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Sir John Cass pupils play the steel drums at the Hackney Round Chapel

Thames is a great success

The Tower Hamlets Arts and Music Education Service (THAMES) delivered a fantastic programme of summer events this year. The free music events have not only impressed audiences in Tower Hamlets but the wider East End too.

Shoreditch Church hosted the Spitalfields Platform Summer Event: Side by Side which brought together younger THAMES musicians with students from the Royal Academy of Music. The combined groups played Saint-Saëns’s “Organ” Symphony No.3, Mars from Holst’s The Planets and a newly commissioned work by John Webb.

The concert was part of the Spitalfields Summer Festival in and was a great start to a summer of THAMES concerts.

Audiences were enthralled by a concert at Stratford Circus in June that showcased young Oompah musicians played. The young musicians take part in Oompah band workshops, where they focus on the rhythmical sound of deep brass instruments.

They gave an absorbing performance for the Oompah Spectacular and a string of events that followed this summer. The same day THAMES and the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) played together in an exceptionable display of musical talent.

 Violinists at the Take a Bow rehearsals

Violinists at the Take a Bow rehearsals

The Take a Bow concert was a great experience for fans of orchestras and very enjoyable for audience members who were trying something new. The concert was performed by children from Globe, Osmani, Hague and St Saviour’s primary schools.

Pupils were given a once in a lifetime opportunity to perform with renowned violinist, Nicola Benedetti, and musicians from LSO in a piece scored by professional composer Michael Betteridge.

The next concert that took place was Borough Beats on26th June. Now in its seventh year, the popular music extravaganza was performed at Hackney Round Chapel.

The young musicians showcased their talents and presented us with their best year so far. Students from Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Barking and Dagenham gave crowds a taste of drumming from all around the globe, playing everything from exotic instrumentals to the much more familiar drumming that we know here. More than 300 students performed together playing a variety of music styles. This year there was a significant increase of pupils performing together and bringing other, new musical genres to the mix.

In July a further two concerts were hosted by THAMES. The service’s annual Celebration Concert was held at York Hall on 1st July. It featured all sorts of instruments including guitars, strings and woodwind. The finale saw a joint performance from the Tower Hamlets Youth Orchestra and the THAMES award winning orchestra – something that made a big contributing factor to the success of the night. Special credit was also given to Phillip Scott, a guest conductor who rehearsed with all of the students.

On 11th July, the Saturday Music Centre performed their impressive annual summer concert, featuring more than 150 young musicians. The Centre Choirs performed Pure Imagination from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Other ensembles played pieces by Gershwin, Saint Saens through to the Beatles.






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