A unique performance has been recorded by staff at Wolverhampton Music Service to inspire and galvanise young people across the city to make music.
Staff have jointly performed Blinded By Your Grace Pt 2 by British rapper Stormzy – himself seen as an inspiration and positive role model within the music industry.
He was the first Black British solo artist to headline the main stage at Glastonbury and has taken positive action to reduce educational inequality, setting up a scholarship fund to help academically gifted Black-British students to study at Cambridge University.
Recorded by staff separately at home, the video features a joint performance filmed at Bantock Park. Staff are joined on the video by Whitmore Reans-born rapper and grime artist VITAL, who has added his own creative Wolverhampton-based words to the vocals. To watch the video, click https://youtu.be/R4SBBeCzmUw.
Head of Wolverhampton Music Service, Ciaran O’Donnell, said: “We are committed to supporting the City of Wolverhampton Council’s pledge to challenge racial injustice and achieve an equity of experience within the Wolverhampton education system. This is why we have chosen this particular piece – along with the fact that it’s a great song to play and listen to.”
The video launches a new teaching programme, ENSEMBLE, designed to encourage young musicians to progress their musical experience. The video will be available for pupils to watch, along with a comprehensive series of online and live tutorials delivered by staff at Wolverhampton Music Service. Young people across the city will have the opportunity to learn the piece and play along with the video on their own instruments.
Mr O’Donnell added: “We all know the power of creativity to counterbalance uncertainty, and at a time like this music allows us to express feelings and emotions that we cannot articulate with words.”
Councillor Dr Michael Hardacre, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said: “Members of the Music Service have created a number of ensemble pieces during the coronavirus lockdown, and this latest video is an excellent way to support the council’s ambition of challenging racial injustices, wherever we find them.
“I would like to thank all the Music Service staff, and Wolverhampton rapper VITAL, for being a part of this important initiative.”
He added: "Music is a key part of a young person's education. Wolverhampton Music Service provides quality teaching for children and young people across the city, and I am pleased that they are able to continue doing so digitally during the first half of the autumn term because of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Wolverhampton Music Service provides quality teaching for children and young people across the city, including the chance to perform with Wolverhampton Youth Orchestra and Wolverhampton Youth Wind Orchestra. To find out more, please visit www.wolverhamptonmusichub.org.uk.