AN ‘amazing wave of young musical talent’ is building in the county, says Rob Strawson, artistic director of The Music Pool. Over the past 18 months or so, the charity has helped to spearhead youth music provision in the county throughLivewire, a project funded by the National Foundation for Youth Music, which organises workshops and development weeks for 12 to 24 year-olds and now works alongside Hereford Live, an initiative set up to create more opportunities for live music locally.
As well as the free weekly workshops during term-time, Livewire will be running a Development Week from Monday, April 14 to Friday, April 18, supported by local musicians such as Dubmerge and The Anomalies and culminating in a gig at The Jailhouse on Sunday, April 20, with the chance to take part in a recording week at KJM Studios in Hereford.
Livewire talent was also on show at last month’s final of OMG Hereford, commissioned by Herefordshire Music Service. Both the winner, 16-year-old singer Raye Harvey, and runners-up Jamie Duggan and Daniel Hattersley of Defadus and the Mad Hatter had previously benefited from Livewire workshops. “Overall there was just so much talent,” said Jenny Frost, of the OMG Hereford judging panel and founder of Hereford Soul Choir. “But Raye stood out as being performance ready. As soon as she walked out on stage, you wanted to hear what she was going to do and she’s brave enough to experiment in ways that build her strengths.”
Raye will now represent Herefordshire at OMG Live at the LG Arena in Birmingham on Thursday, April 24, alongside headliners Lawson and Union J.
Developing young artists to a consistently high standard and building their confidence to perform live on stage are two of the aims of Livewire. “Those two things really go hand in hand because, to have confidence, you need to know that what you’re doing is good” said OMG Hereford judge and co-owner of The Jailhouse, Anthony Murphy. “As a performer, you need to be able to hold the audience – you have to believe in what you’re doing, and then the audience can believe in what you’re doing too." Livewire helps young people to find out what they’re interested in musically, and then to build on those strengths. But they then need a place to perform, which is where Hereford Live hopes to build opportunities. “Hereford punches above its weight in terms of musical talent,” says Anthony, “so we need to create a local platform for that, both for the county's musicians and to attract touring bands to the area.”
But to continue to support youth music in Herefordshire, The Music Pool needs funding, especially for the Livewire recording week, which has yet to be secured.
Please help The Music Pool to continue this vital provision by clicking on the ‘donate’ button at musicpool.org.uk.
For details of Hereford Live, visit herefordlive.co.uk.
For details of Livewire Development Week, contact Jack Sibley at The Music Pool on 01432 278118.