Tuesday, 27 July 2021

MP lets his fingers do the talking with visit to community music school

JOHN HOWELL joined the children’s jazz band at Henley Music School on Sunday.

JOHN HOWELL joined the children’s jazz band at Henley Music School on Sunday.

The Henley MP is an experienced organist so was happy to take part in a performance of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody on the piano.

He said: “I’ve been playing the organ since I was 16 so it was great fun to join in. I was concentrating hard on playing the right notes.” Mr Howell was given a tour of the music school, which is based at Shiplake College, by its founder Laura Reineke, of Berkshire Road, Henley.

His visit was part of the Oxfordshire Social Enterprise Partnership’s campaign to support social entrepreneurs.

Mr Howell said: “The great thing about the music school is the young ages of the people there.

“I know it caters right across the age groups but it was nice to see very young people there. The youngest was four years old.

“Looking to the future, it bodes very well for the continuation of music as something that enhances the lives of the people who play.”

The music school is a community interest company that uses its profits to provide music education for children regardless of age, ability, background or means. It has about 200 members and they meet once a month at the Music School Sunday which has 13 clubs for different instruments.

Mrs Reineke said: “We have to raise £50,000 a year just to cover our costs. This is because our ethos is every child should have the opportunity to learn and love music so we offer financial help to those who need it.

“We gave John Howell a tour of all our lessons that were going on in the John Turner building at Shiplake College, who very kindly loan us their facilities free of charge. He observed mini drums and mini recorders for the little children.

“We love showing anyone who is interested what we do as we are passionate about music and all that goes with it.”

The school loans instruments free and runs music clubs in schools.

For more information, email  henleymusicschool@hotmail.co.uk

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