upon our performance last November.”

Gavin and the organising team thanked CHH for their generosity – which has saved the band several hundred £s.