B SHARP COLLECTIVE

Youth music charity, B Sharp, recently hosted an intensive 5 days of open workshops in Bridport for existing musicians and singers aged 13 – 19 to compose and perform music collabatively. With sponsorship from SoundStorm, they appointed John Miles as professional musical leader who is renowned for working with Orchestras in London as well as across the UK. Other local musicians were asked to offer their expertise, including singer songer Jess Upton, Jacques Verhaeren and Grace Gillian from local band Papa Le Gal, acoustic solo artist Angelina Westdorp, vocalist Chloe Stratta and percussionist/vocalist Matt Hartnell.

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After several successful free taster sessions in local secondary schools and community centres, 20 young musicians from diverse backgrounds were inspired to spend their time together developing new material from scratch whilst building musical and social confidence.

The project engaged these young people, some of which were struggling socially and at risk of being excluded from school, to form together as a collective and produce a positive outcome. They had a further opportunity, if desired, to develop their leadership skills by taking part in the Young Music Leadership project. The talented group finished the week off by showcasing their hard work at a performance in front of a packed audience.

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Throughout the Collective, the general way of working was effective, and a real process could be seen between the first session and the final performance. There were no ideas which were totally abandoned, as John managed to combine themes which we worked on so that nothing was a waste of time. I thought it was particularly great having such a large group of singers who were able to create a big, powerful sound, with harmonies, but also be able to have solo and duet moments to create variation in the performance, and to showcase everybody’s voices.

Chloe Stratta, Young Music Leader

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All of the individuals that took part in the project have expressed their enthusiasm to continue with the workshops that will restart this summer.