I am very proud to be the Chair of Sunderland Music Hub Board and take my responsibilities very seriously.
Sunderland Music Hub works with schools and partner organisations to deliver, support and champion music-making activity across the city. The aim is to unlock musical potential and ensure every child or young person in Sunderland has the opportunity to make music. To this end equal weight is given to all music-making activity regardless of instrument, genre, or skill level. At the heart of all the Hubs activities is the belief in the potential of music to change lives and that every child or young person has the right to engage in music-making activity. It is this belief that makes me want to support, advise, and help as much as possible, not all Hubs have the same enlightened approach.
Lizzie Nixon manages the Hub and has been very influential in championing a more musically inclusive approach to all of the Hubs activities in both formal (schools) and informal settings. What is particularly impressive is the way the Hub is responding to the musical needs and aspirations of young people in Sunderland. In order to do this the Hub recognises that it cannot work in isolation and building a range of effective partnerships has been a very important factor in the development of its work. These include Together For Children Sunderland (the Hub Lead Organisation), Sunderland Empire, Summer Streets Festival Sunderland, Mind Washington, We Make Culture, National Youth Choirs, Sing Up and Arts Council England.
One other partner that I would like to give a special mention to is the national music charity Youth Music. They have been fundamental in bringing a change of attitude and approach to working with young people in recent years with musical inclusion at the forefront of all their funded activities. Sunderland Music Hub has been successful in applying for a Youth Music Fund A grant to develop a stronger music provision for young people aged 12-19 in Sunderland North, working with young people in settings across the area to deliver music activity and co-create an ensemble in that area of the city.
If you are interested to know more about some of our partners here are some links ...
'Good in The World' was a song commissioned by Dry Water Arts as part of their Arts Council funded KIN project. They are based in the small town of Amble on the north east coast in Northumberland. The piece took lyrical inspiration from participants in Dry Water Arts Dementia Positive programmes and vocal assistance from The Amble Harbour Lights Choir. Read this blog to find out a little more about how the song came about and those who contributed to it.
Steve set up his YouTube channel sometime ago but has only recently begun to add to it. The content will be expanded in the coming months. You can expect a combination of some 'live' performance clips, promo videos and conversations. If you click the subscribe button (free of charge, of course) on the YouTube channel page then you will be notified every time some new content is added to the channel. For a link to the channel and a few insights into the video making process, take a couple of minutes to read the blog post.
It feels like a lifetime since I last 'hit the road' but on Friday 13th of August 2021, I was able, at last, to go out and do a 'live' gig. The date might be unlucky for some but not for me. The venue was The Kontra Roots Club near Northampton and I was so happy to finally make my first solo appearance in years . The audience came to listen, appreciate and have a bit of fun. I had a great time.