Malton brass band say King's Award is a 'real honour'

Swinton and District Excelsior Band
The Swinton and District Excelsior Band has been presented with the King's Award for Voluntary Service [BBC]

Musicians in a North Yorkshire brass band have said it was a "real honour" to receive a King's Award.

The Swinton and District Excelsior Band, based near Malton, was given the King's Award for Voluntary Service.

For more than 80 years, the band has been providing free music lessons and instruments to those who would otherwise struggle to afford it.

The band received the award on Tuesday, and secretary Tracy Poperman said it was "amazing" to be recognised.

The King's representative for North Yorkshire, Lord-Lieutenant Johanna Ropner, who presented the accolade, said it was "fantastic".

She told the BBC: "Yorkshire is the largest county in England, so to have a light shone like this is really important and this is like an MBE for them."

She also highlighted the importance of being recognised with the royal award, as it "often attracts more funding".

The Swinton and Excelsior Brass Band
The King's representative for North Yorkshire, Lord-Lieutenant Johanna Ropner, presented the award to the band [BBC]

The brass band was established in 1936 by a group of ex-bandsmen who were living in Swinton and wanted to carry on their musical activities.

Now there are around 25 playing members in the main band, with ages ranging from seven to over 80.

Ms Poperman said the age range showed band practice was a "family event".

Speaking about the award, she said: "It's a real honour - there are only two bands in the country this year that have been awarded, so it is amazing we are one of them."

Meanwhile, Bob, 81, plays the trombone in the band and said it was "fantastic to be recognised".

"It's really gratifying as a lot of hard work has gone into it," he said.


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