On Wednesday 7 July, 21 students aged between 9 and 17 represented Warrington and Halton by performing ‘Splinters’ at Wembley Arena. This composition was commissioned by Chris Bastock, Progression and Ensembles Manager, for a new ensemble within the Accent Music Education Hub.
Written collaboratively by composers Paul McGhee and Lucy Pankhurst, the performance was influenced by the music of Too Many Zooz, Youngblood Brass Band and American Marchington Bands. The music used dissonant harmonies, funk riffs and driving basslines to create a musical picture that would be as at home on the street or subway as it is in a concert hall.
Accent Music Education Hub was formed in 2012 and serves the areas of Warrington, Widnes and Runcorn. It has worked in partnership with Brent Music Service since 2014,and seeks to promote reciprocal support projects for the benefit of students and staff. In 2015, Brent Youth Choir was a guest performer at the Feast of Choirs Gospel Concert at the Anglican Cathedral, Liverpool. Accent was invited to perform at Wembley Arena, and this has provided a valuable performing opportunity for students and colleagues.
Accent MEH and Brent have pledged to continue their partnership and look to develop programmes which support the on-going training of tutors through the sharing of good practice. Their Services have led the way in demonstrating the benefits of partnering outside of regional boundaries, which is challenging and rewarding in an ever-changing educational context. It is of immense value to promote the benefits of such a partnership to other Music Education Hubs nationally.
Cllr Jean Carter said,’ This was a wonderful opportunity for our children to perform in such a prestigious setting. We know that it will inspire them to practice and develop their skills. They were worthy ambassadors for their towns and schools.’