A 12-year-old girl has come to the aid of her music hero, The Voice television talent show star Howard Rose, after his treasured guitars were stolen from his van.
Howard, who was born and raised in Melton, was left heartbroken following the theft in London of his instruments and other equipment which will cost more than £5,000 to replace because they are not covered by his insurance policy.
One of the guitars taken was his beloved Gibson J60, which he bought from the town’s former Mel-Tone music shop when he worked there and which he used to wow audiences when reaching the final of The Voice in 2015.
Schoolgirl Eva Finnemore heard about the theft and was determined to do something to help the man who has taught and inspired her to sing.
In a bid to buy him a new guitar, she set up an online fundraising page which has already raised nearly £1,000 and she also collected another £65 on Saturday while busking at The Teenage Market in Melton.
Proud mum Melanie said: “Knowing how sad and devastating the theft was to Howard, Eva realised that she had to help.
“She has been inspired and influenced by Howard’s music and his lessons.
“Howard is inspirational to children like my daughter and is such a great teacher.
“Eva would love to put a smile on his face again and all this was her idea.”
Eva, a talented singer-songwriter herself, has even named her guitar ‘Woody Rose’ after her idol’s amazing performances on television.
She called on local people to support Howard, adding: “Us fellow musicians need to stick together.”
Howard was staying overnight with his fiancee Claire when the raiders struck.
He had been celebrating her birthday after performing his latest gig in the capital.
“When I opened the van in the morning and saw the guitars had gone I was absolutely heartbroken,” Howard told the Melton Times.
“The Gibson J60 was my first proper guitar and it has great sentimental value.
“I bought it from Mel-Tone probably 13 or 14 years ago when I didn’t have much money and it means a lot to me.”
Howard (30) said he was heartened by the fundraising efforts of his 12-year-old pupil Eva, saying: “It’s just amazing what Eva is doing for me.
“It’s an absolutely incredible gesture and I am so grateful to everyone who has donated to her appeal.”
Howard’s career is on the up since gaining a new army of fans from The Voice. He recently signed to a new management company and performs around the country.
Tom Griggs, owner of Melton store, Icon Music, has generously loaned instruments and equipment to Howard so he can continue to gig.
Howard added: “The support I have had from people back home in Melton has been so humbling.
“I really didn’t expect people to rally behind me like they have and I am so grateful.”
Go online at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/evarosemusic to pledge money to Eva’s fundraising effort.