Percussionist takes financial hit in his stride

Talented Larbert High Scool percussionist Lewis Blackwood
Talented Larbert High Scool percussionist Lewis Blackwood

A talented young musician is beating a path to the front door of success despite now having to drum up cash to fund his musical education.

Larbert High School pupil Lewis Blackwood (14) has already made a big noise in the music world, earning a joint second place in the 14 and under category against percussionists from China, Germany and Italy at the recent Young International Tune Percussion Competition at the Purcell School in London.

Mum Karen, a music teacher, said: “He gave a stunning performance which now sees him placed first in Britain for his age. It’s such a great achievement for him and he’s so chuffed.

“He won around £400 worth of equipment, including mallets and a professional orchestral tambourine.”

The youngster, who earned a place in the National Youth Orchestra when he was ten, now studies at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland every Saturday and also plays drums, piano and trumpet.

Unfortunately Lewis is one of the promising talents affected by Falkirk Council’s decision to stop its Performing Arts Grant. Just one of the many cuts the council voted to make at its budget meeting in February, it came under the heading of general budget re-basing of Children’s Services, which included reduction of library resources and schools budgets, in order to make £237,000 of savings.

Karen said: “Lewis has now started teaching the drum kit to try to cover the cost of his tuition, which is £2790 a year, along with £700 to be part of the National Youth Orchestra.

“To be able to succeed in his chosen field, Lewis will need funding of around £10,500 over the next three years to continue learning. We are also looking into funding options but are seeking help or sponsorship to help him through.”

Larbert Round Table has organised a quiz night on June 1 to help raise funds for Lewis, who is aiming to enter BBC Young Musician of the Year in 2020.

Visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/lewis-blackwood for more information.