One of the nation’s brightest and most youthful festivals, theMFY National Festival, is celebrating its 10th anniversary in Birmingham from 8-12 July, in partnership withTown Hall & Symphony HallandBirmingham Conservatoire. Every year, 8,000 talented young musicians, aged 5–21 from all over the UK descend on Birmingham for the week-long festival, bringing the city’s world-class stages, its streets and squares to life with music of all kinds.
And this year, the festival is set to be bigger still, with a vibrant programme of fringe activities and special events, including a Festival Tent, satellite stages, performances from professional musicians, an Interactive Zone and a Family Experience. The festival’s reach has also been extended with the doors thrown open to local young musicians to participate.
Main stage events take place at Symphony Hall, Town Hall and Birmingham Conservatoire and the range of music on offer is vast – from brass bands, steel pans and choirs to rock, pop & urban, folk groups and orchestral ensembles. What they share is quality: having come through Music for Youth’s Regional Festival Series, the standard of these young musicians is nothing short of inspirational.
The party atmosphere is evident through the Festival Fringe, with pop-up performances and satellite stages: a Festival Tent on Centenary Square, Brindleyplace bandstand, the Library of Birmingham and, for the first time, various spaces across the Colmore Business Distric. An Interactive Zone at Symphony Hall features instrument demonstrations, taster sessions and musical games, and there are workshops and masterclasses for musicians, schools and music professionals.
Birmingham groups are well represented and include Town Hall and Symphony Hall’s Jazz Electives (part of THSH’s Generation Ladywood), who will give an extract from a work written for them by eminent jazz musician Mark Lockheart. Mark Lockheart and Laura Jurd also take part in the daily Ten Past Two…Performances by the Pros slot, as do Birmingham Conservatoire’s brass and percussionists with a specially commissioned festival fanfare by Joe Cutler of Birmingham Conservatoire. The Birmingham Conservatoire Junior School and Birmingham Schools’ Concert Orchestra are involved in main stage events.
Speaking of the 10th anniversary, Judith Webster, Chief Executive, Music for Youth said:
Music for Youth has built up an incredibly positive relationship with Birmingham over the last 10 years, and we are proud to be able to work with city partners to present such an exciting celebration of young musical talent. With over 8,000 performers and everything from duos to 120 piece orchestras, there really is something for everyone – young or old!
Andrew Jowett OBE, Chief Executive of Town Hall & Symphony Hall said:
We know that the experience of playing or singing on Town Hall or Symphony Hall’s stage can be a thrilling, memorable, and sometimes life-changing, experience. Making our halls available in this way is one the most valuable and rewarding things we can do for our nation’s young musicians. Every year, THSH’s Education, community and talent development programme reaches 18,000 and, through Music for Youth, that number expands yet further. We are proud to be celebrating this 10th anniversary achievement.
Full details at www.mfy.org.uk/national
Tickets for main stage performances and Family Experience are available from www.thsh.co.uk
Notes to Editors
About Town Hall and Symphony Hall Birmingham
Town Hall and Symphony Hall are managed together by Performances Birmingham Limited, a Registered Charity No 1053937. Between them, the two halls present an exciting and varied programme of around 800 concerts and events a year, connecting people of all ages and backgrounds to music from jazz, folk, world, roots and classical, to rock and pop. Over 500,000 people visit Town Hall and Symphony Hall annually, and almost 12,000 young people and 6,000 adults participate in the thriving Education and Community programme.
Funded by Birmingham City Council
Supported using public funding by Arts Council England
Town Hall Birmingham re-opened in October 2007 following a £35m renovation funded by Birmingham City Council (£18.3m), Heritage Lottery Fund (£13.7m), European Regional Development Fund (£3m).
Jessica Paton, Marketing Manager, Music for Youth 0207 759 1830/07783 199050
Fiona Fraser / Lyle Bignon / Abi Barrington, Communications, Town Hall & Symphony Hall
Fiona.firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
0121 644 5008/0121 644 6028/0121 644 6078 (Direct)
3 July 2014