A TEAM of students and former students of the Gwent Music Support Service have come together to oppose a proposal by Newport council to axe its funding to the group.

The committee of five is organising a protest concert outside Newport council of students and others outside the civic centre on Wednesday.

At least 1,822 people have now signed a petition against proposals by Newport council to drop its £292,000 funding for the nationally-respected Gwent Music Support Service.

The council, which is currently consulting on proposals for the 2013/14 draft budget, has said that it has to concentrate on frontline education.

GMSS student Ben Teague, secretary of the committee who also set up the anti-cuts petition, said the organisation not only helps people build up their musical skills but gives them life skills as well.

Mr Teague, 20, of Maindee, Newport, said: "People may say its a non essential service but for people that are affected by it, it is an essential service.

"GMSS has provided so many top musicians, it needs to continue. It brings so much culture not only to the city but Wales as well."

He said he could have to consider dropping his own clarinet tuition if charges rose as a result of the move, and said many students would likely have to give up lessons.

The committee hopes the council would reconsider and see how much GMSS is worth, he said, considering to to continue to contribute to the body.

A number of students and others will take part in a protest against the move outside Newport Civic Centre at around 12.20pm on Wednesday.

The petition can be found at http://chn.ge/UWKosC, while the committee's facebook group is at http://on.fb.me/TuIIHI.

For more information on Newport council's budget consultation visit: http://www.newport.gov.uk/budget