Budding Sunderland songwriters can learn from the best at free workshop run by Field Music and Paul Summers
A celebrated Sunderland band and an award-winning poet are combining to deliver a series of virtual workshops for teenage songwriters at Arts Centre Washington – and all for free.
Mercury-nominated Field Music, with North East poet and writer Paul Summers, are looking for Wearsiders aged 13 to 19 to take part in the workshops which, Covid permitting, will build up to a live performance at the centre on Biddick Lane.
The workshops are part of the Poems of Town project, which is funded by the Here and Now programme. The scheme involves 40 arts centres around England, celebrating culture within their communities through a wide range of projects.
The hour-long sessions are run by Field Music and Paul each Saturday between noon and 1pm. Initially they will run until March 27.
The workshops will be on Zoom until Covid restrictions are lifted, when they will move to Arts Centre Washington
Rachel Hamer, young people and communities producer at Sunderland Culture, is one of the organisers of Poems of Town.
She said: “This is an amazing opportunity for young people in Washington and across Wearside to develop their music and songwriting capabilities – learning from the very best.
“We’re open to what the final performance might look like – we’ll want the views of the young people taking part – but we would hope the music produced reflects the identity of Washington and the wider Wearside area.
“The first few sessions will be about understanding the skills and experience of the young people taking part. It will be a very responsive process led by Field Music and Paul. But the young people will be heavily involved in decisions about pace and direction.”
Here and Now is supported by Arts Council England and Future Arts Centres. The scheme was announced in 2019 to mark the 25th anniversary of the National Lottery.
Field Music was formed in 2004 by brothers David and Peter Brewis. Their 2012 album Plumb was Mercury nominated. The band has recently been working on the Paint the Town In Sound exhibition at Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens.
Paul Summers’ poems has performed his poetry across the world. He has also written for TV, film, radio, theatre and collaborated with musicians.
Anyone who is interested in the workshops should visit sunderlandculture.org.uk/events/poems-of-town.