The scheme was handed the funds by Youth Music, a national charity funded by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, in what the club says is a clear public endorsement of the importance of the initiative.
The Kids Aloud project has been providing children from local primary schools with the opportunity to perform to a packed audience in the Royal Hall, Harrogate, while helping to raise money for international causes bi-annually since 2009.
In 2015 and 2019 the second half of the concerts consisted of new musical works composed and written - with the help of a professional composer - by the young performers themselves. And for the next event in 2023, with the backing of Youth Music, the whole of the concert programme will consist of a newly composed work titled The Last Dragon.
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Rotarian Guy Wilson, the project’s director, has written the story while Austwick composer Roland Fudge is working with the children compose songs to Guy’s lyrics. The Youth Music grant will continue this work by funding up to twelve workshops in schools to support the children and their teachers to write at least six more songs. The money will also cover all other direct music costs.
Mr Wilson said: “News of the grant award is a great filip. It helps secure the project in these difficult times, ensures that many children in the Harrogate district will have the opportunity to create and perform music as part of Kids Aloud 2023, and gives us a firm base from which to launch a sponsorship campaign.
“We hope this will provide the remaining funding that we require to deliver top quality support that will enhance the children’s experience. Roland and I are now preparing to go into the schools next year and are both looking forward to working with the children and their teachers. We already have a good number of schools signed up but it’s not too late for others to join in – just contact us via our website www.rotaryharrogatebrigantes.org.uk.”
Carmel Wake, the project’s musical lead and schools’ co-ordinator, added: “The last months have been tough for all of us in schools. As teachers we know how much the children have missed because of the lockdowns and other restrictions. Kids Aloud 2023 has been a bright beacon of hope in a sometimes bleak landscape. The news that Youth Music will be supporting us and helping us give many local children a wonderful experience of creation and performance is the best possible tonic for us all. We intend to make The Last Dragon our best show to date and can’t wait to get started.”
Harrogate Brigantes - which raised £33,000 during Covid through innovative virtual events - is also fundraising through other initiatives, such as a skydive by associate member David Billington in aid of Martin House Children’s Hospice, and A Night to Remember concert in Ripon Cathedral on November 12 for charity Wellspring. Details of both events can be found at bit.ly/30hpVw0.