During a visit to SaMS, Saturday Music School at KEVICC, I met with a team of committed professional music tutors and a volunteer group that run the 30 sessions a year every Saturday in term time. SaMS is a unique charity offering all children the opportunity to explore music and enjoy playing with others, no matter their ability or background.
I was greatly impressed by the fact that around 150 children, aged from 5 to 18 years old, are involved in a variety of musical styles, which are open to all young people that wish to attend. I saw a number of the group sessions including African drumming and singing for 6 – 9 year olds, the choir, wind band, folk group, Junior Jazz and percussion group. Students are able to try out different skills in a relaxed but purposeful environment. I chatted to students and tutors and was surprised that this was something quite special to Totnes, with a policy of including any children that want to take part.
Lewis Riley, the director, has worked with SaMS over the last ten years and has seen how the access to a musical education can influence children across all walks of life. Unfortunately KEVICC will no longer be able to subsidise SaMS to the extent that it has in the past. More funding or sponsorship needs be found, otherwise fees will have to rise.
Photo by kind permission of the South Hams Newspaper Group