Young musicians from across Birmingham are being invited to take part in free online music sessions thanks to the Symphony Hall and Town Hall.
The music charity responsible for the two iconic concert venues is hosting a series of online classes for young people aged 11 to 19 from Saturday 24 April to Saturday 10 July.
The fortnightly sessions are being run by the Jazzlines Gospel Ensemble, an exciting talent development initiative led by drummer, band leader and educator Ray Prince.
All young instrumentalists and vocalists are welcome from beginners to more advanced with no previous experience required.
The online music sessions include elements such as learning classic and contemporary gospel repertoire from ear and the chance to improve ensemble playing.
The wide-ranging sessions also allow the participants to receive inspiring and professional tuition from world-class gospel musicians, as well as opportunities to socialise and create music with fellow young artists.
Mary Wakelam Sloan, the jazz programme manager at Town Hall Symphony Hall, said: “While our iconic venues are closed, the music making continues online at Town Hall Symphony Hall.
“We work with a team of experienced and respected music industry professionals who offer a fantastic mix of expertise and specialisms.
“I am delighted that Ray Prince is once again working with us on the Jazzlines Gospel Ensemble. Ray is an experienced educator who offers an inspiring approach to the genre and a commitment to broadening the opportunity for young musicians to engage with gospel music in the city.”
The online sessions, delivered using the Zoom platform, are designed as a response to COVID-19 restrictions. Each session lasts from 3.30pm to 5.30pm on Saturday afternoons.
Ray Prince said: “I am thrilled to be part of Town Hall Symphony Hall’s pioneering work with young people.
“The Jazzlines Gospel Ensemble aims to respond to young people’s needs and fosters emotional wellbeing by creating meaningful exchanges that tap into and harness young people’s interests in gospel music.
“Those who are looking to take part can expect fun; they can expect to rehearse and play great music in a safe space, make new friends, understand the history and the heritage of gospel music and what it means to the wider community.”
Town Hall Symphony Hall’s Jazzlines Gospel Ensemble programme is supported by PRS Foundation as Talent Development Partners. Spaces can be booked by visiting: https://www.thsh.co.uk/event/jazzlines-gospel-ensemble-online-11-19-year-olds
By Tony Collins