Britney Spears saxophonist opens community music school in Hartlepool

Mick Donnelly. Picture by FRANK REID
Mick Donnelly. Picture by FRANK REID

A MUSICIAN who has worked with the likes of Barry White and Britney Spears has opened a new community music school in Hartlepool.

Saxophonist Mick Donnelly had been looking for the right place to open a music school in the town for about the last five years.

Mick Donnelly in the music library. Picture by FRANK REID

Mick Donnelly in the music library. Picture by FRANK REID

But only recently did he come across the right place, in the shape of the Hartlepool Enterprise Centre, in Brougham Terrace, in Hartlepool.

So this week the talented 54-year-old, who has worked with famous musical faces including Barry White, Britney Spears, Lisa Stansfield, and ska band Madness, opened the doors to his multi-instrument school called The Mick Donnelly Academy of Music.

The dad-of-two, who lives at Hartlepool Marina, feels very passionately about keeping music alive in schools, the community and the town.

He said: “I’m a musician in the area and I just love music. About five years ago I wanted to get involved with a music school but unfortunately the premises weren’t available for me to do that.

Mick Donnelly with his son Toby. Picture by FRANK REID

Mick Donnelly with his son Toby. Picture by FRANK REID

“I tried when The Studio collapsed but unfortunately that didn’t happen, and then I was buying the old HSBC in Church Street but that fell through at the eleventh hour, so I put it on ice for a while.

“Then I heard about the Enterprise Centre and I put my plans forward and they said great come on board. I got the keys in December, we’ve fully refurbished it and it’s looking great.”

He added: “Music services have been getting hammered with regards to funding for years now, and there’s a possibility that there will be no music in schools very shortly.

“I wanted to see if we could do something about that.

Mick Donnelly with his son Toby. Picture by FRANK REID

Mick Donnelly with his son Toby. Picture by FRANK REID

“It’s very exciting and great news for Hartlepool.”

The musical school covers all sections of instruments including brass, woodwind, piano, guitar and drums, as well as the theory side of the subject.

There will be music lessons on offer with a number of qualified tutors, as well as workshops, activities with schools and community bands as well.

For further details on lessons, community or educational activities log onto www.mdamusic.com or email mdamusic@outlook.com