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Guitar tutor James Martin and pupils record songs to help Syria refugees

A guitar tutor and his pupils have recorded a set of songs to raise money to help Syrian refugees.

James Martin, from Loughborough, challenged his students to write and perform on festive tracks, which are now available to download on iTunes.

Mr Martin said: “I thought it would be a novel idea to set my pupils a real test and to raise some money for a good cause into the bargain.

“I am delighted at the very high standard of the songs which have been written and performed by the students.”

The 36-year-old said he had been touched by the plight of the millions of Syrians who have been displaced by the civil war raging in their country.

He said: “I feel that while there is focus on whether this country should be taking action with regard to the situation, the refugees have been forgotten about.

“I just hope people are interested enough to click on the songs and download them because of their quality and because of the sentiment behind them.”

Billy Edwards, 11, of Loughborough, recorded Killing Christmas.

The Woodbrook Vale High School pupil said: “I wrote the song about people being moved out of their homes at Christmas by soldiers in Syria.

“It was fun to write. It feels good to be able to download my own song.

“It would be brilliant if my song got to be number one. I would like that.”

His father, Mark, said: “We have already downloaded Billy’s song.

“I think this is a great idea and it is so exciting for Billy and for all the family to have his song to listen to in such a professional manner.”

Mr Martin, who plays with two bands which perform on the pub and club circuit, said he also called on the services of drummer Steve Ward and vocalist and writer Matt Chubb to perform on the songs.

He said all proceeds from the sale of the songs on iTunes would be donated to the UK charity Syria Relief.

A spokesman for Syria Relief said: “We really appreciate any donations and this is a lovely gesture at this time of the year.”

The six songs available on iTunes are:

Christmas Etude, by Ellie Marlow, 11, of Coalville.

Santa’s Big Red Sleigh, by Matt Barnard, 30, of Syston.

Killing Christmas, by Billy Edwards, 10, of Loughborough.

Rapture, by Aled Horler, 16, of Loughborough.

Best Day of the Year, by Ollie Blount, of Sileby, with lyrics by Leah Govier, head of music at Castle Rock High, Coalville.

Snowfall, by James Martin and Matt Chubb.

To download the songs go to iTunes and search for Leicestershire Music Collective.

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