Showcase: Amy Wadge Songwriting Programme

Describe the project

This programme was established to support the wealth of songwriting talent at Lewis School Pengam, and was project managed by Head of Music Bethan Jenkins, who is also one of the network’s Art Champions.

What were the aims of the project?

The aims of each of the projects that have taken place with Amy Wadge have involved pupils writing, recording and producing their own material for commercial release.

Describe the project process

The initial project involved a group of sixth form pupils, Young Vision, in writing, recording and producing an EP to raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust. Following the success of this project, Amy set up a Songwriting Scholarship at Lewis School Pengam that involved some of the pupils from the initial project alongside other More Able and Talented (MAT) songwriters. These again wrote, recorded and produced material. This material has been played on BBC Radio Wales and has enabled these pupils to have viable career paths in this industry. We are now in the process of supporting other young talent from the Caerphilly area for which we have led the Caerphilly Songwriting Bootcamps.

What was the project outcome?

There have been unbelievable outcomes as a result of this project, such as former pupil Alex Stacey. After leaving LSP, Alex had the opportunity of working with Greg Haver (producer for the Manic Street Preachers) to create his own EP. This was chosen by the BBC as material for their Artist of the Week programme. As a result of this success, this enabled Alex to achieve a management deal with Covert Management alongside a Publishing Deal with APG (based in LA). This is a phenomenal achievement for a programme that originated at LSP.

Alongside this success, ex-pupils have also been selected as artistes on the Forte Project. Each local authority chooses 2 acts each year. Since the start of the Forte Scheme 2 years ago, Lewis School Pengam has produced 3/5 acts from Caerphilly County Borough; Alex Stacey, Ofelia and NiteRooms.

Other acts have also made it onto BBC Radio Wales; these include LCR Band, Atterbury Jones, Frasier Banks, Stevan Lloyd, Bodhi and Castro UK.

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