THE SUCCESS story is far from over for Thornbury Music Area Trust with a new grant secured and nearly 100 musicians signed up - all in less than three months.

The youth orchestra, which was set up by local parents when their children’s council-run music centre was threatened with closure, was a hit when it opened its doors in September and keeps gaining in popularity with each passing week.

Since its inception, the group’s roll has gone from around 80 pupils to 96. Under the control of the local authority, the former music centre only counted 80 members.

TAMT is going from strength to strength with a recent £300 grant from Thornbury Round Table.

This is the third financial boost the trust has received since September after two generous donations from Magnox and the Quartet Foundation.

One of the trustees, Beth Turvey, whose four children attended Thornbury Music Centre and are now TAMT members, said: "Things have gone really well for TAMT, much surpassing our initial expectations, which just goes to show that parents wanted local music provision.

"We now have 96 enrolled for the Saturday morning sessions and additional children attending the Advanced Music Programme, grade five and above."

The 44-year-old from Tytherington added: "It is also handy that we have a team of very good business people and musicians as trustees and that really shows, I think."

The music trust was set up in July in response to South Gloucestershire Council’s decision to centralise all its orchestras and move Thornbury’s band from its base in Alveston to Little Stoke Primary School from the beginning of school year.

The parents of the devastated players initially begged district bosses to keep the Marlwood group up and running until the following December. But as their pleas fell on deaf ears they decided, with the support of the centre’s teachers, to form their own music group TAMT. The new orchestra opened its doors on September 15.

TAMT will perform its Christmas concert on Saturday, December 1 at Thornbury Baptist Church (10.30am).