Internationally-renowned guitarist Martin Simpson is turning his only solo date in his home city of Sheffield this year into a fundraiser for a secondary school’s drive to keep Classics on its syllabus.
Martin, who has performed aaround the world, will appear at High Storrs School on Thursday, May 24.
The acoustic and slide guitarist, who has been nominated a record 32 times in the 20 years of the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, is backing the school’s campaign to continue to offer the option of classics and Latin, despite national school funding cuts.
The Classics Department’s crowdfunding campaign aims to raise £100,000 to subsidise classes in Classical Civilisation, studying the ancient Greeks and Romans, and Latin for the next 10 to 20 years.
Martin, whose daughter Molly is a student at the school, says: “My child, my wife and my in-laws are all huge fans of the subject and we all agree that is one of those that can capture the imaginations of children of all ages and develop not only a love of the stories, but also of history and the arts.
“I’m happy to help the school keep Classics on their syllabus. I only wish it wasn’t necessary to fund raise to keep options open for all children to have an enriching and broad education.
“I’m looking forward to the gig and hope that people will come along in support who don’t necessarily think they like folk music and who may be happily surprised!”
Gina Johnson, subject leader for Classics and Latin, said: “When Martin’s daughter told me that she wanted to take it as one of her GCSE choices and that her dad was offering to play a benefit gig for us, I could not have been more thrilled.”