Dinner event created for young musicians to perform

One of the bands from This Charming House, Emma Eaton, Joey Dunlop, Stan Tester and William Strong, with Joel Horne, left, and Darren Hendy
One of the bands from This Charming House, Emma Eaton, Joey Dunlop, Stan Tester and William Strong, with Joel Horne, left, and Darren Hendy

Young musicians were given the chance to perform at a special dinner event in East Preston.

Darren Hendy, head chef at the Seahorse Cafè, in Sea Road, created the entertainment evening for This Charming House, having heard about its work with young people.

He explained: “I thought this was a great idea, having read how well the grades are improving in music in school and how it gives the kids confidence to socialise.

“I asked if they would like to perform in front of a paying crowd and they jumped at the chance. We hosted the entertainment evening where children from years five and six at different schools got together in one venue in Littlehampton.”

The gig on Saturday, which was sold out, concluded with teachers forming the last band to round off the evening.

This Charming House (TCH) is a music organisation founded in 2014 to provide bespoke music and performing arts services in the Arun district.

Joel Horne said: “At its core we provide peripatetic lessons, groups and live music sessions but with an emphasis on a therapeutic approach, concentrating on building our clients’ self esteem whilst developing their musical ability.

“This is founded on the belief that creativity is fundamental to a child’s emotional health, healing and well-being. I really believe in the importance of building one’s self worth and foundations at such an early age, and TCH is always based on that being the priority, knowing that talent and success will always follow on after.”

During a School of Rock week in the summer, children were placed into bands and given a set of The Apprentice style challenges to tackle, resulting in a concert for parents where each band showcased their own original debut single.

“My team and I were bowled over by how much can be achieved just by encouraging the individual,” added Joel.

“Off the back of this week, Seahorse Cafe invited us to perform at a dinner evening.

“The bands have been rehearsing songs individually in their lessons and also together and I’m just seeing their confidence blossom, which is very exciting.”

Guests were given a two-course dinner, glass of prosecco and an evening of live music.

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