During our time together as an ensemble we have had the very good fortune to meet a lot of amazing, lovely and talented people. Often their efforts and work goes unnoticed and unrewarded, whether by bad luck or design. In Cheddar, Somerset on the 6th February, Onyx led a workshop with young brass players from the local area and put together a concert in the evening. These guys were without doubt some of the most talented, disciplined, enthusiastic and humble young musicians we have come across.This we can only put down to the unwavering effort and belief of their teacher and leader, Anne Higgs.
When this day was first mooted last year, the date put forward for us just wasn’t going to work what with all our conflicting schedules. Normally at this point things probably wouldn’t have happened. However, Anne was adamant she wanted us down,found another date and are we glad that she did?
Anne has been working away in the local area for 20 or so years slowly building up a brass playing tradition in the schools. When she started this off the children that began learning were the butt of jokes and criticism from their peers but with her support these pioneers have swelled in number and now around the area they are such a common sight that nobody would dare to poke fun at them. To us this is something that is truly worth celebrating.
Sadly over the summer of 2011, Anne lost her job and this whole project put in jeopardy. Was this to stop her? Oh no, she has just carried it on off her own back, using bits of funding and a lot of her own good will. The results are amazing. The concert with her Cheddar Valley Music Club that we took part in was an uplifting experience for us all and the audience’s reaction was truly heartfelt.
Long may this woman’s work continue, she is a true gem and the young musicians of the area are very lucky indeed. If you are someone reading this with leverage in high circles PLEASE help her in whatever way you can.