Local talent wow crowd at Annual Dinner

Annual Dinner 2019 Group By Jas Sansi

Handsworth-born BBC Young Jazz Musician Xhosa Cole and double bassist Shivraj Singh, from Smethwick, wowed guests at Town Hall Symphony Hall's Annual Dinner on Thursday 7 November. The yearly event, which took place at Birmingham's Hyatt Regency, put young musicians centre stage showcasing the talent development work delivered by the charity across the region. 

Xhosa Cole first played the Tenor at Andy Hamilton’s Ladywood Community Music School, however, it was Holyhead School’s Jazz band with Ray Prince and Sid Peacock that lead him to pursue music, joining Town Hall Symphony Hall's Jazzlines Ensemble, Birmingham Schools Symphony Orchestra and many more. 

Shivraj Singh began playing at a very young age through Jazzlines Summer School where he performed and studied with the likes of Jean Toussaint, Nikki Isles and Shabaka Hutchings. He later went on to study at the decorated Royal Birmingham Conservatoire (2015-2019) and now is a notable sideman playing with the likes of Soweto Kinch, Percy Pursglove and Black Voices to name but a few.

I can’t even begin to count the number of times I’ve been into the THSH buildings to watch, to play or to learn.

Xhosa Cole
Annual Dinner 2019 By Jas Sansi

Town Hall Symphony Hall played a major part in my development as a young musician

Shivraj Singh

Town Hall and Symphony Hall regularly host jazz performances and talent development workshops as part of a thriving Jazzlines programme, connecting thousands of children and young people to jazz music.

In addition to thanking guests for their support throughout the year, Anita Bhalla OBE spoke of the importance of musical interventions, which nurture a lifelong love of music, as significant cuts are made to music tuition in our region’s schools. 

Symphony Hall's current redevelopment will create dedicated spaces to host learning and participation projects, enabling Town Hall Symphony Hall's vital Learning and Participation programme to reach over 24,000 young people and adults every year.