ASTLEY Youth Band are the 2010 National Junior Brass Band Champions.

The proud players took the title at the Royal Northern College of Music on Sunday after putting together a performance which delighted the audience and impressed the adjudicators.

A stunning soprano cornet solo performed by 13-years-old Thomas Jordan was one highlights of the victory.

The band, an independent organisation, was founded in 1994 by Helen and Stephen Minshall and is self funding and run on a voluntary basis.

Members rehearse weekly at Bedford High School, Leigh, and are aged between eight and 16, and live mainly in the Astley, Tyldesley and Leigh areas.

The musical director is Helen Minshall and the assistant musical director Toby Hobson.

The band is now well established in the community and has toured on numerous occasions, playing in the Isle of Man, Scotland, Ireland, France, Holland, Luxembourg and Germany.

Over the years it has been fortunate enough to receive funding from the National Lottery, Coalfields Regeneration Trust, Wigan Council for Voluntary Youth Service, Greater Manchester Communities Local Network Fund and the Douglas Valley Fund, which has helped with the cost of instruments, sheet music, equipment and tutoring.

The band has vacancies in the cornet, trombone and percussion sections, and any players interested are welcome to join rehearsals at Bedford High School at 6.30pm any Thursday in term time.