In 2012, building on friendships with community groups and schools in our local area, we launched Generation Ladywood, a special three-year project in partnership with Birmingham Music Service.
Inspired by Symphony Hall’s 21st Anniversary celebrations, Generation Ladywood aims to connect young people in our local community to music.
The project – over five years in the planning and almost two years old in delivery – has seen us raise over £300,000 and provide in excess of 7,700 young people with the opportunity to immerse themselves in a world of music, by learning to sing, play an instrument and come to events at Town Hall or Symphony Hall.
On Wednesday 4 June 2014, 280 instrumentalists (including 24 djembes, 30 recorders, 17 cornets) and 120 singers from 16 schools, performed at the Generation Ladywood Showcase to an audience of around 1,000 made up of family and friends, school staff and supporters.
“The showcase was our busiest, loudest and boldest celebration of Generation Ladywood to date; it couldn’t be anything less when you have 400 musicians from 16 schools performing on Symphony Hall’s stage! Hundreds of children, colleagues, friends and musicians helped the THSH Learn & Join In team to make the day possible. We hope everyone involved had an absolutely fantastic and thoroughly memorable experience.” – Emma Nenadic, Project Manager
In Symphony Hall’s 21st Anniversary year we were fortunate enough to begin working with inspirational jazz trumpeter Abram Wilson, who was integral to the beginnings of Generation Ladywood and developed the Jazz Electives element of the project. Abram sadly passed away just before the 2012 concert, but his courage and aspirational spirit lives on through this project and the children and teachers he worked with.
British jazz musician and composer Jason Yarde continued Abram Wilson’s legacy in 2013 with a newly composed piece, Cosmic Calling, engaging with ten Ladywood schools through a strand called Jazz Electives. Generation Ladywood was shortlisted for a Birmingham Mail Local Heroes Award in the Community Project category in 2013.
This year, we asked Parliamentary Jazz Award-winning musician and composer Mark Lockheart to write a special piece for Birmingham Music Service tutors and young jazz musicians to perform at the showcase event. Mark will lead a performance of Are We There Yet – inspired by a long car journey through the eyes of a child – supported by trumpeter, composer and improviser Laura Jurd and the Jazzlines Trio.
“It’s a great opportunity and challenge for me to write something that introduces very young musicians to the diversity and richness of jazz music in Britain today.”– Mark Lockheart
Thank you to our participating schools:
Barford Primary School
Chad Vale Primary School
City Road Primary Academy
George Dixon Academy
George Dixon Primary School
Nelson Primary School
Oasis Academy Woodview
Oratory R. C. Primary and Nursery School
Perry Beeches II the Free School
St Catherine’s of Siena Catholic Primary School
St Edmund’s Catholic Primary School
St George’s C of E Junior and Infant School
St John’s and St Peter’s C of E Academy
St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School
St Thomas’ Church of England (VA) Primary School
Summerfield Primary School
Thank you to our supporters:
Alan Woodfield Charitable Trust
The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation
Arts Council England
Birmingham City Council
The Bryant Trust
Ernest Cook Trust
The Esmee Fairbairn Foundation
Eveson Charitable Trust
GJW Turner Trust
Heathcock Charitable Trust
Lord Austin Trust
The Patrick Trust
Peter & Jane How Trust
The Tiggiwinkle Charitable Trust
and all of our generous individual supporters who have made a donation towards Generation Ladywood
Image credits: Clive Moss for THSH