Harrow Young Musicians should be an asset to the borough ofHarrow. But in recent weeks its future has been put in doubt because the council has cut its grant. The £58,000 lifeline is just that, and whilst its members pay hundreds of pounds per year, it is the grant funding that makes all the difference as to whether it is affordable for all who wish to pursue the joys of playing a musical instrument.
In recent weeks every Harrow councillor has been lobbied to demand a reverse to this cut so that HYM may continue to survive and prosper. A large chunk of my time has been devoted to helping their cause which I am more than happy to give. I have received letters from across the age range, from 11 and 12 years olds, from teenagers, and I have also heard from past members of HYM who are still devoting their life to this organisation.
It would be too easy, as well as completely wrong, to dismiss HYM’s plight as nothing more than tugging on the heart strings of sentimentality. No, it’s much more than that! When I paid a visit to watch the youngsters rehearse recently, I not only witnessed the sheer joy on the faces of all involved, I learnt that apart from those who aspire to a career in music, HYM is incredibly valuable to their educational development in general, as well as creating a camaraderie among all of its members that has lead to real and lasting friendships.
If it is not careful, Harrow Council will end up trashing a most beautiful part of its heritage. The loss, should it be allowed to happen, would be more than a tragedy, it would be a disgrace and most important of all, we would be letting down an often unfairly maligned generation, the young people of Harrow. I urge everyone to discover the value of HYM, back their fight against this most misguided and cruel cut in their grant and support them wholeheartedly to ensure their future is as bright as the beautiful music they play.