With County Durham’s BRASS festival approaching, youngsters will get the chance to design a trombone – and then have the instrument made.

A competition linked to the 12th BRASS festival will see kids creating eye-catching trombone designs using paper stencils.

One winner from each of the contest’s age groups – five to 11 and 12 to 18 – will have their design printed onto a pBone, a plastic trombone.

pBones are made by Warwick Music Group, a company that manufactures a range of plastic instruments in the hope of encouraging more people to take up music.

The director of BRASS, Paul Gudgin, said, “One of the most important parts of BRASS is to inspire a new generation of brass musicians by getting our young people engaged and interested in music and to give as many people as possible a chance to play an instrument for the first time.”

“The pBones and other instruments proved a real hit last year and we are delighted to launch this competition which gives children the chance to receive their own personalised trombone.”

The trombone designs can make use of any type of material or media. Designs can be submitted by groups as well as individuals, provided all the children fall into the same age category.

Digital entries will also be accepted, including posters which have been scanned in and designs made with drawing programmes.

BRASS will also engage County Durham’s youngsters in other ways. Throughout the festival, workshops will be taking place in schools, with the Big Brass Bus paying visits to the county’s educational establishments.

It is estimated that during the ten days of the BRASS festival, 16,000 local youngsters will have some involvement with the event.

The chief executive of Warwick Music Group, Steve Greenall, said, “We are delighted to be supporting the Durham BRASS festival again this year.”

“Our colourful plastic instruments have made music-making accessible to large numbers of young people and we can’t wait to see what designs they come up with to customise our pBones.”

You can download the pBone template by going to www.brassfestival.co.uk. Entries can be sent to Community Arts Team, Gala Theatre, Millennium Place, Durham, DH1 1WA. You can also email entries to [email protected].

The competition’s closing date is Sunday 22nd July and the winners will be declared on Friday 27th July.

(The featured image shows Paul Gudgin with Sebastian Fisher, aged 5, from Chester-le-Street, playing a pBone.)   

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