Priddy Rising music project moves online for 2020 – In Your Area - Freelance Rack

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Friday, July 3, 2020

Priddy Rising music project moves online for 2020 – In Your Area

InYourArea Community

Students would normally perform on the main stage at the Priddy Festival

3 July 2020

InYourArea Community

By InYourArea Community

Blue School performers on the Priddy Mainstage at the 2019 Priddy Rising concert. PHOTO: Focus on Photography

Submitted by Dean Collier

The organisers of the Priddy Festival have been working on an exciting project after this year’s event was postponed to 2021.

Since 2012, the festival has been working with the Priddy Rising project at The Blue School in Wells, Somerset.

Each year, the festival pays for professional musicians to work with a group of around 20 students who give up their weekends and lunchtimes to put together the ‘Priddy Rising’ concert on the main stage on the Saturday of the festival. The result is an hour of music arranged and often composed by the students themselves.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the project could not go ahead.

Festival chairman, Dean Collier, said: “Many young musicians’ projects have fallen foul of these events, but in true Priddy fashion, Priddy Rising ‘swapped it up’ in the face of challenge and took the project online to create a virtual band, with a piece arranged by two senior students at Wells Blue School. It’s really something special.”

When students realised it would be a digital project, there was lots of excitement but also some trepidation.

Blue School music teacher, Jenny Henderson, said: “It takes a huge amount of bravery to record a performance and a massive amount of trust to place that recording in the hands of someone else. I am so proud of all our musicians.”

The Priddy Rising project is led by professional musician Will Lang and, more recently, Alex Garden and Ford Collier. They have put in time and effort to build a relationship with Blue School pupils.

Jenny said: “Without this trust, we would simply not see the creativity or skill displayed by our pupils in this incredible project.”

Will Lang, who has long helped shape the project, is stepping down this year.

He said: “Priddy Rising is a great example of how a folk festival can engage with, and nurture, young performers – developing skills for a new generation of musicians. I’ve been lucky enough to work with the amazing teams of Priddy Folk Festival and Wells Blue School to produce this special project.”

He is passing on the baton to two former Blue School students who have gone on to be full-time musicians and have performed at Glastonbury, Cambridge, and all over the country together as The Drystones and in other musical projects they are involved in.

The final video will be released on Saturday, July 4, and will be available on the Priddy Festival Facebook page and YouTube channel.

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