Saturday, September 30, 2023

Thurrock Music Services Boss Slams Education Chief

WHAT WILL your early years be like as an aspiring rock musician? Playing to half empty halls is one of the rites of passage.

Thurrock Music Services (TMS) are preparing the borough’s next top rock stars for this soul destroying experience as the “Bands of Tomorrow” concert played out to an audience where it seemed the band members out-numbered the audience.

Back in february, YourThurrock sat down with several members of the TMS and offered to film and showcase the work that they do.

They explained that they are waiting for a filming policy to be written by Thurrock Council.

Nine months later, we are still waiting.

Assistant Director Roy Dignum explained: ” The education bosses haven’t done it. Until then we have to ban filmed media from our shows.

“I don’t know who the education boss is but it is their fault.”

YourThurrock explained to Mr Dignum that the Director is Jo Olsson.

A source close to Thurrock Council told YourThurrock: “They have been given permission slips and it has all been explained to them.

“(TMS) have let countless publicity opportunities slip through their fingers.It is like banging your head on a brick wall.”

“Perhaps when there funding shrinks, they will realise they should have made more of an effort.”


  1. Re “Bands of tomorrow” Its just a little unfair perhaps to say that the performers outnumbered the audience. Two doting parents, a sibling and the occasional granny ( who probably bought the guitar ) per performer, is the usual ratio you expect for this kind of do. And I think this would have been about the ratio for Monday nights outing. To start with that is! Things start at 7.30. You get the no photography no video announcement. That’s a pity I am thinking, isn’t that all part of being a rock star. As each act finishes they are ushered back to the dungeon like dressing room below the stage. They are expected to wait here until the show is over ( about 2 hours ). Now as an educational type exercise you would think it would be a good idea to let them watch the other acts from the many empty seats that are available, but this is not allowed. They must wait below. The two Rottweiler like usherettes ( Tweedledum and Tweedledee) are guarding all ways in to the theatre with vigour. What happens is that as each act finishes they go home with their parents/supporters, rather than wait for an hour or more in the dungeon. By the time the last act goes on, the theatre is almost empty. Not because the audience got bored , but because they are annoyed by the enforced separation from their little Elvis. Apart from this all the acts did really well and made their parents proud. Highlight of the evening for me was the little boy who reluctantly shuffled on with a guitar that was bigger than him, and belted out two fantastic solos. I think the Music Services should look for a friendlier less restrictive venue for future events.

  2. Use the same rules as schools… get the permission slips signed before the show and all will be good. Child protection gone mad again – but obviously a serious subject!

  3. A very interesting article that completely misses the point, and was inaccurate with regards to the audience outnumbering performers. You may as well say 20 people on the sidelines of a youth football match on a Sunday morning makes the 22 players irrelevant — that is not the point of playing a game of football. Putting important, child protection issues to one side, as these will always be with us, the purpose of this event was not to have it filmed but for young musicians to play with other musicians. My son played at the event and it was fantastic to see him perform. This was far better and more important than if he had made a hundred YouTube videos with a webcam and backing track in his bedroom played out to many others also hidden away in their rooms pretending to be stars. I think YouTube is a great and valuable resource but I am sure I speak for many who are completely fed up with the YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Guitar Hero etc etc culture that only seems to value efforts or friendships in cyber space. These kids were in the real world, playing real instrumentrs, to real (although maybe fewer than we would have liked) people. Having yet another YouTube video added to the millions already out there would make no difference to my sons playing; getting involved in these events does.


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