Saturday, 31 July 2021

Arts for the young supported by Henley Festival

Young musicians receive a cheque from Henley Festival
Young musicians accept the cheque with Henley Festival trustee Janine Fitzgerald, Music on the Meadows committee member Maggie Atkinson and Henley town councillor Stefan Gawrysiak

THE Henley Festival has donated £1,000 to the Music on the Meadows festival, which takes place on Sunday.

The cheque was presented to the festival committee at Magoos bar in Hart Street on Wednesday.

The first festival was held last year in honour of late Beatle George Harrison, who lived at Friar Park in Henley until his death in 2001.

This year, it will be raising money to set up a youth drop-in centre above Magoos called the Listening Roomz, which will be run in partnership with Riverside Counselling.

Committee member Maggie Atkinson, who runs the Be There Henley youth project, said: “The money has been donated to us in order to promote the arts for young people in Henley and encourage them to get into music.”

Magoos, which sponsors the festival, hosted the last of four free music mentoring nights on Wednesday.

Some of the musicians and bands who are due to appear at the festival played to a small audience and were given feedback by Jayson Jaurigue, who runs talent agency Eight Ray Music.

Gillotts School pupils Bella Bull, from Shiplake, and Jade Allum, of Lawson Road, Henley, both 15, will perform for the first time at this year’s festival.

Bella said: “Hearing other artists makes us want to play music ourselves. We love doing covers but with our own personal take.

“We like contemporary music and artists like Ed Sheeran. We haven’t written any of our own stuff this year because of but we have a song from last year.”

Teelow Awojobi, of Christian band JC4Me, will appear at the festival after he was spotted by organisers at the Henley Youth Festival in March.

He said: “We do a sort of hip-hop gospel style of music. Through the youth festival, Maggie asked us to do Music on the Meadows. It will be the biggest gig we have done so we are looking forward to it.”

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