Simple Minds stars’ donation helps Glasgow secondary school buy grand piano

Jim Kerr and Charlie Burchill ensure the music department at Holyrood Secondary School is Alive and Kicking.
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Pupils at Holyrood can play a new grand piano in the secondary school’s music department after a donation from former students Jim Kerr and Charlie Burchill, the Glasgow musicians that have been the creative force behind the global success of band Simple Minds.

The singer and guitarists rallied behind the school’s Sponsor a Key fundraiser, making a sizeable donation towards the cost of the white piano.

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The eye-catching musical instruments is decorated ith the names of 36 Scottish artists and groups, including Travis - led by singer Fran Healy, another former pupil of Holyrood - Mogwai, Aztec Camera, Lewis Capaldi and Midge Ure.

Ali Simpson, Principal Music Teacher at Holyrood Secondary told STV News: “In November we launched a fundraiser which was really well received by the local community.

“We’ve had staff and families, alumni and local businesses all sponsoring and donating keys.

“Our original plan was that we would buy a used Gumtree instrument. However, with the amazing donation, we were able to buy a brand new instrument of really high quality, way more than we ever dreamed of when we started.

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“We were absolutely stunned, we couldn’t believe it. We loved it and it was really nice to think that you enjoyed your time in Holyrood and that you haven’t forgotten us and we won’t forget you.

“I think it’s really inspiring for our young people to know that successful music careers started here and I’m sure they will do it again.”

The money allowed Holyrood to buy an instrument “four or five times the quality we originally planned to buy”.

The school said: ““Thank you so much to all of our supporters for our ‘Sponsor a Key’ fundraiser.

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“We have been delighted and touched by the response from the Holyrood community and would like to sincerely thank former pupils Jim Kerr and Charlie Burchill of Simple Minds, for a very significant donation.”

Pupil Elina Purina was among a music group that performaed Simple Minds’ song Don’t You (Forget About Me), which was featured on the soundtrack to the film The Breakfast Club, on Friday.

The musicians named on the Holyrood piano are: Altered Images, Amy MacDonald, Aztec Camera, Belle & Sebastian, Biffy Clyro, Billy Connolly, Chvrches, Deacon Blue, Del Amitri, Eddi Readers, Franz Ferdinand, Gerry Cinnamon, Gerry Rafferty, Gun, Hue & Cry, The Jesus and Mary Chain, John Martin, Johnny & The Self Abusers, Lloyd Cole & The Commotions, Love & Money, Lewis Capaldi, Midge Ure, Mogwai, Orange Juice, Paolo Nutini, Primal Scream, Sensational Alex Harvey Band, Simple Minds, Teanage Fanclub, Texas, The Blue Nile, The Bluebells, The Fratellis, The Silencers, Travis and Wet Wet Wet.

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