Celebrating the musical talent in Ladywood

Last week Town Hall Symphony Hall held its annual Generation Ladywood Showcase, the culmination of one of our flagship Learning and Participation projects, Jazz Electives.

With an audience of over 1000 people including fellow school pupils, parents and families and some special invited guests, it was a fantastic celebration of the musical talent there is within Ladywood! 275 pupils from 11 different primary schools from Ladywood took to the stage to perform the world premiere of City Suite, written especially for the ensemble by this year’s composer John K Miles. 

Three movements depicted a busy rush hour, the quietness of night time and then a groovy street party to finish. The pupils learnt the piece with their Services for Education Music Service tutors within their instrumental lessons in school, and then came together for just two massed rehearsals to bring the piece together.

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We heard from 55 pupils from 3 Ladywood secondary schools that have been working with Chris Mapp and a team of Jazzlines support musicians through a series of in-school workshops and a massed rehearsal to create their piece of music ‘Search and Reflect’. They came up with a series of riffs and rhythms through the workshops and the piece saw pupils conducting sections of the piece, taking solos and using technology to make weird and wonderful soundscapes to add to the piece.

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As well as the premier of this year’s Jazz Electives pieces we were treated to an opening set from New Orleans marching brass band Bostin’ Brass, who have also been popping up in SEND, primary and secondary Ladywood playgrounds all summer term!

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Jazz vocalist and educator Pete Churchill got the whole hall learning and performing a song in ten minutes in the ‘Big Sing!’ as part of the concert too!

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If that wasn’t enough we had the Abram Wilson No Fear Awards, a special moment we always look forward to at the Generation Ladywood Showcase! The awards were presented by Jennie Cashman Wilson (Founder of the Abram Wilson Foundation), Lord Mayor Yvonne Mosquito and Jasvir Sandhu from Capita, who is this year’s Sponsor of the event. Pupils from each school firstly received a Abram Wilson No Fear Award Certificate for enthusiasm, commitment and musicianship throughout the project. In addition to the certificate awards, two pupils were chosen as the 2018 Abram Wilson No Fear Awardees to receive a musical instrument of their own and one-to-one instrumental lessons with their Music Service tutor for the following academic year.

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We were thrilled to hear from the 2017 Abram Wilson No Fear Awardees doing a duet with their Music Service tutor; Hawa from St Johns and St Peters CE Academy, and Gemma from St George’s CE Primary both showed real bravery and musicianship in their performances and it was fantastic to hear how much they’ve progressed through this award scheme. 

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A huge congratulations to all of our 2018 Generation Ladywood Showcase performers!

We are grateful to Capita for being our 2018 Generation Ladywood Showcase sponsor.

Generation Ladywood is kindly supported by:

Alan Woodfield Charitable Trust
Baron Davenport’s Charity
Dumbreck Charity
Eveson Charitable Trust
G J W Turner Trust
George Fentham Birmingham Charity
Grimmitt Trust
Heathcock Caritable Trust
Pete & Jane How Trust
R V J Cadbury Charitable Trust
The Leverhulme Trust
The Patrick Trust
Services for Education Music Service

Town Hall Symphony Hall would also like to thank all of our generous individual supporter who have made a donation towards this project.