After a year of planning and 6 months of activities, The Big Youth Music Experience weekend finally took place! Two full days of music, energy and entertainment spreading from Nottingham’s Albert Hall, to the Cathedral, Playhouse and Sky Mirror.
We were blessed with good weather so we were able to have some of our fringe events outside by the Sky Mirror, and we had healthy attendance for both days to make the most of what was on offer!
We are promising to keep this blog page updated with pictures and videos – if you attended any of the events/activities over the weekend and would like to share any pictures you have, please get in touch!
A huge HURRAH and thank you to everyone who attended over the weekend. Whether you were volunteering or taking part – we hope you had fun!
SATURDAY 13 JULY
Robin Hood Orchestra (City Music Hub) Flash Mob
What an idea, and what a response! The RHO flash mob made waves throughout Nottingham on Saturday – they started outside the Council House and passed through locations like the Arboretum and Trent Bridge. They were in bright green shirts and produced amazing atmospheres everywhere they went! Well done all!
You can see pictures from their locations on their Twitter page @NottMusicHub
‘Come & Try’ the Organ
We began Saturday the best way possible – filling the Albert Hall up with the incredible sounds of the Binns Organ!
A handful of excited pianists each got a dedicated slot with Mike Smith, experienced organist and teacher and got to play on one of the finest instruments in the country!
The first percussion workshop of the weekend was aimed at grade 4+ players looking to perform on the full range of percussion instruments! Glockenspiel, xylophone, vibraphone and marimba, as well as timpani, the drum kit and a variety of smaller items.
Pure Steel Band
FRINGE performance + ‘Come & Try’
Mansfield’s own Pure Steel joined us on Saturday afternoon at the Sky Mirror, providing a unique steel band performance – they even let people have a go themselves! It’s a lot harder than people realise, and takes good muscle-memory to know what note goes where!
Under the tuition of accomplished violinist and conductor Chris George, the senior strings enjoyed a vibrant rehearsal in the Neville Studio above the Nottingham Playhouse Bar & Kitchen. Amongst the repertoire studied, senior strings later got the chance to play in the epic Game of Thrones piece, ‘Light of the Seven’!
Senior Wind Band
Another instrumental group that had Game of Thrones preparations for Saturday’s concert was the senior wind band.
MfE were happy to bring in Chris Swann (Sinfonia Viva, Royal Northern College of Music) to take the workshops, and also welcomed clarinet soloist Oliver Lee (Royal Northern student) in Weber’s Concertino.
Senior Singing – Gospel
By far one of the most popular workshops of the whole weekend, the Gospel workshop was led by award-winning local gospel artist Freddie Kofi.
He brought new approaches and techniques to singing and challenged participants to step out of their comfort zones and learn new ways of bringing songs to life – a few singers who had never sung solo before took the plunge and sang before the audience in the evening concert.
A unique day for everyone.
‘Come and Try’ Endangered Instruments
All of our fringe events were popular and well received amongst adults and youth. However, the particular favourite fringe “activity” of young people was in fact Windblowers’ stall!
With a gorgeous selection, people were free to try out an instrument they might have never laid their hands on before, including endangered instruments.
Nottingham Youth Jazz Orchestra
The Nottingham Youth Jazz Orchestra joined us on Saturday afternoon outside the Sky Mirror, presenting a set of uplifting and energetic pieces that got every foot in the audience tapping!
SUNDAY 14 JULY
Kicking off Sunday’s activities was the junior string group. Guest professional conductor Rowen Cozens was fantastic with the young string players, and helped them learn a super range of music, including the Sailor’s Hornpipe, and a quirky Caribbean number which had players use their instruments as percussion!
Junior Wind Band
Also kicking off Sunday was the junior wind band, led by Chris Swann and joined by the junior percussion kids. They enjoyed a vivid selection of band music, including the impressive Aztlan by Victor Lopez, to be performed in the informal afternoon concert.
Holding two fringe workshops throughout Sunday was Nikki from Artbeat. Bringing her own Portuguese drums and various percussion instruments, participants enjoyed learning rhythms and hearing how a traditional Samba group sounds altogether – explosive!
A highly-anticipated fringe event, crowds and participants were not disappointed with Vijay’s excellent performance and workshop. Most of the weekend’s youth had never witnessed Bhangra let along give it a go themselves!
Led by percussionist-extraordinaire Jackie Kendle, young percussion players really got a taste of everything there was on offer!
The Big Family Sing
Following on from the success of our February/March BIG FAMILY SINGING EXPERIENCE workshops, we couldn’t not bring it back for BYME!
The children and their families rehearsed in the Cathedral under the tuition of Helen Hayes – they sounded fab in those acoustics! – and had a selection of fun songs up their sleeve for that afternoon’s concert, including some with actions!
Another highly-anticipated fringe event was another unique one – Capoeira dancing from the group Capoeira Nottingham. Capoeira dancing is an Afro-Brazilian martial art, combining dance, acrobatics and music – simply put, it is something fascinating to watch!
Pictured below was the group’s lead ‘singer’ playing the berimbau. Keeping the tempo and singing to dancers in a ‘call & responce’ way, the berimbau and its player is essential to Capoeira.
Boy, was it hard to photograph them!
All photos/videos were taken by MfE staff unless otherwise specified. *More pictures coming soon!*
Have a good week!
Your friends at MfE.
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