Article by Steve Dean
Photo by Julie Gould
Project; ‘Music Saved My Life’. My imagination stirred by this promising title, I found myself attending the launch of said enterprise in Victoria Hall last Friday afternoon. Made very welcome by Sarah Armitt and Gary Oliver of The DJ School association, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that via Shelton’s Unit 7 Urban Arts Centre, where they are based, there were now all sorts of confidence-building entertainments courses available for young people, including acting, songwriting and pretty much everything else an aspiring entertainer could want. Training pro DJs for the club industry is the association’s aim and several young DJs ably demonstrated their skills throughout the launch; an air of ‘cool’ already very evident. Amiable Gary, a veteran DJ himself, explained that the project takes on complete beginners and offers support and guidance over an annual period of three twelve week terms; encouraging greater self-esteem, confidence and ongoing development of their personal skills. Those who gain the higher levels are provided with opportunities to perform in public and in events within the professional community. The Music Saved My Life project itself, initially involving the tracing of the history of music through deftly organised BBC and library archive resources, will eventually lead to the making of a unique film and accompanying CD based on their research. Training will be given by local film makers Junction 15, and local musicians such as Si Waite will be on hand to assist with the CD and wherever else needed. The budding DJs are encouraged to create their own signature tune and the later end of the project will involve touring schools before reaching completion with an extravaganza held in a ‘big stately home somewhere’. Sounds like fun. If you would like to get involved in any way, contact Sarah and Gary on 01782 205675.