Sunday For Sammy Adds Strings to Charlotte’s Bow
A young violinist who cherishes her late father’s memory through his old, well used violin has had a string of good fortune with the donation of a new electric instrument from the Sunday for Sammy Trust.
Originally from Rothbury, North Shields based Charlotte Kennedy started to play the violin at the age of five. She was inspired further when folk artist Kathryn Tickell visited her school to teach folk music workshops and suggested that she needed a full-sized instrument to continue her development. Charlotte’s mother went into the loft and found a violin that Charlotte’s father used to play when he was younger.
Her passion for the instrument was noticed and she was enrolled into a music education programme so that she could harness her talent. Charlotte then went on to study music at Durham University and now coming full circle, she teaches music to children herself.
“My acoustic violin cleaned up well and sounded good, but it did have an annoying buzz which meant that I couldn’t use it to perform with. I love this violin as it has sentimental attachments as it was my dad’s who passed away when I was 19 years old, but I knew it wasn’t up to the standard I needed,” said Charlotte.
In 2018, Charlotte applied for a grant from Sunday for Sammy to replace the old violin. She auditioned using her dad’s instrument and impressed the panel of Trustees who granted her £1500 towards a new one. As Charlotte needed to find the remaining balance herself, Trustee Ray Laidlaw said that there was no time limit on the grant and to claim it when she was ready.
Life moved on and COVID struck, and Charlotte’s priorities changed. She took on a music teaching job with In Harmony North East, a community based orchestral project which aims to change the lives of children living in the West End of Newcastle through music. With being so busy, her ambitions to perform took a back seat.
“After the pandemic I realised just how much I missed playing and connecting with an audience and sharing my music with others. I felt that if I died tomorrow and I hadn’t done anything useful involving performing that I’d missed out.
“A friend in London told me that there was a market for electric violin players at weddings and events and I started to research what was out there. I found that there was a demand in the area and all that I needed was an electric instrument and amplifier.”
Despite being five years since Charlotte applied to the Sunday for Sammy Trust, her grant was actioned, and she bought a new, pure white electric violin.
“I love my electric violin, it makes a gorgeous sound and already I’ve got quite a few wedding bookings. I attend wedding fairs to help promote what I do and I’m really grateful to Sunday for Sammy especially as they honoured the grant after five long years.”
A Tik Tok video of Charlotte playing the electric violin has received thousands of views with people enquiring about her travelling to Europe, Canada, and America to play at their weddings. She is also proving popular with local wedding venues too.
Trustee Paul Irwin was delighted that Charlotte had found a new career path through teaching and playing her violin.
“This is what we do at the Sunday for Sammy Trust, we give young talent the opportunity to progress in their chosen art. Normally we don’t have to wait five years to give away our money but in Charlotte’s case it was worth the wait.
“Our funds all come from our shows and the sale of the subsequent DVD’s, and we’d like to thank everyone who has supported us in this way as they are the ones who are helping our new talented youngsters get to where they need to be.”
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