MUSICIANS are urged to join the long haul next month and take part in a 26-hour music marathon to raise funds for a new performing arts centre at Chesham Park Community College.

Pupils in the orchestra at the college in Chartridge Lane, Chesham, are busy practicing The William Tell Overture in preparation for the "musicathon", which starts on Friday, July 14 and finishes 26 hours later on Saturday night.

The musicathon is the brainchild of the school's head of music Alison Kirk, who's hoping to raise thousands of pounds to help furnish the college's state-of-the-art theatre. To achieve this she needs the help of Chesham's musicians and bands.

She said: "I think we will need a lot of bands. We are planning to start with a Big Band concert then about five hours in we will have a school orchestra and a choir.

"But from about 8am until 5pm on Saturday we are looking to get groups in the area to perform for about an hour or an hour and a half.

"So whatever they can offer us would be appreciated. It doesn't matter what kind of music it is we have about nine hours to fill."

Pupils will be sponsored to take part in the marathon as they try and stay awake for as long as possible.

Ms Kirk said: "I will try and stay awake throughout the whole thing but we will have a sleeping area so people can have a doze if they need to."

In the run up to the event Ms Kirk is rallying musicians by putting up posters in music shops and by getting in touch with other schools in the town.

She aims to use the profits raised from the musicathon to buy music equipment such as a sound desk and mikes to go into the new centre, which opens in the new school year in September.

If you want to play in the musicathon then call the school on 01494 782066