Darlington music hall
The Forum Music Centre Song Club mentors with club members.
Rebecca Wayman

Darlington music centre secures funding to boost singing sessions for youngsters

A music centre in Darlington has been given a boost to enable it to continue bringing its song club to young people in the town and surrounding area.

The Forum Music Centre, a not-for-profit social enterprise, has secured funding from Youth Music UK, which invests in music-making projects nationwide.

This follows the pilot of its Song Club Sessions, which are said to inspire young people to collaborate and create new music.

Allison Mckay, CEO of The Forum, said: “For us, giving young people the opportunity to explore different types of music as well as creating their own is so important, which is why we developed the Song Club Sessions.

“The goal of the sessions is to give a platform for young people to collaborate in music-making, helping them to grow in confidence through their peers and develop their own individual talent.”

Youth Music UK is aiming to support the sessions for a further two years from this month onwards, which will allow The Forum to attract industry guests to host specialist workshops in various musical genres.

Hayley Mckay, singer-songwriter and Song Club Sessions mentor, who has performed at Glastonbury and supported large acts such as Tom Jones and Scouting for Girls, is looking forward to welcoming new inspiration from these guests.

She said: “The funding means we can access some of the best in the business and have already lined up producer Jez Larder, who has worked with David Bowie and Simply Red, as well as two of the North East’s most talented hip-hop MCs, Shakk and Endem.”

The Song Club Sessions are led by a variety of mentors including producers, studio engineers, singer-songwriters and musicians.

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