Doncaster’s time to shine at London’s Royal Albert Hall

Thousands of people were entertained by Doncaster musicians and singers who joined more than 700 other young people, from across South Yorkshire, to take centre stage and perform at the Royal Albert Hall on Monday 13 November.

Young people aged between 10 and 19 from the four South Yorkshire Music Education Hubs performed together as the ‘South Yorkshire Jazz Collective’ at the Music for Youth School Proms.

Over 90 young singers from 3 Doncaster Primary Schools; Town Fields Primary, St Peter’s Primary and Sandringham Primary joined together with 50 young Doncaster musicians to perform ‘Jazz Journeys’- an original composition created by acclaimed Sheffield based composer Chris Noble and Doncaster Trombonist Dennis Rollins, with input from the young people.

Janet Wood for Doncaster Music Education Hub worked with children in the Primary Schools to create lyrics to accompany the new composition-“The children came up with some brilliant ideas – we imagined the Boogaloo, a Latin music and dance genre popular in the 1960s, as a predatory creature compelling us to dance, while the Bossa section transported us in a hot air balloon to Rio for a colourful carnival!”

The piece brought together massed primary voices and a large jazz ensemble to present a timeline of jazz. Starting at its African roots within the Griot tradition; moving to swing and samba, through to present day soul and funk.

Cllr Nuala Fennelly, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Schools, said: “This was such an exciting opportunity for the young people taking part in this performance. For many of the young people it will have been the first time they have been to London, as well as performing on one of the world’s most iconic stages’.

Kate Hope (parent) said ‘As a parent we have aspirations and imagine experiences we want for our children but never in a million years did I expect to be watching my 12 year old son performing at The Royal Albert Hall! It was beyond wonderful and I still get a lump in my throat each time I re-live the day and evening.’

Paul Davies (Music Hub Manager) said that ‘12 months of rehearsals and planning was well rewarded with a truly spectacular musical showcase. I’d like to extend a huge thank you to all the young musicians/singers and their parents/teachers and our Music Hub partners from South Yorkshire for supporting this momentous achievement’.