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LAUNCH OF THE IMAGINE:IMAGINE GLOBAL MUSIC VIDEO

Image to represent Imagine Imagine song release

Imagine:Imagine presents ‘Walk With Me’. A new music video started in Surrey, now international featuring over 120 performers from around the globe singing in solidarity with diverse and displaced communities everywhere.   

Premiering on International Day of Peace, Monday 21st September.

Surrey Arts is partnering with Together Productions and IOM UK (International Organization for Migration), joining the common mission to unite people from different backgrounds, combat xenophobia and showcase new music celebrating the strength and resilience of people from diverse communities.  

During the summer lockdown members of Surrey Arts’ I Speak Music Orchestra wrote a song to say thank you and to recognize the sacrifice and diversity of our front-line services. During UK’s Refugee Week in June 2020, Surrey Arts and Together Productions took that song and launched an online global music video project, with support from IOM UK. “The video holds a strong message of unity – says I Speak Music’s Raghad Haddad – “as it has a combination of lyrics, music, and images of the real people that are behind the project, and their many countries of origin and languages. There is a combination of Middle Eastern and Western tunes that make the artistic results of the project very special”.  

For UK-based Raghad Haddad, the project also offered the opportunity for her to collaborate again with her brother, Bassel Haddad, a musician in Syria who works on singing projects with homeless children through the Sada Choir they founded together back in 2013. Bassel describes that “being able to bring together the homeless children with other children was inspiring, because I witnessed them sharing this experience with joy, regardless of the fact that they were coming from very different walks of life.” 

Over 120 performers from the UK, Egypt, Syria, Iran, South Africa, El Salvador, Mexico, Jordan, Afghanistan, France, Gaza, US, Germany and Belgium sent in their contributions.Dabu (René Edenilson Rivas Aparicio), a rapper from El Salvador who works to use music to empower vulnerable people, says “the opportunity to collaborate on this project has really lifted my spirit up. It made me realise that I had my microphone and I could still use it to communicate and express myself… I love working with people from all over the world and contributing to international projects such as the Imagine:Imagine project.” 

Sue Wills, Acting Assistant Director Culture, Libraries & Registration at Surrey County Council said “Surrey County Council is proud to be part of the Imagine:Imagine project and I am delighted to see the contribution of Surrey’s residents at the heart of a song that has gone on to inspire so many across the globe.  

Through this film we meet participants who have been displaced as well as those who work relentlessly in their own communities to support those living in difficult circumstances. All of them united in a message of solidarity and gratitude to those who have travelled or stayed to enrich the community in which they call home.”  

The global submissions have been edited into a final music video by Academy and Emmy Award nominated producer Leslie Knott and acclaimed director, writer and producer Ben Gregor. The film shows the power of music to emphasize all we have in common, highlights the beauty of diversity, and honours the extraordinary contributions of displaced and migrant communities to our world. Masoud Danyiali , a percussionist from Iran, says “the fact that artists were joining in the project from different parts of the world, made me feel that we are part of the same community, and that through music we could raise our voices together. This project really shows that music has no borders. I strongly believe that music is the most powerful tool you can use to communicate.” The video will be premiered alongside an amazing line up of international performers in a concert hosted by soprano Nadine Benjamin on Youtube Premiere on the International Day of PeaceMonday 21st September, at 5pm BST (UK time). We’d love you to join us!  

Register for a free concert ticket here

Further Information

About IOM UK

“We welcome the commitment of this network of artists and people from all over the world who are using their talent to build a more peaceful and welcoming society for displaced and migrant communities” says Dipti Pardeshi, IOM UK Chief of Mission. 

IOM, the UN Migration Agency, is the leading inter-governmental organization in the field of migration. We work to support safer, orderly and regular migration, and to provide assistance and protection to vulnerable migrants and communities all around the world.

In the UK we help migrants to better integrate, and we assist receiving communities to recognize and support the positive contributions that migrants can make.

About Together Productions

“Covid 19 forces us to re-evaluate what is important, who the real change makers are, and how they make a difference to our lives”, say Holly Jones and Jeremy Haneman from Together Productions – Imagine: Imagine is providing a platform for a global community to come together and celebrate the talents of displaced people and diverse communities everywhere. In a locked down world making connections across personal, cultural and international divides is more important than ever, and music is the universal language that bonds us all”.

