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Young bassist receives grant for new instrument

Ayoung musician from Beckington was recently awarded £500 towards his musical career by the charity Awards for Young Musicians.

Matthew Mower, 15, passed his grade 8 exam with distinction this year, after taking up the double bass just four years ago. He received the £500 grant as a contribution towards his buying a new bass.

The Beechen Cliff pupil said, “I’m very pleased to have won the award.  It’s great because it’s a step towards getting a new double bass, which will allow me to play more professional gigs.

“I’ve had to play with an old  bass made of plywood for a long time, and it was difficult to take the exams with it. A new wooden bass will be easier to play and make a better sound, so I can move on to more advanced playing.”

Matthew has played drums in the past, and plans to start piano lessons, but the double bass is his main focus for now. He plays with the Wiltshire and Swindon Youth Orchestra and with the Wiltshire Youth Jazz Orchestra.

The year-ten student has also played recently with internationally-renowned Jazz pianist Jason Rebello; an experience he called “a privilege”.

“This is the first time I’ve been awarded a grant,” Matt said. “We applied last year but were unsuccessful. The double bass will cost about £2,500, and Awards for Young Musicians have pointed me towards others I can apply for, so I’ll be doing that in the near future.”

A video of Matthew playing his own composition ‘Chunks’ is available by searching his name on YouTube.

Awards for Young Musicians is a UK arts charity that helps school-age musicians to nurture their talent. The charity provides funding, tuition, and guidance for young musicians across the country.

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