We are working hard on applying for funding to allow for music workshops prior to the Saxmundham Music Festival. For the past 4 years now, Sax Music Fest has funded youth music workshops in the main but for two of the years we added an adult workshops experience.
We believe we have allowed some youngsters to prove themselves at our sessions and we have asked the parents and the youngsters, three potential big artistes for the future, what they thought. These are genuine articles written by them.
From Tasha’s perspective.
Sax music fest has given me the ability to apply my gained confidence into my chosen GCSE’s which includes music. This is a skill that I had never thought I could achieve. From a young age I have struggled with insecurities and low amounts of confidence. Stepping out on stage and performing in front of an audience was a big deal for me. After receiving so much praise about my voice, I realised that I needed to stop being so hard on myself. I then went on to perform to my highest ability within all of my academic studies. I have recently gained grade 4 in my musical theatre singing and will be progressing to grade 5 this year. I had the confidence to take part in English speaking board, which is a recognised award across the country, I finished the exam with a merit plus. I captain the rugby team and am involved in multiple teams revolving around sport. Without initially doing Saxfest, I would not have the confidence to do any of these things. It has not only improved my confidence in Music, but also in every other lesson that I take part in.
From my perspective as Tasha’s mum. I’ve seen my shy, quiet daughter grow in to confident young woman who isn’t afraid to belt out a song. Sax fest has given her the opportunity to showcase her talent for music. She was asked to do a set alongside Josh for a charity gig ‘shine a light’ by a member of Hurricane Wolves who had seen them perform at last year’s Saxfest. She was given this platform through Saxfest. She has started to write her own music and is happy to perform to people. Her gained confidence has helped with all her academic studies. Performing at Sax music fest makes her feel proud and she loves singing to the local community.
My son Josh has taken part in Sax Music Fest as part of a school organised group performance along with other students at Saxmundham Free School for the past 2 years running. I can’t begin to tell you how beneficial this opportunity has been to Josh. His confidence in performing and learning to play an instrument (guitar) has come in leaps and bounds. Before the first group of rehearsals/classes 2016 Josh had little confidence and knowledge of playing guitar, but was extremely eager to learn, to then have the opportunity at the end to perform to an audience at an organised event was a real goal for him, as I’m sure it was for all his fellow students.
Since then he has come on so far with his abilities in playing guitar and in teen has been recognised in school for his musical efforts.
Josh also had to choose his GCSE choices this year. One of them was GCSE music. He has also been to a few open evenings at colleges to see which college offers the music qualifications he wants to gain for his future. Organised events like SaxFest for youngsters is just the greatest opportunity for gaining experience of performing and for gaining confidence for those performances. I can’t think of a better local opportunity. As a parent of a child that has a very bright future in his chosen path of music, I think it is the best and really hope that this opportunity is available for future young adults.
Leon is now 15 and has been writing and performing music since he was 12. He joined Saxmundham music festival music workshops in 2015 and performed on the big stage in that year for the first time to the public. This proved to be the start of many more performances. He competed in Trinity Parks Battle of the Bands in 2016 and won overall best artist and best acoustic on the night amongst strong competition. Leon Played his first set at Sax Music Fest that year before the head line act to large audience. He has since performed full sets at Maui Waui, Halesworth Big Gig, Weird and Wonderful Wood, Easton Farm Park, Saxmundham Football Clubs 125th Anniversary, Benhall Music Day, Shorebreak Festival, Woodbridge Spring and Summerfest, Lord Mayor of London ‘Busk in London Competition’, Cult Café, The Smokehouse and shortlisted for the Inbetweener Stage at the world famous Latitude Festival and again at Sax Music Fest ’17. Following that performance, he was invited by Wayne Bavin to be interviewed and perform on BBC Radio Suffolk, the same week he also performed live on BBC Radio Suffolk at Suffolk Sounds. Without the initial help and guidance of the workshop tutors employed by Saxmundham Music Festival, Richard and Sara, this gave Leon the opportunity for his self-esteem and confidence to grow. None of the above would have happened without this fantastic opportunity and he is truly grateful to Terry and the team for offering him this.