Masterclass #4

March 2024

It has been a busy 12 months since Masterclass #3 in March 2023. We held the Glasgow Masterclass in September and have also been recording the first two volumes of albums of songs written on the weekends (more of in due course). With so much going on we have decided to run our main Masterclasses on an annual basis in March. This will create lots of time in the year for other fun events, as our songwriters take their songs on an adventure.

The format of Masterclass #4 was the same as #3 as it feels like we have settled into a great format that works. Wehad a Thursday night arrival for those who had a bit further to travel or just wanted to chill with James before the Masterclass kicked-off on Friday.

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Bobby has been ill for a period before the weekend, so it was great to see him turn up on Friday morning with Grahame Skinner, looking fit and healthy. Following his successfgul introduction for the last Masterclass, it was great ot have great attend as a mentor for the whole weekend. With 12 songwriters in attendance, having an extra mentor was definitely going to be a big help.

We had 7 new songwriters in Lisa, Janie, Derek, Scott, Jonny, Michael and George plus 5 returners in Alison, Steve, Steven, Ed and Graeme. Again we had a great mix of experience, with Lisa and Janie never having written a song before, to Scott and Steven who are carving out a bit a niche with their songwriting.

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As usual the Friday afternoon session was a wonderful, if daunting experience for everyone. The songs discussed and previewed had a great range and by Friday night over dinner everyone was buzzing about the chance the develop their ideas further over the weekend.

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On Saturday every inch of the house was filled with songs as everyone worked on their songs and as the day progressed, started to rehearse ahead of the Saturday Night Showcase at Five West. As you will see from the YouTube channel, the songs were of the highest quality.

Poor Jonny arrived with a sore throat and it didn't clear for Saturday night, so he wasn't able to sing his beautiful song 'Tierra De Nada". Fortunately, Grahame was on hand to sing it on his behalf - not a bad backup vocalist to act as substitute.Sur

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As is often the case, Saturday night back at The Hollies turned into a sing-song late into the night. With Scott's great memory for guitar parts for a huge range of songs, we had a great "karaoke" session. The highlight was definitely Steven's word for word rendition of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah". We were all convinced that our harmonies at 2am in the morning were note-perfect - until we listened again to the video clips in the cold light of Sunday morning!

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As per our new format, whilst James and Grahame recorded demos everyone performing their songs, the rest of the songwriters were challenged to write a fast song about cars. The quality was high and the clear winner was Jonny and Janie with their wonderful song with the memorable hook "Toot-toot beep-beep!"

Another memorable weekend for everyone in attendance. With our songwriter pathway now developing, everyone is now looking forward to performing at the annual Glasgow Showcase and then recording their songs later in the year for what will be Volume 3 of our album of songs written on the Masterclasses.

After 4 Masterclasses our WhatsApp group is now up to 30 members, forming a wonderful support community for our songwriters as they continue to explore the joy of songwriting.

Masterclass #5 is planned for March 2025 and we already have some new songwriters signed up.


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