Lets’ say that you are a music lover, who likes anything from oldies and goldies, to modern rock and pop. Wouldn’t a mix of these genres played in one night by over 80 guitarists simultaneously, accompanied by a band and talented singers, fit the description of musical heaven to you? Having personally attended last year’s Strummin’ show, I can assure you that it is.
I recently met up with Mr. Robert Cassar, the Communications Coordinator of Strummin’s Board, and who is certainly much more able to shed light on the concert’s details than I am.
NC: Strummin’ has been taking place for the last ten years. How did it find its origins?
RC: Back in 2002, the first edition of the concert was called Strummin’ Home and the idea was to have a guitar choir with strumming guitarists playing popular songs while raising funds for a good cause.
NC: How has Strummin’ changed throughout the years?
RC: Strummin’ sure has come a long way since its origins. To begin with, it has become ZHN’s largest annual project with more and more people taking part each year. Last year, it was rebranded to Strummin’ to better reflect one of the aims of project – that of donating funds to various local charities. This year the beneficiary chosen are Hospice Malta. The best thing about Strummin’ is that the guitar choir keeps growing year after year, so be prepared for some surprises! Every year we also try to pair the talent on stage with further entertainment for the audience and with names like Pawlu Borg Bonaci and Luke Dalli, you cannot really go wrong, can you!?
NC: Every year Strummin’ adopts a different theme. What is this year’s theme and where did the inspiration for such a theme come from?
RC: The theme is often one of the initial decision that the organising committee makes. You can rest assured that this is one of the most battled decision the committee has to take! The verdict for this year? Strummin’ the Elements. So this year’s songs will emphasise the great wonders of the earth as well as explore the beauty of the forces of nature. You’d think earth, water, air and fire have nothing to do with music, but brace yourselves… It was actually pretty difficult to narrow down the song suggestions for this year’s edition. And there is a treat for everyone, you can rest assured!
NC: When do the preparations for Strummin’ commence? What do they exactly involve?
RC: Preparations for the next edition begin pretty much as soon as the concert is over. The organising team are all volunteers who take care of every little detail – from sponsorships, marketing and fundraising, to creating the stage, coordinating the music and of course creating the guitarists’ oh so necessary prop, the chords booklet.
NC: What is amazing about the concert is that there are no fixed rules – for instance age, musical background, knowledge of the guitar – that define the qualities that strummers should have. What is the idea behind this?
RC: Strummin’ is like a platform for young local talent while raising funds for worthy causes. Everyone has a place in the Strummin’ family so whether a newbie or a hard rock guitarist, if playing guitar is your passion, you can be on stage. And for the not-so-musically inclined, well,
NC: How many strummers are taking part this year and by how much does their age varies?
RC: This year we have a record number of over 80 guitarists with people from all walks of life. The youngest would be around 9 whilst the eldest guitarist… well that would be telling now!
NC: What should people expect out of this year’s Strummin’ and what are the future prospects of the concert?
RC: Strummin’ keeps getting bigger and better each year, and that is our target – promoting talent, entertaining our audiences with great music and raising funds for our beneficiaries. That’s a prospect which will always be to the fore. As for what to expect this year – it’s 4 elements and 4 words: Eighty guitarists; One stage…Intrigued? Join us on 11th and 12th October at Sir Temi Zammit Hall at University to see for yourself.
NC: One last message you would like to get through…
RC: Earth, Water, Air, Fire, over 80 guitarists, great music… Our elements promise a wonderful night, and all for a good cause! So what are you waiting for?
Tickets are on sale from www.sayitmalta.com/strummin or ticket hotline 79244418.