WHEN you think of a group of musicians, a band or orchestra probably springs to mind.
But there’s one collective that’s still going strong despite its unusual ensemble.
The Valley Flutes is a musical group made up entirely of flautists.
The unique group, which meets in Meltham, was formed 18 years ago.
It was the brainchild of former Kirklees music teacher Carol Baxter, who felt there were few opportunities for flautists living in the area to play.
The group now attracts players of all ages and abilities – and they are popular performers at a variety of events because of their unique sound.
But with some members having moved away or having left the area for university, the group is keen to attract new blood to ensure it continues to hit the right notes with audiences for years to come.
When the group, based at Wilshaw Village Hall, was set up by Carol in 1991 it aimed to give young girls learning to play the flute the chance of a platform for performing.
Carol’s mum Marie, who helps run the group, said: “It was a very popular instrument in schools, but there were so few opportunities for flautists to play – there are only two in an orchestra.
“We gave them the chance to play together in a group and to listen to and learn from one another.
“It’s a lovely, different sound and a near-unique group – there’s only one other in the area and it’s on the other side of Kirklees.”
As the group grew in popularity, players of all ages, both male and female, were invited to take part.
And musicians were eventually split into two groups.
The junior flutes group takes children who have just started learning, while the other is aimed at older and more experienced players which members move up into as they progress.
Members come from a variety of backgrounds, including students and married women, who tend to stay with the group for years.
The group performs at a variety of events throughout the year, including concerts, charity events – even weddings – and also takes part in music competitions.
Marie said: “It’s really nice because some have grown up with us and we have a few who have left for various reasons but then come back.
“It’s a fantastic, fun, group and as well as the playing we do things socially and go on trips.
“But some have moved on and gone to university so we are hoping to attract new members, particularly the younger ones.”
The group meets every Tuesday evening during term time. For more information call Marie on 01484 852392.