SCHOOLS BLUES WORKSHOP SCHEME
To support the ‘educational object’ we have been running a series of Schools Blues Workshops across the Midlands. Initially led by Steve Steinhaus our compere and Oliver Carpenter the workshops introduced blues to students not regularly receiving music education in four schools.
The programme, now run by experience music teacher Jay Riley, provide an opportunity for students with little music experience to not only play with a team of professional musicians in their own school, but also to play on the main stage at the festival – often their first experience of playing music in public.
INSTRUMENT RECYCLING SCHEME
During the workshop scheme we realised the very poor state of music funding in schools and the inability for most kids to have an instrument that they could actually take home and practice. So in 2017 we introduced its ‘Donate an Instrument’ scheme whereby festival attendees could donate their old instruments and the festival education team would then distribute them to young people interested in learning an instrument but unable to access one. Both will form an ongoing part of our music education giving.
The UPTON BLUES FESTIVAL MULTI-USE GAMES AREA
In 2016 the Upton upon Severn Town Council asked the festival if it could support the refurbishment of the town’s tennis courts, resurfacing, fencing, and transforming them into a multi-use games area for five-a-side football, tennis, basketball and a number of other sports. The ability to support the refurbishment fitted in perfectly with the charity’s development Object and also enabled the Charity to support the town that is such a fundamental part of our festival and our fundraising activity. It is widely used by local schools and the people of Upton, and was the location of our world record attempt on the most people playing a tune on a swannee whistle which we attempted at the 2017 festival (the attempt was rejected by the Guinness Book of World Records because the tune wasn’t recognisable enough ……. I don’t think they had any idea what three swannee whistles would sound like let alone 375!).