A TRADITION of 150 years will bring "the magic of community music" to people living with mental health issues this Christmas.

Paul Wilson, director of music for Blaenau Ffestiniog's Royal Oakley Silver Band, will bring more than 40 musicians to Rhyl Town Hall on Saturday, December 14 to support the Vale of Clwyd Mind.

Honouring the origins of the brass band as a means to bring popular music to the community, the concert will raise funds to aid musical initiatives - such as the charity's ukulele group the Mind Tones - which are championed by his mother and Mind trustee volunteer Jean Wilson.

Mr Wilson said: "Our brass band was born in 1864 from the slate mines, with its owner Mr Oakley funding the instruments not only as a hobby, but to bring the music of the day to the community.

"Even today, the heritage continues, with us performing music from things like The Greatest Showman. We wanted to hold the concert in Rhyl as most of the charity's clients are from that area and if it were somewhere else, they might not be able to access what we're doing.

"We feel that the band was set up to support our community, and we're proud to carry that tradition on in Rhyl."

Alongside Pauline Owen, supervisory support worker at the charity, Mrs Wilson's work with the Mind Tones offers similar benefits to wellbeing for the community, The ukulele band, which was founded in 2017 and performed at the National Eisteddfod in Llangollen last year, aims to also empower members through musical performance.

Mrs Wilson, who lives in Prestatyn, said: "Having a band like the Mind Tones gives people something to look forward to. It also gets them out of the house to meet new people.

"A Christmas concert is the perfect opportunity for this, as there's a lot of lonely people at this time of year and its a nice reason to get everyone together."

As well as performing at the concert with the band - which received the rare 'Royal' title from Queen Victoria on a visit to Bala - Mr Wilson has also been working tirelessly, busking with his trumpet throughout Denbighshire, to cover the cost of the concert. In 1997 Mr Wilson earned an MBE for his fundraising activities.

Mr Wilson, who lives in Pwllheli, added "I want to take all the expenses away from the running the event so the charity can buy even more musical instruments for people in the Rhyl area to use.

"Through the magic of community music it not only helps us keep the kids coming to what we're doing for the next 150 years, but also gives the self-esteem back to people who are trying to manage life with mental health issues and depression."

The event takes place at Rhyl Town Hall on Saturday, December 14 at 7pm.

Tickets are £8, to book call Mrs Wilson or Ms Owen on 01745 351635.