Together Productions is a ground-breaking social change organisation based in the UK. We produce innovative collaborative arts projects that connect people, organisations and audiences across social and cultural divides.

We run community projects including the Mixed Up Chorus and the Sing For Freedom Choir and the large-scale composition and performance project Singing Our Lives.

www.togetherproductions.co.uk

About I Speak Music

Raghad Haddad, Musical Director, I Speak Music, explains what has inspired the song Walk With Me: “We wrote this song during lock down to express gratitude to everyone, now and before, who have made their new home in foreign lands, to say forever welcome and thank you for enriching the experience and history of this complex, difficult, beautiful and ever evolving world. We feel honoured that people from so many countries have felt a connection with our message, which is ultimately one of unity, solidarity and connection through music”.

I Speak Music is a programme designed to promote empathy and celebrate the diversity of local communities. I Speak Music has three strands of work: training and events to bring together multiple agencies; a songwriting programme for displaced minors, and the I Speak Music Orchestra, bringing together an intergenerational group of people from diverse backgrounds to create new music and share their stories and cultural background.

The programme is managed by Surrey Arts and is currently receiving funding from Arts Council EnglandArts Partnership Surrey and The National Foundation for Youth Music.

I Speak music welcomes people ages 14+ from all backgrounds, but is particularly interested in hearing from refugees, unaccompanied minors, BAME communities and those who sing or play non-western musical instruments. Professional musicians are welcome to join the group as are those with no previous musical experience.

Further Partners

The project has also been supported and promoted by: Musicians Without Borders, The Human Hive, Surrey Arts, Art27 and Refugee Week.

Surrey Arts Virtual Open Day 2020

Surrey Arts are bringing the sound of instruments to you via a Virtual Open Day, on Saturday 12 September. As it is currently difficult to get around the county and demonstrate our amazing range of instruments, Surrey Arts have put together a day full of introductions to instrument families. Featuring Surrey Arts Tutors, these clips will be released throughout the day via the Surrey Arts social media channels and then available on the Surrey Arts YouTube channel. Head of Service, Sarah Lee, said “This is a great chance for people to see and hear a wide range of musical instruments. We hope the day will help them discover the instrument that is right for them and inspire them to learn.”

The Virtual Open Day will feature instruments from strings and percussion, brass and guitar, music tech and woodwind, and much more – including opportunities with the UP! Orchestra (an ensemble designed to be accessible for young people aged 13+ with special educational needs) and I Speak Music.

Virtual Open Day timetable

9.30 – Introduction from Sarah Lee, Head of Service
10.00 – The Sounds of Brass
10.30 – DJing and Music Tech
11.00 – The Sounds of the Guitar
11.30 – I Speak Music
12.00 – The Sounds of Percussion
12.30 – The Piano
13.00 – Singing
13.30 – The Sounds of Strings
14.00 – UP! Orchestra
14.30 – The Sounds of Woodwind
15.00 – Surrey Arts Ensembles

Times are subject to change and will be available on the Surrey Arts YouTube channel along with other instrument tutorials.

Lessons with Surrey Arts can be booked through www.surreyarts.com

Surrey Arts launch Online Instrumental Lessons!

Surrey Arts is excited to launch a new Online Learning Programme offering high quality instrumental lessons from the comfort of your home! Over the past few weeks we have been busy trialling online teaching, and establishing safeguarding protocols and technical guidance to ensure we are able to offer the same high quality learning experience that our students receive through face-to-face lessons. 

We are pleased that we are also able to support our more vulnerable young people through our inclusion programme, offering free lessons to groups such as looked after children, young carers and unaccompanied refugees.

Sarah Lee, Head of Service, said ‘This has been an amazing effort by the Surrey Arts team. To be able to put together a programme at such an uncertain time and develop a programme that ensures high quality and a safe learning environment for students is fantastic. We all know the power that music can have on our lives, and engaging in creativity during this time can really help with health and well-being. We hope that our online learning programme will be a valuable service for the Surrey community encouraging people to continue making music and engaging in arts activities.’

At present the Surrey Arts Online Learning (SAOL) programme is only available for existing Surrey Artsstudents: however, we hope to grow this further in the coming weeks, providing more ways in which to support musical learning.

Together with our Online Learning Programme we have also created an extensive online resource page with lots of videos, activities, online music performances and much more!

