03 June 2013
Three young musicians from Jersey are the first in the Channel Islands to win a nationally recognised Silver Arts Award.
To achieve the qualification, keyboard player Honor Butel (13), singer Joe Chadd (17) and guitarist Robbie Dark (17) organised Rock The Wharf, a music event designed to give young people under 13 the experience of playing live, performing on stage and being in a rock band. It took place at Liberty Wharf last September and attracted about 30-40 young people.
They are officially receiving their awards tonight at 8pm at La Motte Street Youth Centre. All three award winners are graduates of the Rock School and Gig School there and are experienced local musicians. To qualify for a Silver Arts Award they had to:
- organise an event
- work with an arts practitioner
- go to an arts event
- take up an arts challenge
For their Arts Leadership project – Rock The Wharf - they had to establish the principles behind their idea, plan practical steps to set it up, deliver it and demonstrate their ability to work together. They also had to review the project once it was completed.
The Silver Arts Award qualification, which is the arts world equivalent of the Duke of Edinburgh scheme, is recognised by employers, higher education establishments and the industry, and will help improve awardees’ chances to access arts-based courses and work in the sector.
La Motte Street Youth Centre has been running the national Arts Award for nearly two years and nine young people have passed at bronze level so far. This is the first time Jersey has put candidates forward for the silver level.
The Silver Award also requires young people to complete a number of other tasks including reporting on arts events, setting themselves a skills challenge working alongside a professional and, finally, undertaking a large project.
The senior youth worker at La Motte Street, Ivor Richards, oversees the award in Jersey. He said “The exciting thing about the award is that it not only broadens the skill-base of the students but also supports them in developing the management, communication and confidence skills to organise and execute arts events for others.
“The Youth Service is well placed to deliver this personal development style of work and now many creative young people have access to an award that only previously activity-based courses have offered.”
Going for gold
The three successful candidates are now able to start their Gold Arts Award, which could gain them up to 40 UCAS points for university entry.
Deputy Rod Bryans, ESC Assistant Minister for Youth and Sport, added “The Arts Award is a significant achievement for young people. It requires an impressive level of dedication and creativity, which has to be channelled in an extremely mature way. It involves developing their own talent in new ways but also inspiring others, all skills potential employers will value. Congratulations to Honor, Joe and Robbie.”
Joe Chadd said “The Silver Arts Award has benefitted me greatly. It’s given me a chance to showcase my passions and learn new skills as well as push me towards what I want to do in the future in the performing arts. Also, the UCAS points I receive from completing the project will help me when it comes to applying for Performing Arts colleges. Also, as part of the project I learnt how to DJ from BBC Radio 1 competition winner Hannah Jacques and am still being taught. I will hopefully be playing paid gigs in the future.”
Rock The Wharf
Robbie Dark explained why he found the award valuable “Doing the Arts Award has benefited me considerably. The minor benefits included a broader appreciation of different types of music. This came from the Arts Event section of the Silver Arts Award where I went to see a jazz gig at the Arts Centre. I also learnt how to play the drums with an experienced drummer as part of my Arts Challenge. Finally, as part of my Arts Practitioner section I assisted a guitar tutor at La Motte Street's Rock Academy, which gave me an insight into their role as a teacher.
“The planning process for Rock The Wharf was the lengthiest part of the award, but it gave me some invaluable skills. These included planning development, group work, communication, prioritisation, creativity and more. Many of these skills I have gained from organising such an event are simply not taught in school, yet are fundamental when entering the working world. Having to organise a real event at a real venue for real people gave the skills I have gained from school a genuine practical application and, for that reason, I believe the Silver Arts Award is worth doing.”
Honor Butel added “At Liberty Wharf the band played for the afternoon and when any children came in we encouraged them to get up on the stage with us and play along with the instrument they chose to have a go on. I think about 30-40 people came in to the event and all the children that had a go said that they had really enjoyed it.”
Honor also worked alongside a glass guilder, who taught her how to apply gold leaf, and she reviewed a performance of Cirque Du Soleil that she saw at the Royal Albert Hall. She also chose to learn more about photography and aimed to create a poster that would change people’s views on discrimination.