TALENTED young musicians spent a week of their summer holidays jamming together at a North-East grassroots music hub.
Thirty budding musicians, aged between ten and fourteen, attended the sold-out Summer Music School at The Forum, in Darlington, where they formed bands with people their own age, learnt from experienced industry professionals, and played music together.
Each week-long workshop climaxed with a live concert for friends and family, featuring performances from all the bands and artists, playing a mixture of covers and their own original compositions.
The young artists each chose to attend different classes from a selection that included singing and instrument tuition, song writing, and recording sessions, before putting what they’d learned into action during rehearsals and performances on The Forum’s stage.
Tom Curran, who played bass guitar and sang for the newly-formed band, Lord of the Kingfishers, said: “The organisers are really talented, we’ve had a great time. A lot of us are used to playing solo, so we’ve learned a lot about keeping time and playing together as a band.”
His bandmate, guitarist James Jagger added: “It really helps bring you together with other people who share a common interest in music.”
As well as Lord of the Kingfishers, other bands that students formed during the workshops included Riff Hanger, Kidz Rule Rock, and Father Ted and his Disciples.
The Summer School was supported by professional artists from the surrounding area, including Darlington-born singer songwriter Hayley McKay, who mentored and coached young hopefuls throughout the two weeks.
She said: “It’s wonderful to work with such talented young people and watch them collaborate together. The best part is seeing them overcome their early nerves, until by the end they’re desperate to get on-stage and show off what they can do!”
The Summer School was an off-shoot of The Forum’s popular Song Club Sessions, which are held every Wednesday night during term, and give young musicians aged 12-17 years old a chance to learn and perform with others their age.
Song Club Sessions cost £3 each, and can be booked by calling The Forum on 01325 363135.