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Music school bangs drums for Logan's Fund with fundraising Foo Fighters song


By Lorna Thompson

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A SCOTTISH music school is banging the drum for two children's cancer charities, including Moray-based Logan's Fund, to help them survive the impact of the pandemic.

The Merlin Music Academy, in Melrose in the Borders, has released a version of the Foo Fighters track "Times Like These" to raise funds for Logan's Fund and Livingston-based charity Jak's Den.

For the past two years, Logan’s Fund has sponsored music lessons for an eight-year-old student at the school, Melis Mistik, and her family from Galashiels, through its Always A Rainbow project.

Both charities were formed in memory of youngsters who lost their lives to cancer – football-mad West Lothian teenager Jak Trueman who died in 2015 from a rare form of blood cancer, gamma delta T-cell lymphoma, and three-year-old Logan Main, from Lossiemouth, who died in 2009 from neuroblastoma.

Melis Mistik, from Galashiels, is learning music at Merlin Music Academy sponsored through the Logan's Fund Always A Rainbow project.
Melis Mistik, from Galashiels, is learning music at Merlin Music Academy sponsored through the Logan's Fund Always A Rainbow project.

Jak's Den provides emotional, practical and social support for young people, their families and friends.

Logan's Fund launched its Always a Rainbow project in 2016 which sponsors youngsters and their families to learn and take part in activities, from horse-riding to surfing, dancing to glider-flying.

At the age of six, Melis was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukaemia. Through her treatment the youngster expressed an interest in learning to play a musical instrument. Logan's Fund then stepped in, offering to pay for her singing and violin lessons and for her parents too.

Through the family's involvement with the academy, Melis has been able to socialise, enjoy some normality, and has benefited from the love and support of tutors and fellow-learners there.

Merlin Music Academy director Bridget Gray said: "We took great pride and honour in sharing a monumental moment when Melis rang the bell last December at the Sick Kids Hospital in Edinburgh.

"Her Mum, Pinar, is also performing in the video and they have become part of the Merlin family.

"Jak's Den and Logan's Fund continue to support Melis and her family and this so invaluable and crucial."

Both Merlin students and tutors perform on the special video.

Tutors and learners at Merlin Music Academy perform the Foo Fighters track "Times Like These" to boost Logan's Fund and Jak's Den.
Tutors and learners at Merlin Music Academy perform the Foo Fighters track "Times Like These" to boost Logan's Fund and Jak's Den.

Bridget added: "Music can bring everyone from all over together. Let's continue to do this and also keep the wonderful work of Jak's Den and Logan's Fund going."

Cameron Mackintosh, Logan's Fund chairman, said: "Merlin Music Academy has been hugely supportive of Logan's Fund right from day one of our involvement with them when we started sponsoring Melis with singing lessons and learning violin via our Always a Rainbow sponsorship programme.

"We now also sponsor both her parents' music lessons with the school.

"We have also forged close links with Jak's Den over the last few things, as we work with many of the same families that their wonderful charity do.

"The recording of Times Like These and using it to raise funds for both our charities at a time when fundraising is almost at a halt is a fantastic gesture – especially when the school must be in a really difficult situation themselves and managing to get by with online lessons where they can. No one would have thought anything negative about them if they had used the song to raise funds for themselves, so it's very humbling they chose to support two charities that they have embraced.

"We hope lots of people take enjoyment from their version of the track and make a small donation for their pleasure of the song."

Bridget is hoping that the Foo Fighters themselves will get behind the charity effort.

Listen to the track and donate at www.crowdfunder.co.uk/merlin.

Merlin Music Academy, based in Melrose, is raising cash for two Scottish children's cancer charities.
Merlin Music Academy, based in Melrose, is raising cash for two Scottish children's cancer charities.

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