Liam helps drum up £70,000 of support for charities

A TALENTED RGS musician has helped raise more than £70,000 over the past ten years by banging the drums for a variety of worthy causes.

Liam Wood, 15, who took to playing the instrument when he was five years old, achieved a distinction in his Grade 8 percussion and drumming exam this year after dedicating extra time to his music throughout lockdown.

The Year 11 student, who plays in his school’s wind and big bands, has performed at a host of charity fundraisers at village halls, schools and cricket clubs throughout the area, including in Grantley and Burnt Yates.

Liam, from Mickley, explained how he was first introduced to percussion at Burnt Yates primary school: “From that moment all I wanted was to play the drums, much to my parents’ horror.”

Having started drumming lessons so young, his tutor was convinced he would get bored after a few weeks: “Much to my delight I proved him wrong. That was the start of a ten year long friendship which continues to this date.”

Specialising in rock music, Liam started playing at events in Burnt Yates, where his parents helped organise charity fundraisers: “It involved me playing in the church every bonfire night or in the evenings at community events entertaining the locals and at every opportunity at the school.”

When the family moved to Grantley, Liam began playing for his new village school, including at the popular annual 10K and fun run, as well as helping set up the public address system at Grantley Village Hall.

“It can be a lot of fun and does help raise quite a bit for the schools and community centres,” said Liam, who says he has always tried to inspire other children to play musical instruments.

Studying for GCSE music, Liam has drumming lessons with Ian Macpherson of Percussive Edge, Harrogate and practises twice a week: “I sometimes lose track of time and can be playing for an hour or two.”

He’s not sure how far he will take his music: “At the moment I'm having a lot of fun just enjoying being at RGS but I will say that I have enjoyed mixing music, sport and school in equal measures. Actually, I think it's my friends that come out top as far as having a good time at RGS.”