Musicians perform in support of the Isle of Wight Music Service. Picture by Peter Boam.
MUSICIANS came out in force to oppose plans to axe the Isle of Wight Music Service on Saturday.
Around 250 musicians and supporters filled St Thomas's Square, Newport, for a musical show of support for the service.
The Isle of Wight Council executive will vote next Tuesday on a report by executive member for children's services Cllr Richard Priest that recommends axing the service's council subsidy.
Musicians and supporters of all ages took part in Saturday's protest performance of Beethoven's Ode to Joy, singing and playing along on everything from woodwind to percussion - and even the accordion and the saw.
Ginny Kelly, a senior teacher for the music service, said the protest was a wonderful example of how music can bring the community together.
"I have spent the past 36 years teaching music on the Island, and many of the 250 people present on Saturday were colleagues or past and present pupils.
"The music service is a high performing aspect of education on the Island; how can we waste such a strong asset?"
Cllr Priest said: "I believe the proposals are the start of very exciting times for musicians on our Island and will provide a viable and sustainable way forward."