Newham performers put on ‘amazing evening’ of music at the Barbican

Year 10 pupil Danielle Abbia Kwayke performs with the Lister School Jazz Band

Year 10 pupil Danielle Abbia Kwayke performs with the Lister School Jazz Band - Credit: Archant

A host of talented young musicians performed to hundreds of people last night to mark the 20th birthday of Newham Music.

Year 10 pupil Danielle Abbia Kwayke performs with the Lister School Jazz Band

Year 10 pupil Danielle Abbia Kwayke performs with the Lister School Jazz Band - Credit: Archant

The sounds of guitarists, orchestral players and singers rippled through the famed concert hall during An Evening with Newham Music, a two-hour show which took place in front of 500 people.

Liz Coomb, projects and communications manager at Newham Music, called the showcase of young talent an “absolute triumph”.

She said: “All the young musicians had an amazing evening and performed so well.

“We are so proud of all the hard work they put in and for rising to the challenge of playing on such a world-class stage as the Barbican, because the young people of Newham and their talent deserves to be there and they definitely proved that on the night.”

New youth orchestra Newham Philharmonic made its debut at the Barbican

New youth orchestra Newham Philharmonic made its debut at the Barbican - Credit: Lidia Crisafulli


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The evening kicked off in style with improvisational singing ensemble Play Dub Now who performed their version of reggae album Satta Massagana by The Abyssians with a chorus featuring pupils from Gallions, Vicarage and St Michael’s primary schools.

The experimental Lister School Jazz Band followed with takes on classics by Ray Charles and Thelonius Monk, before Newham Guitars strummed their way through a performance of Spook by British composer Anna Meredith.

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Pupils from Selwyn Primary, Lister Community and Rokeby schools supported the group for the quirky piece which included a marimba, string quartet, solo guitar and even featured ukulele players.

Later on an electric performance of traditional Roma music from Roma Bridging Sounds Orchestra – a partnership project between the Roma Support Group and Newham Music – got the whole Barbican singing along, receiving a rapturous applause.

To end there was an exceptional finale performance from Newham Philharmonic, Newham Music’s new orchestra for 16-25-year-olds.

The masterful players performed Brahms’ Symphony no. 1 in C minor and Brahms’ Hungarian Dances no. 7 and 10 under the baton of conductor Matthew Scott Rogers in what was their debut concert together.

Newham Music boss Tom Kerstens said: “It is a key objective of Newham Music to give our young musicians inspirational performance opportunities at world class venues.

“It builds their confidence, self-esteem and shows there is a thrilling end to all their hard work. They should all be immensely proud of the work they have produced.”

Music hub Newham Music provides high-quality music education to all children and young people in the borough, supporting 10,000 young people every year.

Visit click here to find out more.

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