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

PUBLISHED: 19:00 12 April 2016

Gallion Primary School pupils get ready to perform in the Play Dub Now ensemble

Gallion Primary School pupils get ready to perform in the Play Dub Now ensemble


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

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 BarbicanNew youth orchestra Newham Philharmonic made its debut at the Barbican

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.

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.”

About Newham Music

Since its inception in 1996, Newham Music has aimed to ensure all five to 18-year-olds have the chance to sing and learn a musical instrument, progress their talent and play in ensembles with others.

The charity provides music education and practical opportunities throughout at Newham Music Academy, an after-school and Saturday music centre held in Stratford and Plaistow, and at other venues across the borough.

It has won several awards such as the Incorporated Society of Musicians Award for Music Technology in Education in 2014 and was also awarded Music Education Hub Leader status for Newham by Arts Council England and the Department for Education in 2012.

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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