MISSION AND HISTORY
The High Park Community Music Project offers children from within the 10 Parishes surrounding Wiveliscombe in Somerset an affordable opportunity to learn to play Clarinet, Flute or Saxophone in a band. For a weekly donation of £2 per child they can come to one of the three one hour sessions that are run on Saturday mornings during term time. This includes the use of an instrument which is provided by local fundraising and sponsorship, originally this was from ragging - collecting unwanted textile items which were then either recycled or upcycled. This provided High Park with a regular source of income in the early days. With changes to the rag-trade we've had to seek alternative funding and often hold fundraising events to enable High Park to continue.
High Park Music Project meets at the Silver Street Centre, Wiveliscombe.
It was originally the inspiration of professional music teachers, Hilary Wickham and Louise Lawrence who share a wealth of musical experience between them. Their passionate belief that every child should have the opportunity to access music led to the beginning of High Park Community Music Project - or High Park Music School as it's often referred.
Now, in 2019, the team is headed up by Hilary who continues to dedicate a so much energy into keeping High Park such a fantastic group. Bex Maynard joined the team in Sept 2014, and as well as providing all the admin, she thoroughly enjoys tutoring the young flute players. Charlotte Stus joined the team in 2018 and is providing support and tutoring for the clarinetists when she is not required to work on weekends. Helen Rook also joined the team last year, with her daughter learning flute, she offered to help out where she could and will lead music theory sessions when she's available on a Saturday morning.
High Park musicians perform at many events including local fundraising concerts for a variety of causes such as the Moorland Mousie Trust among others.
Since the doors opened in January 2012 over 80 children have started to learn an instrument in the band!
6.5 years on from those early days it is really encouraging and exciting to hear from former High Park students when they go on to continue both music studies and performing arts. One has gone to Reading to further her career in performing arts. Another has continued his musical journey by gaining a scholarship with the Centre for Young Musicians in Taunton. Other students are forming their own groups/bands and playing in other local bands. It's great to know that a start in High Park gives students the confidence to progress not just in music but in all aspects of performance.
As they progress many of the youngsters will go on to join the Wiveliscombe Community Wind Band.
Administrator and Flute Tutor
Hilary studied at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and the Royal Academy of Music, who retired in 2017 after many years peripatetic teaching.
She is also Musical Director of Tiverton Operatic, peripatetic organist for the 10 Parishes. Hilary enjoys a variety of music, played Baritone Sax with Reed Rage Sax Octet, Flautist with Frivolous Winds.
Hilary is director of Wivey Wind Band and not content with complete retirement she’s now starting a new beginners group for adults!!
"Spare" time is spent in the garden. Her dog Tinker, 2 alpacas and 3 goats ensure there is never a dull moment!
Bex joined the team as administrator in 2014 and ensures that all High Park members are kept up to speed with what's happening, where and when!
She grew up with music and plays Flute in Wivey Wind band.
She enjoys teaching flute both within High Park and privately as well.
In 2019 she has also taken on the organising of the music event for the 10 Parishes Street Fair
During any rare spare time Bex can either be found at her ponies field, or out exploring on her e-bike