Generation Ladywood - Short Film Unveiled

Generation Ladywood reaches 4,000 children in first year

In its first year, 2,700 children have taken part in Generation Ladywood, Symphony Hall’s ambitious 21st anniversary legacy project to connect young people in our immediate neighbourhood to music. A further 1,300 have benefited through associated activity, delivered by partners Birmingham Music Service, bringing the total reached to 4,000.

At the project’s flagship Generation Ladywood Showcase in June 2013, Jazz Electives – 250 young jazz musicians from 10 Ladywood schools – performed a specially-composed piece, led and written by eminent jazz musician Jason Yarde. The concert, which took place at Symphony Hall, was sponsored by Service Birmingham. We created a short film to celebrate the achievements of the young musicians.

We’re already looking forward to 2014 and we’ve appointed award-winning saxophonist and innovative composer Mark Lockheart to write a work for next year’s Jazz Electives to perform at the Showcase. Mark will also lead a familiarisation session with Birmingham Music Service tutors and take a series of rehearsals with the young jazz musicians before leading the performance at Symphony Hall. He will be supported by the trumpeter, composer and improviser Laura Jurd and the Jazzlines Trio in delivering the project.

Mark Lockheart says,

“I’m delighted and excited to be writing a piece for THSH Jazz Electives. 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.”

Jazz Electives are Ladywood children in Years 5 and 6 (aged 9-11) who have all elected to continue to learn an instrument after a year of classroom teaching. Jazz Electives is part of Generation Ladywood. To date, we have raised over a quarter of a million pounds in support of Generation Ladywood, which aims to offer 5,050 Key Stage 2 children the opportunity to learn to sing, play an instrument and attend concerts and gigs at THSH.

Our Head of Education and Community, Katie Banks says,

“We know that performing on Symphony Hall’s stage can be a life changing experience: it can raise aspirations, increase confidence, even change your view of the world, and it’s one we believe everyone should have the opportunity to experience.”