ASTLEY Youth Band blew the audience away with their second charity performance of the year.

The youngsters, playing at Lowton Civic Hall, helped Leigh Soroptimists raise more than £400 for Make A Wish, a charity which makes dreams come true for terminally ill children. In January they performed at St Richard's Social Club, Atherton, and raised a similar amount for the Handicapped Children's Charitable Trust to send sick children to Lourdes.

In the first half two of the band's youngest members made their solo debuts.

Lauren Lilley, 11, on flugel horn, was a big hit performing Andrew Lloyd Webber's I Don't know How to Love Him, and bass trombone player Simon Minshall, nine, gave an energetic performance of J A Greenwood's The Acrobat.

The junior quartet of Mark Harrison, 11, soprano cornet, Kirsten Broadhurst, 10, flugel horn, Samantha Minshall, eight, euphonium and Simon Minshall, nine, bass trombone, also gave its first public performance. In the second half there were solos from 13-year-old Louise Harrison on euphonium, 14-year-old Rhea Foster on trombone, and the senior quartet of Scott Broadhurst, 13, cornet, Helen Fahey, 14, flugel horn, and Louise Harrison and Ernest Collier, both 13, on euphonium, also made their debut. The band is now preparing for the West Pennine Music Festival on March 17, where both senior and training bands, both quartets, and soloists will be taking part. The band has also started preparing for its third international tour, this time to Germany in summer 2002. A fund raising concert, the Heinz Miller Umpah Show, will take place in Ellenbrook and Boothstown Royal British Legion on Friday, May 11, all proceeds going to the band. Tickets are £7.50 (adults) and £3.50 (under 16s) and available on 01942 875626.