Young drummers to support chart-topper Ella Henderson at Bents Park summer concert in South Shields
A group of young local drummers will bring a touch of South American pzazz to this year’s South Tyneside Festival, as the opening act for its big-name headliner.
A group of nine to 15 year-olds will show their Samba drum skills to spark the party atmosphere. They are part of the borough’s Drum Young initiative; the latest success for an initiative which has seen many of its members going on to play in other bands.
Drum Young is an Arts Council funded initiative, set up by Gateshead and South Tyneside Music Education Hub, where children in schools have access to special lessons where they learn basic percussion skills.
Under the tuition of percussion teacher, Derek Bird, who is part of the Music Teacher Hub, the students have learned drumming skills, with some of them progressing to Drum Young.
The group performs showcase at The Customs House each year and has also wowed audiences at previous Sunday concerts.
Derek said: “It’s become really popular over the years and being part of this has given many of the young people real confidence.
“We’ve had children from all different primary and secondary schools across the borough who have come together to play and who really enjoy every minute of it. Not surprisingly they are very excited about playing on the same stage as Ella Henderson.
“It’s quite daunting to play in front of such a huge crowd but once they get in front of the audience, they love every minute of it.”
Deputy leader of South Tyneside Council, Cllr Joan Atkinson said: “It’s wonderful to see these aspiring musicians taking to the Bents Park stage and being given such an exciting opportunity to shine. We have no doubt they will really get the fun underway.”
Ella Henderson is one of four headliners at this year’s Sunday concerts, which kick off on July 10 with Will Young and Beth Macari.
On Sunday, July 24 sees Dance Revival featuring Whigfield, Phats and Small, D:Ream, Kelly Llorenna and Sonique, with the final show on July 31 headed by Shalamar, The Fizz and Rivelino.
For more information visit www.southtynesidefestival.co.uk.