Crerar Trust Supports Sweet Sounds Of Mull Music Makers

Crerar Trust has thrown £3,310 of support behind musical education opportunities run by Mendelssohn on Mull Trust to benefit children on the Isle of Mull, celebrated during a special cheque presentation at their summer workshops at Salen church.  

The Mendelssohn on Mull Trust, a charity offering performance experience to young professional strings musicians during their annual week-long festival, has recently set up the Mull Music Makers violin project for young school children on the island. It is one of more than 120 charities to receive monetary donations from the Crerar Trust in the last year. This parent-led project, provides musical opportunities for the island’s youngsters in the form of monthly workshops and is proving highly successful with around 40 children now learning the violin.

The grant from the Crerar Trust has helped to make the annual summer workshops which take part each July as part of the Mendelssohn on Mull festival, a regular event. At the workshops the youngsters receive first-class musicianship training through songs, movement and games as well as a violin lesson with a professional tutor.

The workshops were set up in response to a growing demand for more musical opportunities in the community. The Isle of Mull, being a small island community, can have limited availability and access to music teachers and resources that would be available to equivalent mainland communities. With the funding received, Mull Music Makers will help to fill the gap created by the physical and economic boundaries to music education on the island by creating musical opportunities that aim to be sustainable in the long term. Their team of highly skilled and specialist music -educators will continue to deliver an island-wide programme of high quality music tuition which will be free and open to all school-age children.

Chairman of Crerar Hotels Trust, Paddy Crerar said supporting the growth and development of young people in local communities is one of the priorities for the trust. “To encourage talent, to see children and young adults acquire new skills, confidence and interests is of great importance to us” Paddy said.

Project leader of Mull Music Makers, Laura Mandleberg was invited to accept their giant cheque and said how delighted they were to receive a grant of £3,310 from the Crerar Trust. The first workshops began in February 2014 after funding was secured from Creative Scotland and have been extremely popular ever since. Up to 20% of the local primary-age children have been taking part and all children participating are now learning the violin.

Laura explained that ‘Our overall aim is to increase access to music in a remote island location and to engage the children on Mull with music, thus keeping musical traditions alive, and the funding from Crerar Trust will allow us to continue making our children’s workshops a regular event.’

Marilyn Jeffcoat, Chair of Mendelssohn on Mull Trust, added "The support from the Crerar  Trust is invaluable in exposing the island children to music making and different musical experiences in a safe, fun and encouraging environment. It will not only provide an opportunity to spark a lifelong interest in music, but will also demonstrate the importance of concentration, cooperation, memory and listening skills that will benefit them in all areas of endeavour."  

Crerar Isle of Mull Hotel & Spa General Manager Neal Goldsmith, said “It was great to see the young musicians in action and experience one of the valuable workshops.”