Michael Cross: Music Festival will be the highlight of the year

Peterborough Music Festival
Peterborough Music Festival

As mentioned in last month’s column, I am sure that your Christmas and New Year festivities included lots of great music and hopefully, perhaps, a New Year’s resolution to dust off that old guitar, join a choir, or quite simply to seek out and enjoy live music much more during 2017.

The Peterborough Music Hub will continue its work with schools across the city, supporting music education and music making.

The benefits to a child’s education through music and singing are well documented and improvements in literacy and numeracy, listening skills, physical dexterity and coordination, very obvious advantages to taking up an instrument.

This term, children and young people in Peterborough will have the opportunity to work alongside professional musicians from the National Youth Jazz Collective and nationally renowned choral group The Sixteen. Next month also sees the premiere of a new choral piece, Even You Song. It will be performed at Peterborough Cathedral on Thursday, February 16, at 6.30pm - featuring children from local schools and the Cathedral Choir.

Peterborough Sings! will also present another Big Sing event for schools in February, featuring music from The Beatles, with two workshops and performances at The Cresset.

Local young musicians should make note of January 21 (9am-12.30pm) at Ormiston Bushfield Academy for the next Peterborough Centre for Young Musicians Open Day and for the February half term - February 18 and 19 - with the Peterborough Youth Orchestra. Young people under 19 and playing at Grade 5 and above are invited to join PYO for this special weekend workshop on Beethoven’s 5th Symphony. Places are free, contact musichub@peterborough.gov.uk for application forms and further details.

Schools will also come together at the end of March, at KingsGate Conference Centre, for a fabulous new event highlighting the very best in music - Schools Make Music. The show will celebrate music making in schools and feature, choirs, instrumentalists and others, to recognise the diversity and skills of the city’s young musicians.

However, the highlight of the 2017 schedule will be the return of the Peterborough Music Festival. This year, the event will run from the city’s Key Theatre and will provide a week long programme of musical competition - culminating in the Peterborough Young Musician of the Year Concert on Saturday, March 18. Peterborough Music Hub also sponsors a competition specifically for Peterborough’s young composers and songwriters - the New Youth Music Showcase - taking place this year on Friday, March 17. Details of all Peterborough Music Festival events can be found on the website - www.peterboroughmusicfestival.org.uk - with a host of categories and prizes to be won.

There’s a wealth of music events for everyone to enjoy, so make a commitment to supporting live music in 2017 and where better to look than here in the Peterborough Telegraph for the best guide to local events. Peterborough Music Hub also features music highlights at www.peterboroughmusichub.org.uk and music event organisers are encouraged to let the Hub team know of upcoming performances and events for the Hub to share with colleagues across the region.

Michaeal Cross