Circle of Light Secures Funding For Life Changing Music Project for Young People in Nottingham

Young people with a passion for music are being given a life changing opportunity to take part in the award winning Circle of Light project running for a second time in Nottingham this summer.

Following the stand out success of last year’s groundbreaking mental health music project, Offshoots has once again secured funding from the national charity Youth Music to deliver Circle of Light from its new city centre home.

Open to young people aged between 18-25, Circle of Light offers an opportunity to work with leading musicians and professionals to develop a range of creative and practical skills relevant to the music and live event sectors.

Workshops will take place across three weeks from 10 August to 28 August and are completely free to the successful applicants. No previous experience in music is required with places capped at 25 to enable the work to be carried out safely with appropriate social distancing measures.

Mentor Scor-zay-zee with Circle of Light 2019. Credit Emma Ford Photography

Award-winning rapper Scorz-zay-zee, West End performer Molly-May Gardiner and DJ, music producer and events organiser Lukas Wigflex make up the trio of professionals recruited as lead mentors.

Working alongside them will be 10 young people who took part in last year’s Circle of Light following a week-long training programme taking place w/c 20 July to equip them with a live events toolkit.

This year’s participants can take part in a range of workshops to develop existing skills and learn new ones from songwriting and stagecraft to producing and live streaming.

The three weeks will culminate in a takeover of the Fisher Gate Point venue as the young people stage a series of live stream shows supported by the mentors to give them the opportunity to get involved in the planning, programming and delivery of their own event.

Circle of Light has been life changing for many of the young people who took part last summer, none more so than singer-songwriter Mae Monypenny, who went from struggling to write songs to winning the Youth Music Live Performance Award with a prize of three days of production time at Spotify’s London studios to tracks written and produced by participants being featured on the Circle of Light album released by record label ‘I’m Not from London’.

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Last year a group of strangers and acquaintances walked into the Metronome to record an album and three weeks later out walked out an extended family, who have continued to grow and develop as a group and as individual musicians. Resulting in a whole range of opportunities to perform, which included Hockley Hustle and the main stage Rock City for Beat the Streets. One participant Mae Monypenny went on to with the national Youth Music live performance award 2019! Records will be in Rough Trade, Nottingham Tourism Centre, Plates Vinyl, Jam Cafe and anywhere you think we should be exposing ourselves to you once all the above venues are open! Physical records can be purchased for £12 Email: [email protected] The album, Circle Of Light is available to stream and download across all major platforms: links in bio "An exceptionally intergenerational hip/pop nu-soul masterpiece" The album explores the beast and burden that is mental health: Unapologetic, honest and cognizant, C.O.L is a musical portrait of a gang of Nottingham artists. Hear them now!

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Four young people won a Young Creative Award with a song written and recorded during the project and all the participants had multiple opportunities to perform in front of a live audience including the album launch at Metronome and taking to Rock City’s main stage for the Beat The Streets festival. Exposure included featuring in a BBC Inside Out documentary and airplay on BBC Radio Nottingham.

Project leader Tricia Gardiner, who has secured the new funding, said: “Last year’s Circle of Light was widely regarded as an overwhelmingly positive experience for all involved. Many have used the experience to continue their creative journey and we’re delighted to be working with a number of the original cohort to further develop their employability skills for the sector.

“In these uncertain times, it’s fantastic to be able to offer this invaluable experience to another 25 young people this summer. Whether they are set on performing on stage or are interested in learning the ropes working behind the scenes, the project gives them the scope to explore their options in a safe and welcoming environment. We can’t wait to see who walks through our door and what they will go on to create during our time with us.”

Young people can apply by answering a few questions online or submitting a media file (video, audio, written piece etc) that describes why they would like to be part of the project via the website

To stay in touch with the project, follow Circle of Light on social media and #circleoflightnotts #COLnotts.
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