Musician Sam Glazer has been working with Create since 2008. Here, he tells us what inspired him to do community work, and what he loves about Create.
“I started playing the cello aged 9. My grandfather had also played the cello, and I now play his old instrument. At secondary school I joined two orchestras, which was a fantastic experience for me. I was quite shy, the orchestra was really the first place where I was able to develop more confidence socially. After university, I worked in arts admin for a bit before starting as a volunteer on some community music projects. I loved it and soon realised that this was what I wanted to do. Within a few months I’d quit my job to freelance as a musician. That was eight years ago and I haven’t once regretted my decision. My work nowadays is varied – I work with a colourful mix of people, or perform with my band – but there’s always a creative element, scuh as composition or improvisation. I love working with people of different ages and backgrounds; it’s a privilege to make music with them. Music can be hugely life- enhancing, I believe everyone should be able to experience this. There’s a real risk that such opportunities will soon only be open to the advantaged few, and it’s great that organisations like Create are working to ensure that access to the arts remains broad and diverse.
“My favourite Create project is called creative:space, which are interactive concerts for disabled children and their families. I’m the presenter, bridging the gap between audience and performers; finding ways for people to join in. Create always books top-whack bands for this gig – most often, I’ve worked with a funked-up New Orleans jazz band (Bad Ass Brass): the musicians are great performers, interacting brilliantly with people. It’s by far the most exhausting of all the jobs I do, but extremely rewarding and inspiring as a model of how people with varying needs can be engaged with music. The project is successful because Create does not compromise on artistic standards.
“Create has recently given me the opportunity to work in a new way. Following a series of school workshops, I’m now working on a score for a new piece of music, based on the stories of four child characters from the novels of Charles Dickens. (Create’s writer, Jo Ingham has worked with young people to create a fantastic libretto). Watch this space!”
This piece was written in 2011.