Roof lifted off Barbican for Tower Hamlets Arts and Music’s big birthday bash

Tower Hamlets arts and music service's 10th anniversary appearence at Barbican

Tower Hamlets arts and music service's 10th anniversary appearence at Barbican - Credit: TH Council

A-thousand young musicians and artists took part in a 10th anniversary concert of a thriving schools music and arts service in London’s deprived East End.

They performed for their families and schools to celebrate the 10 years of Tower Hamlets Arts and Music Education Service which was held at the Barbican.

The foyer staged dance troupes, choirs, recorder groups and an art show with work from schools.

The evening concert was a sell-out, with youngsters performing pieces from UpTown Funk to Holst and Stravinsky—with a snippet of Doctor Who!

Ensembles included Tower Hamlets Youth Orchestra, the Saturday Music Centre choirs and Tower Hamlets Awards Orchestra.


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The London Symphony Orchestra’s Gareth Davies was compere and LSO members lent their playing skills to accompany some performances. Other collaborations included organisations such as Spitalfields Music, East London Community Band and Oompah Brass.

The audience got a surprise interval act in the foyer with Sir John Cass school’s steel orchestra, receiving a standing ovation after their finale Life in Music commissioned specially for the concert.

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The music service has 14,500 pupils in weekly lessons with 11,500 learning instruments in 86 schools. The programme also reaches nearly every Tower Hamlets school with 25,000 pupils benefiting from any one of its arts and music activities.

Deputy Mayor Rachael Saunders, cabinet member for Education, said: “This programme is aimed at encouraging children to nurture their musical talents.”

Application forms for the Saturday and Wednesday music centres with opportunities to play as part of ensembles and orchestras are available by calling 020-7364 0431, or going online.

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