Local mentoring scheme honours memory of young music fan ‘passionate about arts’

Pictured (Left to right): Liz Shaw (Conor's Mum), Charlotte Dryden (CEO Oh Yeah Music Centre), Claire Webb (Conor's sister)
Pictured (Left to right): Liz Shaw (Conor's Mum), Charlotte Dryden (CEO Oh Yeah Music Centre), Claire Webb (Conor's sister)

A local initiative will honour the memory of a young music fan with a new bursary.

The Oh Yeah Music Centre in Belfast has announced the return of its award-winning Volume Control with a very special partnership, and brand new opportunity for young people involved in local music.

Volume Control is an events mentoring programme for young people aged 14-19. It is an annual scheme that provides music promoters of the future with an opportunity to learn about and run their own live events, under the guidance of Oh Yeah.

The project which will be recruiting a team of up to 12 young people in the coming weeks will now be supported by the Conor Shaw Bursary which was set up by the Shaw family to honour the memory of their son and brother Conor, a young music fan who sadly passed away in 2011.

The idea of the bursary was inspired by two fundraiser events organised by Conor’s friends in aid of his favourite charity, Medecins Sans Frontieres. Several local bands including Not Squares, Third Man Theme and Girls Names took part in an event called “Boomstock”.

The Shaw family were inspired by the energy and the message within the event and the music, which reflected Conor’s life.

It was then that they decided how they would thank his friends and honour Conor’s name by setting up a bursary in his name.

Conor Shaw’s sister, Claire Webb said, “Throughout his short life, Conor was passionate about the arts.

“In particular, with an eclectic taste in music, he was a champion of the Northern Ireland music scene and much-loved presence at gigs, supporting local bands.

“Despite a cancer diagnosis in 2009 and subsequent aggressive treatment, Conor found joy and diversion through his love of music.

“Notably, Conor was the main dancer in the 2010 Not Squares music video by Bright Stem for “Asylum”, and also danced in the group’s “Release the Bees” video. Sadly, Conor died aged 31 in April 2011, but we are delighted to carry on his legacy of supporting local music through the Conor Shaw Bursary”.

Charlotte Dryden of Oh Yeah said, “When Conor’s family approached us to talk about how they could ensure that Conor and his love of music would be remembered, we were absolutely honoured.

“Together we came up with the idea of investing the bursary into our Volume Control project.

“The donation will be spread across three years to help the winning bands in Volume Control’s annual Clash of The New Breeds competition.

“Conor Shaw was very involved in the local music scene and no doubt would have rolled his sleeves up and got stuck in if he had been involved with Volume Control.

“Therefore we will also be awarding an annual prize to one of our most promising Volume Control team members at their annual end of year show.

“We are very grateful to be able to do this thanks to the generosity of the Shaw family and we are proud to play a part in ensuring Conor’s name lives on through music.”

Volume Control will return in March, with recruitment starting over the next few days. Oh Yeah can also reveal that for the first time participants that complete the programme will be able to come away with an Open College Network qualification in events management, a huge step for Oh Yeah and the project, and an incredible opportunity for budding music industry and events professionals.

Information on how to apply to be on the team for 2018 will be announced in the coming days on social media.