Talented music student Charlie Derrick died in a car accident 10 years ago. His former lecturers, fellow students and musician friends are uniting for a fundraising Christmas song in his honour, writes Paul Offord.

A charity Christmas single is being produced by Weston College music department to honour the life of a gifted young guitarist.

Charlie Derrick, aged 20, was killed in a car accident in 2003 while studying for a BTec level three music practice diploma, at the Somerset college.

His mother, Jules Derrick, set up the Charlie Derrick Music Foundation to provide financial support for musicians under the age of 25 in North Somerset.

Many of Charlie’s former musician friends, lecturers and students from the college are collaborating on a Christmas single, to be called Hope, to mark the decade since his death.

Jules said: “The foundation started because at least 800 people came to Charlie’s funeral. My husband Stephen and I didn’t want them all to buy flowers, but we said they could make donations instead.

“Charlie’s life was so consumed by music that we thought it would be nice to set up a foundation helping musicians with the proceeds.

“I have heard a demo of the charity single already and it is absolutely beautiful. The words express exactly what we are trying to do, which is give young people hope that they can pursue their dreams in music.”

Paul Raymond, curriculum music and media manager at Weston College, said: “Charlie loved jazz and blues, but he was also a great rock guitarist.

“He would have been a talented session musician and I had actually offered him a job here as a guitar teacher, just before he died.”

The lyrics to the charity song were penned by professional songwriter and former music student Ryan Inglis.

It was composed by former lecturer and session keyboard player Steve Williams, who will soon be going on tour with Boyzone.

“Steve played with Charlie in several bands and they were great friends.” said Mr Raymond.

“We all performed together on the Jazz World Stage at Glastonbury in 2002.

“When he died, because playing at the festival was such a pivotal moment for Charlie, Michael Eavis allowed his ashes to be scattered in the field where we performed.”

The single’s backing track is currently being recorded at the college’s studios, by music production lecturer Tony Hobden.

It was due out before Christmas.

Visit www.cdmusicfoundation.org.uk to donate to the foundation.

Click here for the video.


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