Inaugural Young Norfolk Arts Festival comes to a close with music and dance

Lord Mayor's Celebration 2013 parade. Members of the Garage perform on the Forum stage into the evening.
PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY Lord Mayor's Celebration 2013 parade. Members of the Garage perform on the Forum stage into the evening. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

Monday, July 8, 2013
8:00 AM

A packed programme of music and dance brought the inaugural Young Norfolk Arts Festival to a close with a flourish at the weekend.

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Young performers from the Garage dance on the stage at the Forum as part of the Young Norfolk Arts Festival. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAYYoung performers from the Garage dance on the stage at the Forum as part of the Young Norfolk Arts Festival. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

The arts extravaganza started on June 28 and has seen many young people take to the stage and celebrate their talents.

The festival was the idea of Norwich School headmaster Steffan Griffiths and put together by organisations across the city. It was praised by stage and screen star Dame Judi Dench when she visited the city last month.

Mr Griffiths said: “I am delighted with how the festival has gone, with so many different art forms from classical music to drama to art to writing.

“We have had a whole range of events from different organisations in venues all over the city. The overwhelming feedback has been that it is a lovely time of year for a festival and that people have thoroughly enjoyed it.”

Musicians from the Norwich Martineau Orchestra (yellow t-shirts), the In Harmony Lambeth Orchestra (blue t-shirts), part of the Sistema music movement, and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra play together at the Epic Studios. Picture: Denise BradleyMusicians from the Norwich Martineau Orchestra (yellow t-shirts), the In Harmony Lambeth Orchestra (blue t-shirts), part of the Sistema music movement, and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra play together at the Epic Studios. Picture: Denise Bradley

This weekend’s highlights included young musicians from Sistema in Norwich Martineau Orchestra taking part in a special concert at Epic Studios on Friday when they linked up live via the internet with a fellow youth orchestra performing in Liverpool.

In Harmony Liverpool was “beamed in” via the web so that the two groups could perform in the same concert, and In Harmony Lambeth and a Royal Philharmonic Orchestra quartet also took part in the show which as well as being performed in front of live audiences was also streamed on the web.

Then on Saturday it was the turn of performers from The Garage to entertain the crowds on the Forum Stage as part of the Lord Mayor’s Celebration and the youth arts festival.

In an afternoon performance young performers gave the city audience a taste of what goes on in The Garage’s classes and workshops by presenting a series of dances, while an evening performance slot showcased a range of young artists supported through The Garage’s performance development programme.

The final day of the festival yesterday included a concert by Norfolk County Youth Orchestra at St Andrew’s Hall.

Meanwhile, at Epic Studios last night, jazz star and former Norwich School pupil Kit Downes performed with his band in a concert that also featured the Norwich School Senior Jazz Band.

About the festival as a whole, Mr Griffiths said: “The main aim of the festival was to give artistic and cultural opportunities to the young people in Norfolk at the end of the academic year, and it feels like that aim has been met successfully which is great.

“From a Norwich School point of view I think the highlights included the gala night at the Theatre Royal and the performance of Much Ado About Nothing in the cathedral cloister. From partner organisations I think the highlights included the Sistema concert with the live link to Liverpool, and also seeing the performers from The Garage taking control of the Forum Stage at the Lord Mayor’s Celebration was very special as well.”

He added: “I very much hope we will have a second festival next year, and that we can build on this year’s festival for the future.”

Visit www.youngnorfolkartsfestival.org.uk

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