Music MOB Oswestry

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Oswestry charity, Music MOB, having positive effect on music education

Oswestry charity, Music MOB (Music Matters in Oswestry and the Borderlands) was originally started to support free instrumental and vocal lessons for children whose families may not have the means to provide them. After less than two years of operation, Music MOB can report that it is making significant progress.

In 2021 Oswestry’s fabulous and hugely well supported Youth Music Festival attracted around 1,000 participants. Of course, it is wonderful to see how vibrant and popular both learning and performing music is amongst the young people of the area. However, it is a matter of sadness and concern that only 30% of those entries came from children who attend state schools. Music MOB is working hard to redress that balance and encourage participation from many of its own new learners.

In October 2021 Music MOB started teaching 24 children attending local state schools a variety of instruments absolutely free and those numbers have grown to 95 children from four schools. The charity also runs two choirs and a recorder ensemble. The children have not just enjoyed learning their instruments but have also been involved in other musical activities, such as the Songs for Ukraine Concert, the Whittington Festival in 2022 and the Fron Male Voice Choir Christmas Charity Concert.

Music MOB is delighted to report that this year’s Youth Music Festival attracted 23 entries, involving 50 children, taught by Music MOB. They performed in various classes including strings, drums, woodwind and solo voice, along with group entries from a choir, a musical theatre ensemble and a recorder ensemble. There were a pleasing number of successes with children gaining Merits, Commendeds and one Distinction. Two first places were awarded, one to the recorder ensemble and one to a saxophone entry. In total, the Festival attracted its usual high number of entries but this year the percentage of entries from children from state schools has risen from 30% to nearly 40% and this is a very healthy sign that music is on the rise!

The work of Music MOB is supported by kind donations and grants from individuals, groups and trusts, along with donations of instruments. Should you wish to learn more about the charity or donate, then please do visit their website at www.musicmob.co.uk.

Photo: Oswestry Mayor, Councillor Jay Moore presents Music MOB musician, Bonnie, with her winner’s trophy.