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Musicport 2011

Watch the video here taken in the rehearsals and performance at this year's Musicport


Music4U - the Humber Region Youth Music Action Zone - co-ordinated by the National Centre for Early Music - collaborated with the Musicport world music festival for the 4th year running to provide music-making opportunities for young people in the Humber Region.

Once again, music students from Headlands School and Community Science College took part in this project and got the fantastic opportunity to work with bands from the festival line-up, including Cuban musicians from the group Asere, known for their fresh sound, inventive songwriting and soulful groove, and members of Goldie's Band 12lve.

Below is a short slide show taking you through the process from rehearsals to performance

This year's project involved over 50 students from all year groups, some of whom had been involved in previous festivals and others who were completely new to the event. They were joined by Bridie Burkinshaw - a former Leeds College of Music student - to prepare a 30-minute set consisting of five songs (in both English and Spanish), dancing, soloing and grooving to the Latin rhythms. These pieces were then performed on the main stage with Asere on Friday 4 November at 7pm - now a regular Music4U slot!

Images from the Performance at Musicport 2011

Family and friends came along to support the young people and they went down a storm! Jim McLaughlin, Director of Musicport said it was a pleasure to have the school involved. "The feedback from the audience was first class - the students put on a fantastic performance. You actual felt as though the young people had got immersed in to the culture they were learning about. The Music4U/Musicport partnership is a very positive one and we hope to build on it for the future."

In preparation for Musicport, the Headlands students worked with Asere in an intensive three-day workshop in the lead up to Festival. During this time Afrika, Finn, Theone, Jasdeep, Will, Vahan and Natalie from 12lve also visited the school to talk to the students about their own musical journeys and how they had overcome their own personal obstacles. The Headlands students found the visit very inspiring. Head Teacher Scott Ratheram was again impressed by the performance of his students: "They were brilliant. All of them have worked so hard over the past few days and to pull such a professional performance together so quickly is quite an achievement. I was very proud to be watching them on the main stage."

Images from rehearsals and visit from 12lve

Zoe Backhouse, Head of Music at Headlands said there had been some real challenges along the way including the students having to learn songs in Spanish, with three-part harmonies being used in many of the vocals, along with improvised sections in many of the pieces, plus some complicated choreography! She added that the visit from Goldie's Band had been the icing on the cake: "It was really amazing to see a group of people in school who were recognisable ... but because we'd seen them on TV!"

Headlands student, Ryan James Hutson has been involved in the project for four years. He commented: "It's been a great experience over the past 4 years and especially this year with Asere. It has made me grow as a musician and given me the confidence to take part in other activities. It's amazing to learn about all the different cultures and how music is learnt in other parts of the world. I'm so happy that I have had the chance to participate and hope to be back next year to watch the new young talent do their thing!"

Emily Crossland, the Music4U project co-ordinator, was impressed by the confidence of the young people on the Musicport stage. She commented: "Everyone was beaming from ear to ear as they showed the fruits of a week's hard work. The audience response was so warm and enthusiastic, with many commenting that it was not like watching students on stage but it was a professional presentation and an amazing display of skill. We are so proud of the Headlands band and have had a wonderful week working with them and Asere. Long may their musical journeys continue!"

During the remainder of the Festival weekend there were excellent performances from local community groups from across the Humber Region including: Gyoko Youth Taiko from North East Lincolnshire; Escola de Chaos, a samba group from Goole High School in the East Riding of Yorkshire; Rhythm Pixies, a world music group from Hull; and Stomping Macaronis, a body percussion ensemble from North Lincolnshire.

Images from The Community Musicians Performance

Take a look at our involvement in Musicport 2011 on our Music4U Blog