Finally, the visual arts team have worked with Surrey Artists Open Studios and Surrey Hills Arts to provide a range of online art workshops for artists of all abilities and ages. SAOS artists have also provided online tours of their studios and have been part of the Sketchbook Challenge where they have shared their sketchbook works.

These are unique times and it is great to see so many talented people working together to ensure learning and creativity continues in Surrey!

Guildford Jazz Festival 2020

Guildford Jazz Festival 2020 Flyer

Guildford Jazz ‘s  three day music festival runs from March 20-22 at Guildford’s Electric Theatre and features a wide spectrum of jazz, funk and latin grooves. 

The festival opens on Friday 20th March with a celebration of local young jazz talent  and a concert by Surrey Young Jazz Musicians of the Year.  Tickets for this event are only £8 for adults and free for young people aged 16 or under.  

The festival is a first for Guildford Jazz,  which has been arranging regular sell out monthly jazz gigs since 2011 . Its founder,  local bass player Marianne Windham comments: ”The festival represents a celebration of all that Guildford Jazz is about: bringing the finest UK jazz musicians to Guildford to play a wide spectrum of accessible music in a friendly club  like atmosphere. There is something for everyone in the programme whether you are just looking for great live music or are a committed jazzer”.  

All profits from the festival go to local charity Guildford Philanthropy which helps local residents disadvantaged by disability, mental health issues, poor education or caring responsibilities. 

The festival represents an excellent opportunity to inspire young people to develop their musical talents by experiencing the finest live jazz.  

Headlining the festival will be ECM recording artist and internationally recognised saxophonist and composer Iain Ballamy. 

Other major artists  appearing at JazzFest ’20 include: 

  • The renowned trombonist Dennis Rollins and his Velocity Trio: a  simmering jazz, funk and world music roller coaster 
  • The Mark Nightingale/Alan Barnes/Steve Waterman Sextet playing a tribute to the music of Henry Mancini including Clark Tracey on drums
  • Virtuoso guitarist Nicolas Meier World Group,  one of the rising stars in a vibrant British jazz scene and “an unconditional must for connoisseurs of Jazz-World Fusion” (Adam Baruch)
  • Latin Jazz Salsa band Heads South featuring Steve Waterman, combining Cuban and other Latin Rhythms   
  • Award winning pianist David Newton playing duos alongside jazz impresario Alan Barnes  
  • Renowned jazz vocalist and pianist Pete Churchill 
  • Gareth Williams, one of the country’s leading modern jazz pianists, featuring in both the Sextet and as a live accompanist to the 1929 Buster Keaton classic,  Steamboat Bill Jr.

Alongside sets from leading UK jazz artists,  the festival features: 

  • a talk organised in conjunction with West Surrey Arts Society on the early history of jazz by from broadcaster and bass player Sandy Burnett which might be of particular interest to those doing GCSE music 
  • A New Orleans Dixie Jazz lunch from clarinet maestro Duncan Batchelor and his quartet
  • a number of community events including a jazz vocal workshop 

More details about the festival can be found on the web at  https://guildfordjazz.org.uk/guildford-jazz-fest-20/ 

Booking for individual gigs and day and weekend festival passes  is now open through the Electric Theatre Box Office athttps://electric.theatre/

More information about Guildford Jazz , who run two regular gigs a month featuring national jazz artists at the Electric Theatre and Guildford Rugby Club at Broadwater, can be found at its web site at https://guildfordjazz.org.uk.

I SPEAK MUSIC COMMUNITY ORCHESTRA JOIN HUNDREDS ON STAGE TO COMMEMORATE HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL DAY

I speak music - celebrating diversity in Surrey through music

The Surrey based I Speak Music Community Orchestra are thrilled to have been invited to perform at the Singing Our Lives concert at London’s Union Chapel. The iconic venue opens its doors for this special night of music on Sunday 26 January 2020.

This special night of music features hundreds of performers onstage to celebrate the power of uniting with one another through music and song. This evening is the culmination of the ground breaking Singing Our Lives project, which has brought together people from local UK, refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds to co-create and perform new music together.

Hosted by Jumoké Fashola, the concert brings together members of the Orchestra of Syrian Musicians, the Sing for Freedom Choir, the Mixed up Chorus, the Royal Opera House Thurrock Community Chorus, the Mind & Soul Choir, the Citizens of the World Choir, I Speak Music Community Orchestra, and special guests.

