Probably the biggest-ever meeting of talented young British musicians will take place at Birmingham Town Hall on July 11.
Youth Music, the Government-funded charity devoted to widening opportunities for young people to become involved in music, is holding its first one-day festival to celebrate its tenth anniversary.
The event will be one of the highlights of the annual National Festival of Music For Youth, which has become a regular feature of the Birmingham music calendar in the last few years.
Music for Youth receives financial support from Youth Music, as do a range of National Youth Music Organisations (NYMOs) including the National Youth Orchestra, National Youth Choirs, National Children’s Orchestra, National South Asian Music Youth Orchestra and National Youth Jazz Collective.
All of these organisations will be playing together for the first time at the Birmingham event, which will be free for members of the public to attend. It will consist of a series of open rehearsals from 10am, followed by a showcase performance at 4.30pm. The festival will feature a brand new “Encounters” group involving players from across the NYMO network, who are creating a new piece of repertoire especially for the event.
It is hoped that the event will become a regular feature of future Music for Youth festivals.
Christina Coker, chief executive of Youth Music, said: “The National Youth Music Organisations represent the peak of aspiration for many young musicians, and we’re immensely proud to be able to bring them all together to perform for the first time.
“For young instrumentalists, performers and singers, the NYMOs represent what it is possible to achieve with talent, hard work and the support of dedicated music leaders and peers. The NYMO network is one of the most dynamic and exciting bodies of support for young musicians in the world, and I can’t wait to see them perform on July 11 at Birmingham Town Hall.”
Youth Music was set up in 1999 to support music-making activities for some of the UK’s most disadvantaged young people, transforming the landscape of musical opportunity throughout the UK. Every year more than 150,000 children take part in Youth Music programmes ranging from hip-hop and dj-ing to classical and jazz.
Financed by Arts Council England and the Music and Dance Scheme at the Department for Children, Schools and Families, it has provided the NYMO fund since 2001. In that time it has invested more than £5 million to ensure that any young person with sufficient musical ability can benefit from NYMO activity, regardless of their financial circumstances.