Local drummer Jared Green is the inaugural winner of a new scholarship launched by Backline Charitable Trust to provide opportunities for emerging musicians in Hawke’s Bay.
The trust was established several years ago by Tom Pierard, himself a professional percussionist, founder and director of Rhythm and Vines Hamish Pinkham and Kevin Murphy, who has built his career around funding, sponsorship, events management and marketing.
Tom says the aim of the trust is to support emerging songwriters and performance musicians in Hawke’s Bay. The annual $1500 scholarship offsets fees for New Zealand Diploma in Music students at EIT.
Jared was “a little surprised” to be the first scholarship winner but says he was hopeful, having put a lot of effort into his application. Last year he completed EIT’s Certificate in Contemporary Music Performance, which has since been replaced by the diploma offering.
Teaching the EIT programme, Tom says Jared was an outstanding student who is now forging a career in the music industry.
From Hastings, Jared works for the Napier Music Academy, where he promotes music education in the community teaching piano, ukulele, vocals and guitar. After hours, he teaches drums at the Music Machine in Napier.
The 24-year-old sees his future in drumming – “that’s where my passion is”. And while he has still to figure out where his “creative path” will take him, he’s confident that will be in Hawke’s Bay.
Jared was the drummer for local rock band Heterodox until it split after several members left the area.
His 10-year plan is to teach from his own studio and possibly drum in another band. In the meantime he is keeping up his performance skills by doing some drumming for rock band Mixed Tape.
Jared “totally enjoyed” his year at EIT. The study programme expanded his knowledge and understanding of different genres of music, he says, and, while he had long been open to what music he listened to, it also opened his eyes to being more experimental about what he played.
His ambition is to see Hawke’s Bay music lovers more supportive of the local scene.
He feels frustrated that people will fork out big money for events such as the Storm the Gates Festival, which featured international bands, but balk at paying a $5 entry charge for a local gig.
“We have so many good bands but they are not going to get better unless people come out and see them. That way, they can work on their music and getter better at what they do. You don’t get good by practising at home.
“My big thing is to get people to understand that,” he says. “A band needs the grassroots level of support or it will never take off.”