Wednesday 21st June 2023 saw the Celebration Concert at Leeds Arena funded by Leeds Music Education Partnership (LMEP) and led by ArtForms Music. The event was a huge success, featuring over 700 children and young people from schools across Leeds.
The 2,000 strong audience were treated to performances from ArtForms’ flagship City of Leeds Youth Orchestra, Leeds Youth Jazz Rock Orchestra and Roots Alive, the ArtForms folk band. In addition several LMEP Partners were featured including the DJ Schools’ Beat It Team with the Corpus Rappers and the Leeds Junior Conservatoire’s band, Hole In The Ceiling.
A big part of the work that LMEP and ArtForms offer Leeds schools are the projects that provide new learning and performance opportunities in Music. Our Taiko Project that has been running in Leeds secondary schools for 2 years now, provides teachers with training, resources including a scheme of work, and a full class set of Japanese Taiko drums. At the Celebration Concert Cockburn School’s Thunder Taiko Drummers performed a fantastic piece called Kamaete after working with Jim Gaylard from the ArtForms percussion team.
The Taiko project for secondaries is part of Music Connect, our support programme for Music education in all Leeds schools. It was originally delivered by our working partners, Louder Than Life who also run our Samba project for primaries. The Celebration Concert opened with the specially commissioned Marching On Samba by Tim Brain featuring a samba band of 70 children from 3 different schools – Alwoodley Primary, and Cross Gates Primary – and featuring the Temple Moor drum group – Raven Percussion, and their light-up drum sticks. A bold, loud, impressive way to start the show with a Samba groove just for Leeds.
The ArtForms Singing Strategy was brilliantly represented by the four different choirs featured in the event. These were the Cockburn MAT Choir, The Woodkirk Upper School Choir, the choirs of Roundhay School and finally the Leeds Schools’ Choir featuring 400 children and young people from over 50 schools across Leeds. The singing strategy is lead by our Choirs Co-ordinator, Claire Rivers and puts singing at the heart of Music education in Leeds.
This enormous choir, conducted by Jayne Leadbeater, took the lead role in our finale performance of The Future’s In Our Hands. This song was commissioned by LMEP specifically for this event and written by our very own, Sarah Crowley who is the Events Co-ordinator for ArtForms. Accompanied by the ArtForms house band, as well as the Youth Orchestra, the Jazz Rock Orchestra and the Samba Band this was a great way to finish off a great show with a big, big performance.
The Celebration Concert was the flagship event and centre piece of the annual, LMEP/Artforms Youth Music Festival. For more information about events taking place across the city please click on the above link.
We are so proud of all the 700 children and young people involved in the Celebration Concert and of all the young musicians that we work with in Leeds. Congratulations to them all for putting on such an impressive show.