Campaign: A star saxophonist of the future

Music Hub
Music Hub

Musical hub chiefs say ‘you heard victor’s name here first’ as they highlight success stories of students amid Sheffield Telegraph’s ongoing campaign.

It took just one saxaphone lesson for Viktor Klausz’s teacher to recognise his natural talent.

This November, 14-year-old Viktor, from Firth Park Academy, will be one of 800 children performing at the Royal Albert Hall, Music for Youth Proms as part of the South Yorkshire Massed Jazz Performance.

Viktor’s music teacher, Kate Wood, said: “The story of Viktor’s journey into jazz is an inspiring one that is shared by many other young people across our region thanks to the great work of a strong network of teachers, schools, mentors and organisations that share a love for music.

“After Viktor’s first lesson, I contacted Colette Dutot at the Sheffield Music Hub who arranged for Viktor to join a newly formed jazz band. £Viktor flourished in the group and, after attending a Doncaster Youth Jazz Association/Rotherham Music Hub ‘Super Dupa’ workshop, with jazz great Dennis Rollins, Viktor announced that he wanted to be a professional musician.

“Over the following six months, intensive support and wraparound assistance was put in place to boost Viktor’s musical development with the goal of auditioning for the prestigious Sheffield Music Academy.

“He undertook extended weekly lessons on the saxophone and piano including after-hours access to the school music room, a stage-piano was sourced so Viktor could practice at home, he did interview preparation for the audition, and even transport solutions were put in place to help Viktor attend different venues and events.

“This huge effort was ultimately successful when in January this year; he was accepted into the Sheffield Music Academy - the first student from Firth Park Academy to have achieved this!”

Sheffield Music Hub works with tens of thousands of young people in the city each year, and already works with 89 per cent of the city’s schools.

It has link Music Leaders working in each of these schools - highly qualified musicians who teach specialist lessons and act as ambassadors for the hub. The hub launched its Musical Stars scheme earlier this year, along with a campaign to raise £20,000 to fund the first 50 or 60 musical ‘stars’ the hub hopes to uncover, which is backed by the Sheffield Telegraph.

These funds will help ensure that children are offered regular one-to-one music lessons, free instrument hire, and an appropriate local practice room.

Keith Slade, of the Sheffield Music Academy, said: “Viktor joined Sheffield Music Academy earlier this year, in January.

“He plays the saxophone and had taken no grades. He is a hugely talented individual who is now working towards his Grade 5 this summer which is a huge achievement in such a short space of time. “He has great support from his family and the expertise from the academy has allowed his talent to flourish.

“His eagerness to learn is infectious and Viktor is benefitting from being in a hotbed of talent every week.”

Together with support from school, Viktor was accepted into the National Orchestra for All with the first residential this summer and he now helps other less experienced jazz pupils acting as a true ambassador for music and jazz.  

Kate added: “To think that he was a quiet, shy beginner student just 18 months ago, and now he’s up on stage taking a starring role and having the confidence and skill to hold his own in a group of experienced adult musician.

“It’s just brilliant to see how far he’s come and undoubtedly, the input from the Music Hub and Music Academy has opened up far more opportunities for him to progress than we as a music department could ever have offered him in isolation.

“I can only imagine where he’ll be by the end of Y11!”

Viktor said: “I love learning music in a group and meeting new people.”

Kate added: “That sums up the philosophy of this young man. Viktor Klausz – a name you heard here first!”

The Sheffield Music Academy is proud to work closely with Sheffield Music Hub and other partner organisations and exists to support students just like Viktor.

They offer tailored tuition packages including individual and group classes to suit each student and as one of only 15 Centres for Advanced Training in the UK; can provide funding and support so that finance need never present a barrier to learning.

Led by music director Martin Cropper, teaching takes place on Saturdays during term-time for talented young musicians aged 8-18 and they present more than 40 opportunities a year to perform across the Sheffield City Region; auditions are now open to anybody keen to apply.

“Our Musical Stars scheme is not just about finding great musical talent,” Ian Naylor, head of music education at Sheffield Music Hub, insists.

“We see children come alive when they play instruments. Their eyes sparkle, their faces light up, they start talking very very quickly, they fly. The world seems to suddenly make a little bit more sense to them. They find connection. Belonging. It is actual magic.

“At Sheffield Music Hub, we have the pleasure of creating and witnessing these moments every single day. And we desperately want to keep children flying, soaring with the music above their heads. That is the very essence of what Musical Stars is really about.

“We are looking to support children and young people in the city for whom making music is the main focus of their world.”

Visit Music Sheffield Hub to donate to the Music Hub Musical Stars Scheme, and help more children make music their passion.”