They tell me I can blow
Remember the saxophone David donated to the first ever 'Instrument Amnesty' back in April last year? (4/10/00 : NEWS : DAVID'S SAXOPHONE UP FOR GRABS!, and 4/14/00 : NEWS : INSTRUMENT AMNESTY). This week we were able to learn a little more about its new home. Alistair Will of the National Foundation for Youth Music, who is also the project manager for Instrument Amnesty, kindly sent us this update.
"A decision has been made not to reveal the whereabouts of David's sax. This is intended to maximise the security of the instrument, the young person(s) playing it, and indeed the wider instrument resource of the new owner.
All I can tell you is that it has been passed on to a not-for-profit organisation which helps young people learn and play music, somewhere in England. David's saxophone has started a new life with a new identity, and gone back to its roots as a normal instrument to be played and loved for its own merits. David stipulated that the instrument should help a young player develop their musical skills, rather than be auctioned or locked away in a glass case, and the safest way for us to respect his wish is to maintain a low profile for the organisation entrusted with the saxophone.
Not only will David's donation give a young person the chance to play, but it also attracted more publicity for our Instrument Amnesty than any other celebrity gifts, helping the appeal attract over 6,500 instrument pledges from across the UK. Nothing like this had ever been done before on a national scale.
We have found new homes for these instruments among almost 1,000 not-for-profit groups, including jazz bands, youth clubs, LEA Music Services (instrument loan and peripatetic tuition in schools), brass bands, community music providers, arts charities and special needs groups.
The appeal also raised awareness of the barrier to experience so often faced by young people who cannot afford access to an instrument. It brought local youth music groups together with music-lovers in their communities, many of which have gone beyond donating instruments and have become keen supporters of the grass roots work of which they were previously unaware.
The campaign was also used by many Instrument Amnesty recipient groups as a chance to highlight their work in local press and radio, and to speak out about the importance of music-making to young people's social and personal development. Better to be a musical rebel rebel than to get involved in street crime and hard drugs.
Youth Music is committed to supporting and extending opportunities for young people to make music outside the school day. We are supported by funding from the National Lottery of Ã‚Â£30 million over 3 years, and have already raised Ã‚Â£1.5 million from the sale of the 'Abbamania' album to add to this. We offer grants to not-for-profit groups, and target our funding on young people who have the least opportunities, on account of poverty, social exclusion, lack of facilities or other circumstances.
We believe that music-making is as normal and natural as eating or breathing, and that it should be available to every child and young person in the UK. Our ultimate aim is to effect a sea-change in the level of youth music provision and our society's attitude towards it.
Youth Music is shortly to open a dedicated funding stream for music technology and DJ-ing projects, to be launched by Pete Tong next month. We already have open access funding programmes for singing, collective workshops and music-making for the under-fives.
Do please pass on Youth Music's gratitude to David if you have a chance. There are plenty more opportunities to help us in our mission should he be interested !"
So....... If you spot a fast rising young saxophonist with red hair and a penchant for innovation and spacey themes, it might just be that some of that old magic has seeped though from instrument to owner....