The healing power of music - Peterborough Music Hub Programme Manager Michael Cross

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This past month has illustrated the power of music as a means of sharing experiences and bringing people together.

Following the Manchester Arena bombing, musicians and thousands of music fans came together in an act of solidarity - seeking healing and remembrance at a concert for all those caught up in the attack.

More recently, following the terrible fire at Grenfell Tower, Simon Cowell announced the recording of a new version of Simon and Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water, featuring celebrity musicians, to raise money for the disaster fund. These efforts remind all those working in music of the influence and importance of the art form and its relevance in daily life.

Peterborough Music Hub continues to work locally to identify and support the next generation of musicians, enabling young people to learn instruments and develop vocal skills in order to entertain, inspire and comfort others.

This summer provides two exciting opportunities to engage in this work. The Peterborough Youth Orchestra meets in August for its annual workshop programme, at Ormiston Bushfield Academy over four days (August 29 to September 1). Culminating in a concert at the Town Hall Reception Room on September 1, the workshop offers three programmes. PYO is for Grade 6+ players and will feature Finlandia (Sibelius), Slavonic Dances Set 1 (Dvorak) and Symphony No. 5 (Beethoven). Two new groups are also included this year with PYO Too (a training orchestra for players grade 3+) and the Peterborough Youth Jazz Ensemble. The course costs £50 for the four days and application forms are available from Peterborough Music Hub (application deadline is 1 August) and all orchestral/jazz instrumentalists (aged 19 years or under) are welcome to apply.

The Peterborough Centre for Young Musicians is also engaged in a summer project, having successfully applied to Tesco’s Bags of Help initiative for its Peterborough Centre for Young Musicians: Percussion for All! fundraising campaign.

PCYM is one of three local groups competing for the £4,000 top grant possible through the initiative.

Money is raised through the 5p levy on carrier bags with the scheme awarding grants to local community projects.

Tesco has teamed up with Groundwork to deliver the Bags of Help scheme and has given £30 million to more than 4,600 projects throughout the UK. Tesco customers get the chance to vote for three different groups every time they shop.

PCYM’s campaign will support investment in the provision of tuned percussion instruments, helping to establish an exciting new ensemble for PCYM - appealing to the city’s drummers and percussionists. It will open opportunities for young people who love drumming, rhythm and performing in different styles.

Voting is open in Tesco stores throughout July and August at the following local stores: Peterborough Extra, Peterborough Metro, Peterborough Oundle Rd Express, Stanground Express And Wistow Way Orton Express.

So, if you buy a Tesco carrier bag, please vote for PCYM and let your 5p support Peterborough’s Music making.

For details on all Hub activities email: musichub@peterborough.gov.uk