Budding young musicians from Armley-based Rock School UK are performing live to raise vital funds for Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice.
Students aged between nine and 16 years old are taking to the stage for special one-off gigs every Saturday at The Wardrobe in Leeds until 10 September.
The live Saturday gigs mark the culmination of a five-day summer holiday music course where they are tutored and mentored by a team of professional musicians and practitioners led by former Nightmares on Wax drummer, Isaac Heywood.
Each year a charity is chosen to receive the money raised from raffles held at the shows and the school’s summer festival. This year’s chosen charity is Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice after Isaac’s best friend, Paddy, received palliative care at the Headingley hospice before he died in February 2021 aged 54.
“Paddy had cancer and spent his last few weeks at Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice, but sadly because of the covid restrictions at the time me and my friends were unable to visit him and say a proper goodbye,” explains Isaac. “That’s why I wanted to fundraise for the hospice – to show my appreciation for the care and support they gave to my best mate.”
Isaac and his students hope to raise £1,000 to support the expert and compassionate care that Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice provides to people living with life-limiting conditions across Leeds.
Michelle Darbyshire, Community Fundraiser at Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice, said: “We’re so grateful to Isaac and all the talented young performers from Rock School UK for choosing to support our hospice through their performances this summer. As a charity we’re reliant on generous supporters donating and fundraising for us, so we can continue to be there when it matters.”
Rock School UK was established in 2007 and sees hundreds of young people each year gain experience of songwriting, being in a band and recording music. Isaac said: “I started Rock School because there was nothing like that when I was growing up. It’s my way of helping young musicians to live out their dreams of being a rock star.
“The one thing that everyone has in common is their shared interest in music and it’s a safe space for young musicians to make friends, be themselves and be creative. Some of our former students have now gone on to become professional musicians and are currently touring the world and playing at festivals, while others are now teaching staff at Rock School UK inspiring the next generation.”
More information on the upcoming charity gigs at The Wardrobe is available here.