A BRASS band has launched a search for cornet players to help maintain its lyrical sound.

Hetton Silver Band, based at Hetton-le-Hole, near Sunderland, is on the look-out for skilled principal and solo players.

With a series of concerts and competitions approaching, the band is worried that its sound will not be as sweet as it could be.

Secretary Ken Trenbirth said: "There appears to be a shortage of top cornet players at the moment, and we have had to borrow them from other bands.

"We have a principal cornet player who would step down if others came along.

"She is having to play everything, and it is putting her under pressure. We have got back row cornet players, but we are looking for front row players and solo players.

"We are looking for players of Grade Five or above. Maybe there are people who have played in brass bands before and want to get back into it, or musicians at university or college who would like to join.

"As well as the concerts and competitions, there's also the chance to play at the Big Meeting."

The band rehearses in its band hall next to Hetton Community Centre, in South Market Street, on Thursdays from 7.30pm to 9pm, and on Sunday mornings between 10.30am and noon.

For further details, call Mr Trenbirth on (07979) 965077.