Jim Pinchen, Project Manager of the I Speak Music Community Orchestra said “Singing Our Lives has been an inspirational project for our Orchestra to be part of. It has provided a unique opportunity for local residents and residents who have recently been displaced from their country of birth to share music, food, culture and to form new and lasting friendships. In showcasing our work alongside other groups on 26 January it allows often marginalised voices to be heard as they unite with one another.”

Singing our Lives is performed by Together Productions in partnership with the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, The International Organization for Migration, the Royal Opera House and Kinetika.

I Speak Music Community Orchestra welcomes people from any background who are aged 14+ to join the group designed to celebrate Surrey’s diverse communities, bringing participants together to take part in creative music workshops and events.

SAVE THE DATE: 3RD APRIL, AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL HQ, LONDON

I SPEAK MUSIC CONNECTS –  A NETWORKING EVENT FOR PROFESSIONALS

For more information and to book tickets for Singing Our Lives visit – https://www.unionchapel.org.uk/event/26-01-2020-singing-our-lives/

If you are interested in finding out more about the I Speak Music Community Orchestra email mona4youthmusic@gmail.com

I Speak Music is supported by Surrey Arts and Surrey Music Hub and is funded by Arts Council England.

Piano Exam Performance Workshops

This March, Surrey Arts are holding performance workshops for students who are taking piano exams this term.

Students will have the opportunity to play two of their exam pieces to the group as well as evaluate each other’s performances. We’ll be playing various musical games all intended to build confidence when performing, as well as discussing strategies to overcome nerves.

£15 per student
1.00 – 3.00pm
Sunday 1 or 8 March 2020

To book your place please register online.

For further information please contact miriam.hepburn@surreycc.gov.uk

New Partnership Introduces Jazz and Improvisation to Surrey Schools

Surrey Arts and the Cheryl King (Hirst) Trust is delighted to partner with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra (NYJO) in the delivery of an exciting opportunity for schools in the county. NYJO will be visiting around 12 local schools (both primary and secondary) in March 2020, for a series of performances and workshops designed to introduce children and young people to jazz and improvisation, inspire them to take up instruments and grow the confidence of young musicians. In these sessions, NYJO musicians will work with your students to lift the lid on jazz –addressing the fundamentals such as groove, playing by ear and improvisation. In both primaries and secondaries the performance or workshop will be tailored to your group. The workshops are being planned for the week commencing 23 March 2020

  • One half-day afternoon workshop in school led by a NYJO Associate Educator, with vast experience of delivering jazz workshops, supported by five NYJO Ambassadors (young members of the National Youth Jazz Orchestra who are receiving training in workshop leading);   
  • NYJO workshops are designed to cater for young musicians across the whole range of technical levels and experience and should enhance musical understanding in general as well as improve specific jazz knowledge. 
  • NYJO will discuss and work with individual schools to tailor a bespoke workshop according to the technical level and experience of the young people taking part;    
  • For up to 30 students.

  • A performance / presentation by the NYJO Associate Educator and the NYJO Ambassadors as a sextet  
  • For large groups (e.g. in the school hall / performance theatre)  
  • These sessions will take the form of an interactive concert, getting the whole class grooving.  
  • The aim is to introduce children to jazz and hopefully inspire them to take up instruments either in primary or secondary school  
  • Primary performances will take place in the morning.
  • Please note : – NYJO visiting musicians can provide all the equipment they require. – There is support from NYJO available if you are developing or setting up an improvising ensemble within your school. 
  • Surrey Arts will work with your school to help ensure that children inspired by NYJO can take up relevant instruments and receive appropriate tuition

  • Provide an enthusiastic audience and suitable group(s) of young musicians to take part. 
  • Provide equipment to enable your young musicians to participate (if applicable). 
  • Pay a modest fee of £ 50 for the primary school performances and
  • £150 for the secondary school workshops   
  • Respond to subsequent evaluation surveys 
  • Signpost participants towards instrument lessons and local jazz activities and educational opportunities

Next steps If you would like to take part, please contact Alex Bondonno by email on alex.bondonno@surreycc.gov.uk before 17 January. Please indicate any times in the week of 23 March that would not work for your school. (but please be as flexible as possible to aid programming) If you would like to take part but cannot make the week of 23 March, We would still like to hear from you.

