Music Promise in the City of Culture

Aspiring musicians encouraged to sign up for free training in venues across Derry~Londonderry from Tuesday, March 5

Young people in Derry~Londonderry who want to play in bands, DJ or produce music can sign up for free training, thanks to the UK City of Culture’s Music Promise.

The ground-breaking SYNC initiative will see sessions taking place four nights a week in each neighbourhood of the city. The aim is to involve a thousand 11-18-year-olds, forming bands and collectives before coming together for a city-wide jam.

SYNC is a Music Promise in the Community initiative that will see the Nerve Centre offer free access to innovative music creation, vibrant collaboration, performance, production and mentoring opportunities for young people from all areas of the city.

Any young person with a passion for music is welcome to sign up. As well as creating music, and playing and performing with other young people, there will be mentoring and business advice, and opportunities to record tracks and songs.

Music Promise is the musical education element of the City of Culture programme, which is giving the city’s children and young people opportunities to play, sing and perform in schools, communities and on stage across 2013.

The SYNC element of Music Promise will be co-ordinated by expert trainers from the Nerve Centre. Its Music Programme Manager, Martin McGill, believes that young people just need an interest in music or music technology to get involved.

'Musical ability is irrelevant,' said McGill. 'You can come along and play guitar, rattle the drum kit, coax synth from an iPad, hammer the keys, build a ring tone or simply sing a tune.'

The scale of this activity for young people is unprecedented, according to Shona McCarthy, Chief Executive of Culture Company 2013. 'It is fundamental to Music Promise that we engage young musicians of all levels, with a stimulating programme hosted right across the city.

'Through inclusion and consultation with youth and community workers on the ground SYNC will not only identify young people who can benefit, but captivate and inspire them.'

As well as one-off performance opportunities, it is hoped that the SYNC initiative will see the creation of a unified, all-city community youth ensemble, with the potential to develop well beyond the City of Culture year.

McGill is keen to emphasise that the sessions really are open to all. 'Meet our music educators and embark on a vibrant, musically noisy and creative journey. We welcome every young person with a musical inkling.'

SYNC sessions kick off from Tuesday, March 5. For further information on the music sessions and how to sign up via the Nerve Centre website.