Allan Gould's report of the School concert held at the Rougham church
Excellent concert yesterday: exactly one hour, and decent seats.
Both Sharon Francis (music teacher) and Diane Grimes (head teacher) got up at the beginning and spoke to introduce the concert and as part of that profusely thanked/acknowledged the trust's contribution and basically said it wouldn't have happened without the trust's financial support (which is reiterated in the programme, attached). Worth noting:
there were approx 24 pupils doing some form of playing either individually or as a small group of 8: as Sharon noted in the concert, there used to be 1 pupil in the school who was a string player before the trust started support: now there are 30.
quite a number of the pupils had recently done their Associated Board prep test (http://gb.abrsm.org/en/our-exams/other-assessments/prep-test/) (I hadn't heard of it either) and also Grade 1: this is significant progress
all the pupils who played solo pieces performed superbly, very few nerves, few errors and no fluffing/false starts: for a lot of them, this was their first "public" performance: no mean achievement
the sound being produced was terrific: beginner's violin can be quite hard on the ears of the listener (it's not the easiest of instruments to make a good sound when you're a learner), but each one produced good sound
they seem to be making excellent use of the instruments
all the pupils seemed to really enjoy themselves (both those playing and those watching), apart from the obvious fear/terror in their faces when it was their turn to perform!
In short, the school appear to be make excellent progress with the string instruments and tuition, and after three years there are very tangible signs of progress, and clear evidence of an excellent foundation on which it should be possible to make significant further progress.
I made a point of speaking to Sharon Francis and Diane Grimes; I also met the chair of the governors, Terry Jennings, who was at the concert. They were all extremely grateful and recognised the trust's input. In terms of our charitable aims and impact on the local community, I'd say with the music provision to the school, the trust is making a big difference to the school and the community and local people realize this, and there is a solid foundation on which to keep building. There is virtually no state funding for music education: the concert yesterday would never have happened without the trust's funding.