Schoolchildren across Norfolk team up with global artists on stage

Maya Youssef and St. Williams School pupils on stage at Norwich Playhouse.

Maya Youssef and St. Williams School pupils on stage at Norwich Playhouse. - Credit: David Lindsay

Schools from across Norfolk performed with artists from around the world in a series of concerts to celebrate diversity.

Artists from Bulgaria, India, Venezuela and Zimbabwe performed at 'The Festival of World Sacred Music' over the past two weeks and teamed up with local schoolchildren for their performances.

Organised by Music Worldwide and billed as a 'Festival of World Sacred Music', schoolchildren from Cawston Church of England Junior Academy, Lionwood Junior School, Norwich School, Norwich Primary Academy and St Williams Junior School all took part in the multicultural festival.

The concerts were held at venues across Norwich including the Theatre Royal, the Playhouse and the Halls.

The goal of the Connecting Cultures concerts was to help pupils build understanding and common identities beyond the traditional divides of nation, race and faith.

The concerts were also supplemented with five complementary lessons which meet OFSTED's British Values specifications as well as contextualise their learning so that it can be applied into real world scenarios.

Gary Newland, artistic director at Music Worldwide.

Gary Newland, artistic director at Music Worldwide. - Credit: Gemma Brown

Gary Newland, artistic director from Music Worldwide for the Festival, said: “Connecting Cultures has been a huge success both with the educational outreach work and presenting some of the most incredible artists I have had the privilege to work with.

"I think we well and truly landed this event for its inaugural year. I am confident with the success of this project behind us, and our funding partners in place, Connecting Cultures will be back next year."

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The artists that performed were:

Luzmira Zerpa, who is a prolific Venezuelan singer/songwriter based in UK. Participating school: Cawston Church of England Junior Academy.

King Gurcharan Mall, Punjab, India, who is a formidable force in the Asian music industry. Participating school: Lionwood Junior School.

The London Bulgarian Choir, which is led by native Bulgarian singer Dessislava Stefanova, it is a journey around Bulgaria which explores the landscapes of the voice and the creative traditions of the land. Participating school: Norwich School.

Anna Mudeka, who is a passionate and charismatic ambassador for the arts and culture of the Sub-Saharan African continent. Norwich Primary Academy.

Maya Youssef, known for intense and thoughtful music is filled with Arabic classical tradition but has jazz, western classical and flamenco styles too. Participating school: St Williams Junior School.

Justin Adams Ensemble, an experienced guitarist, producer and composer. Participating group: 14-21 year old asylum/ refugees.