Long Journey For Pop Stars Violin

Sam Smith violin

Pop star Sam Smith’s violin has started a new life in Nepal. Sam donated his signed, white violin to an instrument amnesty organised in London in 2015 by the Ronnie Scott Foundation, the charitable arm of the world famous jazz club. And the Foundation in turn gave it to Harrogate Brigantes Rotary, along with other instruments that have been shipped to a charity in Nepal that needs instruments to teach disadvantaged children to play.  

All this came about because of Brigantes’ Kids Aloud 2019 project which brought a choir of 40 children from Nepal to perform in the Royal Hall with some 500 local children.  The children in Nepal and Yorkshire were helped to write songs for a musical adaptation of an old Nepali fairy story, “Monkey Boy”, by Croydon-based composer Shri Sriram, who occasionally performs at Ronnie Scott’s in London’s Soho district.

The Nepali choir was directed by Sumit Pokhrel who, as well as teaching music at the Valley Public High School in Kathmandu, also runs a music charity, MusicArt Society. MusicArt has been providing free music education to underprivileged children (those belonging to low income families, slum children, children with special needs and orphans) since the year 2009. They have acquired some land on which to build a permanent headquarters for their activities in Kathmandu. But when Sumit talked of his work to Shri during the visit of the Nepali choir to Yorkshire it became clear that he had one major problem – a lack of western instruments on which the children could learn. Shri said he might be able to help and approached the Ronnie Scott Foundation which organises annual instrument “amnesties” and passes on donated instruments to worthy causes at home and abroad.

Through his good offices MusicArt was accepted as one of that year’ causes and Rotarians Andy Morrison and Guy Wilson drove to London to collect the instruments allocated to Nepal in a van provided free by Kaydee Engineering Plastics Ltd of Shipley, Bradford.

Rob Ward, Managing Director Rob Ward explained:

“When we heard from our IT provider, Andisa IT of Harrogate, that they were involved in the project to send musical instruments to Nepal we just wanted to help. We allowed Andisa to use one of our vehicles to pick up the instruments from London. That in turn means that the money saved can now be used to transport them to Nepal instead. It’s been a great way to cement our relationship with an important partner to our business and everyone is a winner.”

In total Ronnie Scott’s gave Brigantes 25 instruments including another violin, flutes, recorders, trumpets, a piccolo, guitars, a ukulele, a set of bongo drums and a penny whistle. But the star of the show was Sam Smith’s signed white violin. Now a lucky child in Nepal will be playing it and will always be grateful to Sam and Ronnie Scott’s and Shri and all those who helped to get it to Nepal.

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