Sheffield Junior Extreme Cellists play high spots in Peak District
The Extreme Cellists have been known for their performances in out-of-the-ordinary places such as on cathedral rooftops and summits of mountains since 2003.
Now, however, a group of Sheffield-based youngsters is following in their footsteps. On the appropriate date of Monday, April 1, four young cellists - Amy (15), Anna (15), Seth (12), and Zulfi (12) – will be donning their walking boots along with their cellos, and playing at a series of extreme locations in or close to Castleton in the Peak District.
Starting at Cavedale at 10am, they will go on to play at the Witch’s Cave in Treak Cliff Cavern at 11.30, and then in the afternoon play on the “broken road” (old A625) before ascending to the summit of the 1,696-ft Mam Tor and playing at the tallest point in the area. In doing this they are aiming to raise more than £1,000 for the music charity Music for All, a national charity that supplies instruments, and provides music education and other opportunities, to people from disadvantaged backgrounds who might not otherwise have the chance to play. Inspired by the various previous challenges of the Extreme Cellists, the idea for this venture came from the young musicians themselves, who originally knew each other through singing.
Seth said: “This is a wonderful opportunity to join with other people who play the same instrument, and to bring together our love of music and the countryside by playing to new audiences!” Music for All chief executive Paul McManus said: “What a wonderful thing – I love it! This is a really innovative way of not only raising funds, but also helping to ensure more people have opportunities to make music in the future.”
The original Extreme Cellists, who are supporting their younger counterparts, have raised more than £50,000 for various charities by playing in extreme locations.
They formed when three amateur performers, Jeremy Dawson and Clare Wallace, who live in Sheffield, and Sheffielder James Rees, who lives in Chester, were intrigued by a TV documentary on the sport of extreme ironing.
If domestic chores can be performed in strange places, what about music, they thought.
They began by performing to raise money for music fund at Westways Primary School.
The challenges that the trio have taken part in include running the London Marathon carrying their cellos, playing on the roof of all 42 English cathedrals in just 12 days in 2006, playing at the summits of the tallest mountains in Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland in 2008, walking the 194-mile Coast-to-Coast path in 2010, giving three performances a day over a fortnight; and playing on all 58 surviving piers in Great Britain in 14 days in 2016.
They have also performed all over Sheffield and the Peak District, following their love of bringing music to people who might not otherwise hear it.
Last August the Extreme Cellists toured World War One battlefields in France People can sponsor the Junior Extreme Cellists, and support Music for All, by visiting www.justgiving.com/fundraising/juniorextremecello. Further details are available at www.extremecello.com.