So What's In A Title?
OK; quite clearly, we have plagiarised our project title from Willy Russell's highly acclaimed 1980's stage/movie production; but for very good reason!!
Emily (19), similarly to "Rita" in the film, stems from a blue-collar, working class family in the North, and works as a hairdresser.
But that's where the similarities end!
So Who Is Asking For Your Donations?
I'm Alan Gregory, composer/lyricist and CEO of Piano's Pies and Pirouettes CIC, who first met Emily when she auditioned for my musical "Beyond Wigan Pier" (the world's first musical written to help, bring attention to the plight of, extremely talented, youngsters from Northern working class backgrounds who wish to enter the artistic workplace but who's family circumstance very often prevents them doing so) back in February this year.
I was immediately struck by the unique quality of her voice and singing style, which clearly marked her out as an exceptionally talented artist in the making.
Working Hard To Achieve Her Goal:-
Emily has unlike "Rita" chosen to work (albeit part-time)in the hairdressers, and as a waitress in a local restaurant, and to perform "gigs"as a wedding singer; all at the tender age of 19; in order to help pay for her own education.
Back in 1983, Rita wouldn't have had that problem; as, like me, and those of you of my generation, from a similar background; her fees would have been entirely covered by Government grant.
Emily is receiving a part student loan, to cover some of her costs, for studying professional musicianship at BIMM (British & Irish Modern Music Institute) in Manchester, (an intensive course of singing technique, composition, performance and music theory), which she hope to take up in October 2018, but it is not sufficient to cover, all the costs, of that tuition.
Add to that, travel costs, living expenses, gig costs etc. and there is much yet for Emily and her family to find to ensure she can take up that place.
Current Fund Raising Activity:-
Unlike with Rita in the movie; Mum Donna, Dad Stuart, and all Emily's family and friends, fully support her aspirations, and have evidenced that by donating to "fund-raising" concerts that Emily has held, ever since she first decided that BIMM was best for her; most recently at Trinity Church in Wigan where she raised over £400.
So this is a girl, who under the influence of her father Stuart; a fine amateur vocalist in his own right; was singing almost before she could speak, who is willing to, do anything she can to help "self-finance" her musical ambitions.
To do her best, whilst at BIMM, she's going to have to study hard, which realistically means, some of the part-time-work, she currently does, will have to go.
It will be essential to free the study time needed, on such an intensive training programme,if Emily is to make the most of her time there, and whilst Donna and Stuart will continue to help and support financially as much as they can, the "number-crunching" has revealed that, despite all their efforts, the family will still be left with an annual deficit of £1,000 over the length of the 3 year course.
We sincerely hope that the generosity of the "crowdfunding" community will bridge that gap, and that the £3,000 we hope to raise, will secure Emily's artistic future, and give her the chance experience"Rita's" epiphany
(Educating Rita - Willy Russell - 1983)
Emily has come up with some crowd-funding rewards to encourage you to contribute, and we will be adding more throughout the campaign, so please give generously, this is a hard working girl, from a very hard-working family, and they deserve it!