FROM the brink of closure, Thornbury's music centre pulled through and is now celebrating a successful first year under new direction.

When South Gloucestershire Council revealed its intention to disband the orchestra based at Marlwood School in Alveston, families embarked on a rescue mission and took over the club.

They set up the Thornbury Area Music Trust (TAMT) and a year on, have achieved more than they ever expected to, doubling the number of players enrolled.

Building on their success, they will be launching a junior centre in September for musicians under eight years old.

Trustee David Whitfield said: "Thornbury Area Music Trust has had a tremendously successful first year, increasing the number of young musicians attending by over 50 per cent.

"As a trustee who was one of the three original parents who got together during June and July to formulate plans, it has been an amazing journey. He added: "After reviewing the current music provision in the area for school children from reception class to year 3, the Thornbury Area Music Trust is launching from September the Thornbury Area Junior Music Centre."

The new group is being sponsored by John Lewis’s Music Matters, Old Down Country Park and the Co-operative community fund.

It will run every Saturday during term-time at Marlwood School. Its members will have the opportunity to learn from the intermediate and senior orchestras.

Thornbury and Yate Steve Webb, who attended the players' summer concert at Castle School last month, congratulated parents and teachers for their efforts.

"The Thornbury Area Music Trust has achieved a huge amount in the last 12 months," he said. "From the brink of closure, we now have a thriving Saturday morning music centre with committed staff and trustees and chance for young musicians of all abilities to join in."

The trust also recently formed the South Cotswold Youth Orchestra to encourage musicians from around South Gloucestershire and beyond to come together.

The orchestra along with the centre's senior players will travel to Paris in summer 2014 and perform at a series of concerts in the French capital.

To find out more call TAMT on 01454 299932 or email