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Plug In Tune Up - Sunday 23rd September / 7pm

We are delighted that following an initial call out for young musicians we have 5 young soloists and 1 group who will be performing on Sunday 23rd September as part of Plug In Tune Up.

The evening has been programmed to offer young people with musical aspirations to share their favourite works and perform at The HopBarn to an open audience. Whilst many of the songs being sung will by well known artists, there will also be work, written and composed by the young musicians themselves. This reflects The HopBarn's ethos of programming music that has be written and composed by the artists themselves.

This is a free concert event and we hope to attract a large audience to come and support the young musicians and offer them a opportunity to play to a large crowd.

To ensure The HopBarn does not exceed seating capacity, Please reserve your free ticket by clicking here.

The evening programme features:

Artists Biographies

Sam Adams

Samuel Adams started his music journey during secondary school, picking up the trombone as a starter but then swiftly moving to guitar in year 8. After a year of lessons, Sam decided to become self-taught and joined the school rock band playing the likes of Cream and Nirvana way too loudly, a joy for the parents in the crowd of the violinists and concert band.

In 2016, Sam joined the Swanyard Songwritersin Retford and wrote his first song, which appeared on their album ‘Reverb 7’. This passion grew further, allowing him to write several more songs and perform with a live band of his choice at different venues. It was here, that he became more aware of the local music scene, looking at genres such as blues, folk, jazz and alternative which now influence his music. Sam enjoy’s listening to artists such as Catfish and the Bottlemen, Royal Blood, George Ezra, Stereophonics, The Stone Roses and the classic Led Zepellin, Eagles and Dire Straitsetc.

Aside from music, Sam also has a passion for theatre, playing several roles in recent school shows such as the leads Tonyin West Side Storyand Jean Valjeanin Les Miserables. These shows were a great confidence booster as well as allowing him to develop his vocal and performance skills.

Tonight, Sam will be playing a stripped down version of his music on an acoustic guitar as well as a few George Ezra covers. He hopes you enjoy the set.

Sam Barker

Sam Barker from Mansfield has been playing guitar since he was 7 years old, singing since he was 13 and writing/composing his own work since 14. Sam listens to and is influenced by music of the 60s and 70s, such as The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix and Bob Dylan. Sam really enjoys performing and has been giging for about a year now. His love for playing guitar aspires him to make a career in the music industry.

Alexander Bradford

Alexander Bradford joined Southwell Minster School’s junior department in year 4 after taking an interest in the piano from 3 years of age. Having undertaken formal piano lessons at 7, Alexander has now achieved grade 8 with distinction. In 2017 Alex reached the semi-finals of Nottingham Young Musician of the year. Recent accolades include winning the Southwell Minster School’s piano competition whilst partaking in other prestigious music competitions.

In July 2018, Alexander gave a debut piano recital at St Mary’s Church, Newark and was also invited to undertake a professional master-class as part of Southwell Music Festival 2018.

Alexander also has grade 7 clarinet, grade 5 singing and is self taught on the guitar. With his guitar and loop pedal he experiments with a more contemporary style of cover versions but also writes and performs his own compositions.

Alexander has played at various local festivals during the summer including several performances at Nottingham Beach Bar, not to mention an open mic whilst on holiday in Cornwall.

Alexander is fully immersed in the musical life of school from orchestra, to sound sessions to musical theatre. He relishes any opportunity to challenge and improve his musical development and is therefore grateful to be part of the Hopbarn's Plug In Tune Up.

Betsey Bircumshaw

Betsey Bircumshaw is a music artist/songwriter based in Nottinghamshire, whose passion for the arts has not stopped since her early years. Her music is influenced by and focuses on contemporary R & B, as she is significantly influenced by strong, independent women like Etta James. Betsey's unique, soulful, matured vocals make her seem older than her years and her songs are passionate and loving, gripping any listener.

Currently, Betsey is focusing on writing more songs, releasing a single later this year (2018) and building as many skills as possible to make her a better artist. By busking and regularly gigging, she found her most exciting experience, which was supporting a band at The Hopbarn (Upton). The band gave her confidence to drive her hunger further and develop her unique music style and now, she is going on to do many festivals. Alongside her passion for theatre, she never stops scribbling lyrics onto scrap pieces of paper, always wanting to improve, impress and simply, live her best life.

Mara Iliescu

Mara Iliescu started singing when she was 3 years old in a German choir that her grandmother attended in her home country of Romania. Mara continued to perform with this choir in all the parts of Romania, and by the age of 5 she was well-known within the German community in Romania and was commonly known as The Little Singer. Edelweiss, (the name of the choir) became a second home to Mara and after 8 years and numerous performances as a choir singer and soloist, Mara met the President of Romania, Klaus Iohannis at an exhibition she was attending whilst wearing a German traditional suit and holding a copy of his book Step by Step. This was an important event in Mara’s life, describing it as one of the biggest rewards that god had offered her.

In 2016, Mara moved to England and enrolled at George Spencer Academy. Music has continued to be her best friend, and Mara sings regularly with the School Choir and the Rock School both as a choir singer and as a soloist. Mara speaks Romanian, German and English

whilst also learning French and Spanish and hopes to specialise in Music and Languages. For Mara, there is no greater gift than the applauses that she gets at the end of her performances.

Lucas Walters

Lucas Walters is joined by Reuben Savage (Guitar), Barney McNamara (Electric Bass), Ted Smiley (Drums) and Alistair Beaven (Alto Saxophone). They are a new jazz quintet consisting of music students who are interested in jazz will perform well known numbers including Stevie Wonder’s Isn’t She Lovely,whilst also presenting a number of improvised solos during their set.

The HopBarn is excited by this event and hopes to programme another Plug In Tune Up in the spring of 2019. If you or you know anyone who might be interested in partaking, please contact The HopBarn by e-mail at

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