When you think of Grammy award winning Ed Sheeran, you might think of singles rocketing up the charts, best-selling albums or sold out gigs at iconic stadiums around the world. What you certainly don’t think of is a community centre in a Boston neighbourhood. And yet that is exactly where he could have been found this past July.
Ed looked characteristically casual in a simple t-shirt and jeans and not at all like the musical sensation that he is when he joined the Boston Music Project, a youth development project that is dedicated to giving musical education to young people all over Boston regardless of financial circumstances. As he walked onto the stage he recalled how he used to play the cello when he was younger which was no doubt a confidence boost for the young cello players.
The Boston Music Project is truly an incredible organisation. Beginning in 2011, it has helped over 1,800 young people every year develop a passion for music, as well as nurturing confidence and other valuable skills that will aid the students in all areas of life. He joined the students in singing ‘Eyes Closed’ from his latest album ‘Autumn Variations’. As if having the chance to perform with him wasn’t incredible enough for these young musicians, he also surprised them with tickets to his show.
Incredibly, this is not the first time that Ed Sheeran has surprised fans! In 2015, 13 year old music student Sydney Bourbeau from Albert, Canada was performing the pop star’s smash-hit ‘Thinking Out Loud’ at West Edmonton Hall as part of a fundraiser for her music school. She had no idea, however, that Ed Sheeran was shopping in that very same mall! When he heard her singing, he surprised her on stage and turned her solo performance into a duet.
In typical Ed fashion, he was gone as quickly as he had arrived. When they had finished the duet, he hugged Sydney before quickly leaving. When later asked about the surprise duet, Sydney admitted that she didn’t recognise the megastar at first. It was then that she thought ‘Should I stop? I didn’t want to stop, but I wanted to talk to him. This is, like, the best thing that’s ever happened to me.’ Much as he did with the students of the Boston Music Project, Ed also gave Sydney free tickets to his concert in Canada!
With so many celebrities out there today who you wouldn’t want young people looking up to, it’s comforting to know that the likes of Ed Sheeran are still out there and are committed to doing good.