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Music for All at Wallace Hall Academy

For a number of years the Thornhill Music for All group coordinated musical entertainment sessions for Briery Park Care Home residents and the local Alzheimer’s group. John Holroyd and David Formstone led Thornhill Music for All with pupils from Wallace Hall Academy performing regularly at the community sessions.

Sadly, John passed away in October 2020 and, following his death and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Thornhill Music for All group has regretfully had to cease their activities. This resulted in the group donating over £2000 from group funds and personal donations to the music department at Wallace Hall Academy.

Thornhill Music for All suggested that this money could be used to buy musical instruments that would benefit learners facing some form of deprivation or barrier to their musical education. Some of the money will be used to purchase ukuleles. The ukulele is an extremely accessible instrument for all learners and can often be most successful with learners with additional support needs. The music department also plans to purchase glockenspiels that will allow senior pupils preparing for SQA exams to take an instrument home to practise. These glockenspiels will also add more variety to the instruments that can be offered by the department.

In addition, the department hopes to purchase a small number of classical guitars. More and more young people are showing an interest in learning the guitar and the new guitars will enable more students to participate. The donation will also be used to update some of the department’s existing instruments, enabling senior pupils to have access to the best possible instruments for their SQA exams.

David Formstone, accompanied by Nanette Holroyd, Liz Drife and David Drife, delivered this generous donation to Mr Graham, Head Teacher, and Miss Girvan, Music Teacher, on Thursday 18th November 2021. Unfortunately, due to current Covid mitigations, the presentation had to take place outside. However, although the weather was cold, the atmosphere was very warm and it is hoped that the group will be able to visit the music department and see in person how the money has benefitted our young musicians.

Barry Graham, Head Teacher at Wallace Hall Academy said: “We are very grateful for this fantastic donation and the money will allow us to purchase quality musical instruments to allow all our pupils to enjoy performing music, whatever their personal circumstances. To honour John’s memory, we are currently in the process of creating an annual community music award in John’s name that will be awarded to a pupil at Wallace Hall Academy.

“Once Covid-19 mitigations ease, we hope that the pupils from Wallace Hall music department will be able to share their musical talents with Briery Park residents as well as other community groups and that we are able to begin holding concerts and performance events in the school once again.

“We are very fortunate to have such support and our pupils across the school have benefitted from a number of donations and legacies over the years, both through gifts of equipment and from financial donations. Thank you to John’s family and to the Thornhill Music For all Group for this generous gesture that will benefit so many of our talented musicians.”


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