DRUMMING up support is crucial for all arts organisations.

And when money is tighter and competition is greater groups have to work ever harder to bring in the cash that will help them to survive.

Skelmanthorpe Band, Yorkshire’s First Section Brass Band Champions, is working as hard as any to raise the funds that it needs to help it in its quest to win this year’s National Brass Band Championships.

And that’s why next week the band will be at the Cedar Court Hotel near Wakefield, lobbying businesses for sponsorship and support.

The band’s conductor, John Roberts, said: “Touring and playing is expensive, so getting businesses involved with the band would mean that we can continue at this high level and hopefully realise our dream of winning the National Finals in September.

“We consistently sell out when we play, so we know the demand is there. This means sponsors can take advantage of some great exposure and we can do what we do best, play!”

The band has played alongside some high-profile stars in recent years, including Aled Jones, Katherine Jenkins and rising young tenor Alfie Boe.

And the band likes to play a wide range of styles, from traditional brass band music through swing, big band and jazz.

John Roberts added: “As well as tangible business benefits, anyone taking up one of our sponsorship packages can be proud of the way they are investing in their local community and helping keep the brass band tradition alive and kicking.

“In addition to the A and B bands we also have a beginners’ band specifically for young people and novices to develop their skills as musicians and get them excited about making music.”

Thursday’s event starts at 7.30pm and will include two performances by the band.

Organisations wanting to go along should register with on 01484 861381 or opportunities@skelman thorpeband.info