Readers band together for music appeal

The Blackpool Gazette is launching a campaign to raise �20,000 to save Blackpool Music Academy shop and school on Waterloo Road.'Pictured from left are students Kerry Strongwick, Ben Foster, Thenisha Suriya Kumaran and Caroline Cooper.'7th April 2015
The Blackpool Gazette is launching a campaign to raise �20,000 to save Blackpool Music Academy shop and school on Waterloo Road.'Pictured from left are students Kerry Strongwick, Ben Foster, Thenisha Suriya Kumaran and Caroline Cooper.'7th April 2015
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A campaign to leave a lasting musical legacy in Blackpool is right on key after passing the halfway mark for the number of instruments donated.

Generous Gazette readers have dusted off their unwanted keyboards, guitars, clarinets, and even a drum set to hand over to Blackpool Music Academy for our Give Us A Tune campaign.

John Shaw, who co-founded the academy on Waterloo Road in 2006, said he was amazed by the number of instruments donated since the campaign was launched last month.

He said: “It’s amazing, we’ve got 26 instruments now.

“We had three donated on Tuesday – a set of drums, a clarinet and a keyboard – which took us to the halfway mark. And then we had an electric piano donated by a lady yesterday.

“We have always been pleading for people to donate instruments so students who cannot afford to buy them can hire them instead – but we’ve had nothing like what The Gazette readers have done for us.”

We are asking readers to donate 50 instruments and £20,000 to help subsidise music lessons at the academy, which was created with the aim of making music accessible to all.

Now a community interest company and charity, the academy’s members range from age 11 to 93.

Cash raised through the campaign will help subsidise 10 classes of six musicians for a year, with lesson fees which normally cost £10 dropping to £4 per person.

The campaign has already received celebrity backing from tenor Alfie Boe, musical star Jodie Prenger, and singer-songwriters Victoria Hesketh – better known by her stage name Little Boots – and Rae Morris.

Anyone interested in supporting our Give Us A Tune campaign can drop instruments off at the academy in Waterloo Road, Blackpool.

The academy can collect items from homes if required

To donate money to the academy, visit the website www.blackpoolmusicacademy.com

For more information contact (01253) 695398.

Gazette reporter Gareth Vickers will be covering the campaign throughout – so get in touch with your music stories or how you can help by calling (01253) 361879.