Meet BBC’s Unsung Hero Mary Bell

Drake Music Scotland Associate Musician Mary Bell is one of the five recipients of the BBC’s inaugural Unsung Hero Award for work with music in their community. The Unsung Hero Award was launched as part of this year’s first ever BBC Music Day on Friday 5 June, a celebration of music across BBC programmes, with numerous events and concerts taking place in towns and cities in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Mary teaches children at Garvel School for the Deaf in Greenock, Inverclyde and is herself a wheelchair user who became profoundly deaf at the age of 36. However, Mary’s loss of hearing hasn’t prevented her from continuing to teach and inspire further generations of young people to take up a musical instrument. She senses sound through vibrations and places her fingers on the side of someone’s neck when they sing to determine the pitch of a sound.

Drake Music Scotland Chief Executive Thursa Sanderson who nominated Mary for the award said “We’re extremely proud to work with Mary!  She gives the deaf pupils she teaches the skills they need to build their confidence and  pursue their musical goals”.

Watch a short video about Mary…

All winners have been invited to Glasgow on Friday 5 June to be in the audience of The One Show which is coming live from the BBC Music Day celebrations at Pacific Quay. And later that evening at Glasgow City Halls they will be guests of honour in the audience for Radio 2’s ‘Friday Night is BBC Music Night’, a special gala concert hosted by Ken Bruce and Katie Derham, featuring the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra with an incredible line-up of artists – pop legends Lulu and Deacon Blue, Radio 2 presenter and jazz pianist Jamie Cullum tenor Noah Stewart, violinist Jack Liebeck, Bhangra artist Jaz Dhami, Scottish folk star Claire Hastings, and harpist Catrin Finch. This show will also be simulcast live on Radio 3, Radio Scotland and the Asian Network.