Two big names from two very different parts of the arts world – Jo Brand and harpist Catrin Finch – feature in a new short film telling the story of a Glasbury Arts project providing free harp tuition to students in a secondary school on the Welsh borders.
The film, released tomorrow (Nov 17), has been made thanks to the passion and commitment of award-winning cinematographer Richard Greatrex (Shakespeare in Love, A Knight’s Tale), who gave his time and expertise to enable Glasbury Arts, a small community charity in mid-Wales, to shine a light on the project and raise both awareness of the project and funds to enable its expansion.
Harps in Schools features Catrin Finch, Head of Harp at the Royal Academy of Music and comedian Jo Brand, talking about how Glasbury Arts, founders of the annual international Glasbury Arts Harp Summer School, set up the experimental project to provide free harp tuition to students at Gwernyfed High School, especially those whose families cannot afford to pay. Catrin and Jo are joined in the film by students and parents explaining what the project has meant to them.
Funding for state schools to provide free music tuition for young people ended in the mid-nineties when the government removed music from the core curriculum and most, not all, local authorities completely cut the funding.
Today, if a state school wants to provide music tuition it has to charge parents, meaning that the majority of young people do not even consider learning to play an instrument. Harps in Schools provides a unique opportunity for young people, whose parents cannot afford to pay to experience the pleasure and satisfaction of a playing a musical instrument – “the beginning of a music service in our part of Wales” declares Catrin Finch.
Visit glasburyarts.co.uk/film or visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSnOxDkWLYY to watch Harps in School, a short film made by award-winning cinematographer Richard Greatrex and his team about this innovative project.
People can donate to what Jo Brand describes in the film as ‘such a good cause’, either via the link on-screen or by sending a cheque made out to Glasbury Arts Ltd at 5 Twin Oaks, Glasbury-on-Wye.