Mull Music Makers hit top funding note

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Crowdfunders on Mull have hit target to keep making music on the island.

Mull Music Makers suffered a major blow when its main funders turned down this year’s bid but supporters have rallied round to make sure the project can play on.

With funds running low, the Music Makers had just weeks to smash their target of £5,000 after unexpectedly being turned down by Creative Scotland’s Youth Music Initiative (YMI) for the first time in five years, which was a major blow, said project leader Laura Mandleberg.

The popular project was set up in 2013, bringing tutors to Mull every month to help children learn music through song, movement, performance and violin/fiddle tuition, as well as getting them ready for performances and competitions. Last year some of the children were given the opportunity to perform a concert on the mainland with Nicola Benedetti.

One of the youngsters who has lessons with the project is nine-year-old Henry who travels every month from his home on the mainland in Ardfern to join in.

‘Mull Music Makers means more to Henry than music lessons, it is a group of friends who play together enjoying each other’s company with tutors they know and trust who help them make music through a blend of discipline and fun that makes us all smile,’ said his dad Geoffrey Small.

If the goal had not been reached, the project’s core funding would have run out this month disrupting more than 40 students’ music education and affecting the summer school, which has run for more than 30 years as part of the Mendelssohn on Mull festival.

Ms Mandleberg said: ‘The Crowdfunder was very positive and we reached our target of £5,000 so we can keep the music going until the summer now!’

Mull Music Makers have been recommended to reapply for the next round of YMI funding but those funds do not become available until September 2019 which would have left a gap to keep the project going.

In just 28 days from when the crowdfunding appeal began, 68 supporters brought in £5,050.

You can see Mull Music Makers perform at Dervaig Village Hall on Friday May 3 at 4.30pm as part of a community celebration day.