City’s musical youth at its best

ABBA Schools Singing Day at the  Cresset. Gunthorpe primary school pupils learning about drumming EMN-180603-084302009
ABBA Schools Singing Day at the Cresset. Gunthorpe primary school pupils learning about drumming EMN-180603-084302009
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Michael Cross, Peterborough Music Hub programme manager

I have enjoyed some fantastic music over the past few weeks - most recently from the wonderful choir at Peterborough Cathedral over Easter. It was a fitting finale to a sensational month of music making across Peterborough this spring - with many events supported by Peterborough Music Hub.

Over 700 children from 14 schools took part in two Singing Days at the Cresset in early March. Led by Peterborough Sings! they workshopped and performed some of ABBA’s greatest hits and whole new generation of singers discovered the joy of this timeless music.

This was followed by another marvellous week of music with the 2018 Peterborough Music Festival. This annual competition featured classes across a host of disciplines, including the New Youth Music Showcase at the Key Theatre. Ten local young songwriters and composers entered this year’s event, with talented band Black Vinyl (from Queen Katharine Academy) winning the first prize.

The action then moved to Peterborough Cathedral (17 March), with a superb concert presented by Northamptonshire Music and Performing Arts Trust. The programme included two new works from local composers. Ben Till’s ‘Nene’ had a massed choir of young singers (with 150 children from St. Augustine’s Junior School, Ormiston Meadows Academy, Orton, Wistow, Braybrook and Hampton Vale Primary Schools) taking part.

The other new piece was by Martin Bright, written especially for the Peterborough Centre for Young Musician’s Percussion Ensemble. The twenty minute work - Reeds Sway at Water’s Edge - is inspired by Peterborough’s bronze-age heritage site at Flag Fen. Thirteen dancers from Ken Stimpson Community School (choreographed by Jordi Guitart) provided an exciting visual context to the work and PCYM’s young players performed with great style and technique.

The run up to Easter saw two further events - this time at KingsGate Conference Centre - with a morning of music devised and performed by 120 students from Jack Hunt, Thomas Deacon Academy, St. John Fisher Catholic High School, Ken Stimpson and Nene Park Academy. Over the spring term the students had written words and music for new piece - A Hamster’s Tale and performed to a group of primary school children at an ‘open rehearsal’.

This was followed by schools coming together for the 2018 Schools Make Music Concert - the highlight of the Peterborough Music Hub calendar. The event featured over two hundred students from Hampton Vale, Sacred Heart and Woodston Primary schools, together with Ken Stimpson Community School, Nene Park Academy, The Beat Orchestra, PCYM and Arthur Mellows Village College.

The contribution from all performers was outstanding - highlighting the excellent standard of music education across the city.

Peterborough’s young musicians can engage with performances throughout the year, with PCYM, the Peterborough Youth Orchestra, Peterborough Community Orchestra, the City of Peterborough Youth Ensemble, Peterborough Sings! and others all offering support, training and events for young players and vocalists.

As Peterborough Music Hub enters a new financial year it’s a great time to contact us for details about the work we do facilitating these opportunities - with instrument loans, bursaries, special project funding, tuition and an ongoing workshop programme also on offer.

Email: musichub@peterborough.gov.uk for details and join us making great music.