Young Sunderland songwriters appeal for unwanted instruments

A group of talented Sunderland youngsters are appealing for help after hitting the right note with Arts Council bosses.

The Young Musicians Project meets between 11am and 1pm each Saturday during term-time at Pop Recs in Stockton Road. and is open to anyone aged from 11 to 21.

Young musicians at Pop Recs are appealing for instruments.

Young musicians at Pop Recs are appealing for instruments.

Sessions are led by The Lake Poets’ Marty Longstaff, actor/performer Natasha Haws and Rebecca Young - who performs with The Lake Poets and solo as This Little Bird.

The group is managed by Sunderland arts project We Make Culture, which recently secured funding from the Arts Council which guarantees sessions for the next year and allows the team to rent a permanent home.

But it does not pay for instruments and now the team is appealing for donations.

“We have hired a room from Pop Recs. It is our base,” said Marty.

We’re hoping people will be able to help us out by donating any unwanted instruments. We can promise we will put them to good use.

Marty Longstaff

“We have previously hired the room for a couple of hours at a time but this gives us a place we can keep stuff and have a little recording studio.

“It means the young people can use it for more than just two hours at a weekend. They can come down and record themselves or use the instruments.

“And it also means that for the first time, we have somewhere we can store equipment, so we’re hoping people will be able to help us out by donating any unwanted instruments.

“We can promise we will put them to good use.”

Marty hopes access to the mini studio means that when group members are ready to step up to a professional recording environment, they will know what they want and be able to make the most of their time and money.

Laura Brewis, from We Make Culture: “One of the things we are trying to do is to make recording more accessible.

“The young people here are writing, they are singing, they are playing - we want to make it easy for them to record their work.”

Anyone who can help with donations of instruments can drop them off at Pop Recs in Stockton Road or e-mail laura@wemakeculture.co.uk to arrange collections.

Anyone wanting to find out more about the group is welcome to call in during sessions.