Rhinegold Congolese-British rapper and hip hop artist Blue Saint is to collaborate with the Gwent Youth Brass Band and RNCM Session Orchestra

Melissa Bradshaw

Music for Youth to celebrate 50th birthday with ‘The Future Is Now’

12:12, 24th January 2020

Music for Youth (MFY) will celebrate its 50th anniversary on 23 March 2020 with ‘The Future Is Now’, an event at the Barbican marking a new era for the charity.

The evening will present a showcase of Britain’s talented youth with a variety of cross-genre collaborations: orchestral players, brass bands and choirs will pair with emerging talents from the R&B, indie, rap and electronic music genres.

‘The event is a unique demonstration of Music for Youth’s ability to bring together artists from across the country and the musical spectrum to collaborate and perform on a national stage, signifying the shift in emphasis of our future work and ambitions,’ says MFY CEO Judith Webster.

Kicking off the evening will be a performance from Electronic songwriter Talia, intertwined with ensemble sounds from Northamptonshire County Youth Concert Band, Cornwall Youth String Orchestra and Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) Session Orchestra.

Jazz/soul pianist Rasida and her eight-piece band will also fuse with Northamptonshire County Youth Concert Band and the RNCM Session Orchestra, while soul songwriter Malunga will present powerful pieces supported by the Cornwall Youth String Orchestra and RNCM Session Orchestra.

Congolese-British rapper and hip hop artist Blue Saint (pictured) is to collaborate with the Gwent Youth Brass Band and RNCM Session Orchestra, and the Gwent Youth Brass Band will also collaborate with alt-rock/indie songwriter, guitarist and singer Harry Marshall alongside the Sheffield Youth String Orchestra.

Closing the evening, the Gwent Youth Brass Band and Sheffield Youth String Orchestra will join the RNCM Session Orchestra in a performance with four-piece indie band Elephant Trees. Sound artist, beatboxer and composer Jason Singh will lead a specially-commissioned finale piece involving all the performers in the concert, composed in response to ideas workshopped by the young artists. The arranging of the piece will be overseen by composer and arranger Katie Chatburn.

Speaking to CM about MFY’s anniversary and future plans, Webster says: ‘Music for Youth’s 50th anniversary is a springboard for new developments at the charity. We will maintain the large scale national performance events for which we are known, but increase our collaborations with regional partners and grow our work in areas which are currently underserved. This will focus on industry facing initiatives, technology and giving young people a voice.

‘To tackle diversity and equal access to opportunities within music and the arts, we need to bring industry and education together through sustainable programmes and initiatives which bridge the gap, and support young people’s aspirations at an early stage. Through cross sector collaborations and the involvement of role models from industry in ongoing programmes with young people – everyone benefits. An organisation like Music for Youth, with its national reach and wide network, can play a key role in bringing both ends of the food chain together.’

Tickets are available now and can be booked online here.


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