Belfast Telegraph

Young talent has a song and dance at Rock School

by Fiona Rutherford

Young musicians have been rocking out at Castlereagh Borough Council’s annual Rock and Pop School.

The school is run by the council in partnership with Castlereagh Arts, SEELB and Castlereagh Community Safety Partnership.

It allows beginners and experienced musicians aged 12-19 years to come together to develop their musical abilities and compose orginal pieces of music.

Over the course of the programme, eight bands were formed, who worked with the programme facilitator in writing lyrics and composing music, which then culminated in a live performance at Belvoir Players Studio on July 30.

The Live event was attended by over 200 members of the public, including parents and families of participants, among whom was Mercury-nominated James Maddren from Kit Downers Trio, who gave an inspirational speech.

Jackie Flavelle, the famous bassist with Chris Barber Band, commented: “What a wonderful job! All children are special. However, these child musicians are ultra special; they have such talent and they are so professional at such a tender age. Some are destined for fame and all are destined to make the people happy through their music and songs.”

Jackie's daughter, broadcaster and music journalist Lisa Flavelle, was also in attendance.

The live show was then followed with a dance and music performance by a group of young people from Lesotho. This |offered an opportunity to meet and mingle with people from a totally different culture, discuss music, and their cultural differences and similarities.

Conor Maguire, Arts Officer, Castlereagh Borough Council, commented: “The 2010 Rock and Pop School was a great success, thanks to both the very talented musicians who participated in the School, and the fantastic team of music professionals from The Making Music Workshop, including musical legends John Wilson and Linley Hamilton.

“The tutors encouraged, supported, and trained the students to write songs, to improve their performance skills and confidence, while tackling social |issues such as drugs alcohol and social exclusion.”

This event formed part of the year-long Castlereagh Arts Programme, Cultural Connection, with editions published three times a year.

If you would like more information on the programme or to be added to the mailing, contact the Arts Officer at Castlereagh Borough Council on 028 9049 4556.

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