The music charity responsible for Town Hall and Symphony Hall are joining over 30 partners from across the West Midlands, including Birmingham REP, The RSC and mac, to collectively provide a significant number of freelance artists or community members with paid commissions. 

Hundreds of digital micro commissions, each no more than sixty seconds long, will be released across various social media platforms on Mon 21 December creating a region wide celebration of hope, optimism and possibility for the future, and of the value in creativity and the arts.

Mon 21 December is the shortest day of the year. It is also the last Monday before Christmas…the start of a festive season that is likely to be seriously overshadowed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

On the night of Mon 21 December – the Winter Solstice, marking the shortest day and longest night of the year - artists and cultural institutions across the West Midlands will come together to provide multiple moments of happiness and hope under the banner:  It Gets Lighter From Here.

The project involves a huge cross-section of artists and art forms – from theatre and dance, to spoken word and music - and has raised a total of £34,050 for artist commissions, providing vital financial support for the region’s freelancers and community members who have been left unsupported through the Covid-19 pandemic.

The artists commissioned by the music charity responsible for Town Hall and Symphony Hall 

Alicia Gardener Trejo

Alicia Gardener Trejo

Multi-instrumentalist and Composer Alicia Gardener-Trejo is in demand on the Birmingham jazz scene as a low reeds specialist.

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Andrew Woodhead

Andrew Woodhead is an award-winning composer and musician working across a wide variety of disciplines including jazz, electronica & folk.

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Archie Tulk

Archie Tulk is a saxophonist and composer from Birmingham currently studying at Trinity Laban Conservatoire in London.

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Diddy Sweg

Diddy Sweg are a post apocalyptic party band consisting of three horns and a drummer.

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Elliot Sansom

Elliott Sansom is a Birmingham based pianist & composer, named as one of the top 5 finalists for the ‘BBC Young Jazz Musician’ Award in 2016.

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Kai Chareunsy

Kai Chareunsy is a drummer & composer specialising in jazz & improvised music who has performed & recorded with a number of outstanding artists.

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Madi Saskia

Madi Saskia is a “young person with an old soul”. Through her music she inspires & influences those around her through her imaginative material.

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Millicent Chapanda

Millicent Chapanda is a proud cultural artist with a vibrant mission to bring the lived experience of women in Zimbabwe to international stages.

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Reuben Reynolds

Reuben Reynolds has developed a reputation as a highly skilled, reliable and sought-after freelance musician & guitar tutor in Birmingham.

Tom Ford Guitar

Tom Ford

Tom Ford is a guitarist you may have already unknowingly heard, he is somewhat of an enigma appearing all over the UK music scene.

Central to Town Hall Symphony Hall's Jazzlines programme is its work supporting the creative and professional development of artists throughout their career. Commissioning new work, such as this, is one way of doing so. 

Town Hall Symphony Hall's Jazzlines is a PRS Foundation Talent Development Partner and supported by Arts Council England under the National Portfolio Organisation scheme.

Joining the collective voice of Culture Central in marking the Winter Solstice, the music charity responsible for Town Hall and Symphony Hall will celebrate the unique jazz community that has developed in Birmingham. Each of the 10 commissioned musicians will perform their 60 second response to the jazz standard ‘I’m Beginning to See the Light’ which fits under the Culture Central main theme of #ItGetsLighterFromHere. The iconic venue’s Jazzlines programme is proud to build on its legacy of commissioning and supporting creative new music. We stand together with the creative force that continues to flourish in the city through its exceptional jazz musicians.

Mary Wakelam Sloan, Jazz Programme Manager

It has been a great opportunity to do this short 60 second commission and to perform my response to the theme ‘It Gets Lighter From Here’. As we move closer to another year, and hopefully ever closer to a sense of normality, I feel inspired by feelings of optimism which have sparked a sense of playfulness when interpreting the song ‘I’m Beginning To See The Light’.

Elliot Sansom

Following the event on 21st December the collection of work shared across social media platforms may be assembled into an online collection that will be available for sharing into 2021.