Last few places available for Primary Music Festivals 2020

Primary Music Festivals are a series of concerts that have run in Surrey for over 25 years. They are highly regarded events in the school calendar with close to 100 schools taking part each year, joining forces to perform to packed audiences of parents and the general public at venues such as Dorking Halls. Many schools have sung with us for several years and some of the concerts are already full. However there are a few spaces left and we welcome applications from Primary Schools to join us in the 2020 concerts. If you have not joined us before and are considering joining for the first time we encourage you to take that step: in 2020 Surrey Arts is providing a vocal specialist to support a limited number of schools that would like some help in getting to know the music. We appreciate how difficult it can be to organise and staff the rehearsals and we hope that this may go some way to help. Our music co-ordinator, George Jones has responded to popular demand in programming ‘Jake and the Right Genie’ by Richard and Thomas Allain for the 2020 series of concerts.

2020 Festivals

Woking/Godalming/North Surrey Primary Music Festival – Monday 23 March 2020

  • Dorking Halls, Dorking

Mole Valley Primary Music Festival – Monday 27 April 2020

  • Dorking Halls, Dorking

South East Primary Music Festival – Tuesday 5 May 2020

  • Dorking Halls
  • SCHOOL PLACES FULL

Mid Surrey Primary Music Festival – Thursday 7 May 2020

  • Dorking Halls
  • SCHOOL PLACES FULL

Epsom and Ewell Primary Music Festival – Monday 18 May 2020

  • Dorking Halls

Elmbridge Primary Music Festival – Wednesday 20 May 2020

  • Dorking Halls
  • SCHOOL PLACES FULL

West Surrey Primary Music Festival – Wednesday 3 June 2020

  • Princes Hall, Aldershot
  • SCHOOL PLACES FULL

Surrey Borders Primary Music Festival – Monday 15 June 2020

  • Dorking Halls

East Surrey Primary Music Festival – Wednesday 17 June 2020

  • Dorking Halls
  • SCHOOL PLACES FULL

Surrey Arts Ensembles Booked for Festive Season

Surrey Arts ensembles boast some of the best young musicians in the county. With over 50 ensembles to join for a range of musical instruments and singing there is something for everyone. With Christmas approaching there is a chance to see some of these ensembles in concert:

16 November – 3pm Cranleigh bands Cranleigh Christmas lights switch on

17 November – 3pm Surrey County Youth Orchestra and Surrey County Youth Wind Orchestra Winter Concert St Catherine’s School, Bramley

24 November – 3pm South West Ensembles Winter Concert St Catherine’s School, Bramley

28 November – 5pm Reigate String Orchestra Christmas Concert St Bede’s School, Redhill

28 November – 8pm Surrey County Youth Jazz Orchestra Winter Concert Chertsey Hall

29 November – 7pm Just So Singers – Rockin’ Christmas Concert Guildford United Reformed Church

2 December – 6pm Cranleigh Bands Christmas Concert Cranleigh Bandroom

3 December – 5pm Piano Concert St Jude’s School, Englefield Green

6 December – 7.30pm Surrey County Youth Wind Orchestra Concert George Abbot School, Guildford

7 December – 10am South West Surrey Concert Band Christmas Concert Broadwater School, Farncombe

7 December – 11am North Surrey Winds and Crafty Clarinets Christmas Concert Matthew Arnold School, Staines

7 December – TBC Woking Wind Orchestra Christmas Concert Church of the Good Shepherd, Pyrford

11 December – 7pm Surrey Youth Choir and Surrey Youth Training Choir Christmas Concert with A Tempi and Da Capo Strings Christ Church, Woking

12 December – 7pm Blast Off and SESAW Christmas Concert Reigate Park Church

12 December – TBC North Surrey Strings and Guitars Christmas Concert St Paul’s, Egham Hythe

13 & 14 December – 7.30pm Camberley Youth Wind Orchestra Christmas Concert High Cross Church, Camberley

14 December – 12.30pm SCPE and SPARC Christmas Concert at Burpham Church

16 December – 6pm Mid Surrey Wind Band Christmas Concert St Paul’s Church, Dorking

For further information about these concerts and how to get tickets please email alison.harding@surreycc.gov.uk

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