ABRSM Shine Event

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Last Friday NYJO were delighted to help deliver ABRSM’s free one-day event celebrating music education: Shine.  Taking place at London’s Barbican Centre, the day centred around a new work of the same name that ABRSM commissioned from NYJO’s Artistic Director Mark Armstrong. You can read about Mark’s composition process for this piece in his recent blog.


Following a very early soundcheck for our band, the morning brought all the delegates together in the Barbican main hall, where they were treated to performances from NYJO, Southbank Sinfonia, ABRSM scholars Jess Gillam, Sheku Kanneh-Mason and Ben Goldscheider, Scottish folk singer Josie Duncan and two local schools. Between performances, Classic FM announced their Music Teacher of the Year Award winners, and the audience heard testimonials from musicians and music leaders from around the world on the importance of music education and their own personal journeys. The morning performance ended in a rousing finale of Mark conducting his arrangement of Shine for the full forces of the 150 Shine performers.


The performers and attendees split into break-out sessions for the afternoon, with NYJO leading workshops based on the instrumental and vocal versions of the Shine piece. In just two hours, Mark’s instrumental workshop participants were boldly improvising in the Lydian mode, while the vocal class, led by Alexander L’Estrange, perfected the choral arrangement, and the two groups performed to each other at the end of the day.

ABRSM Shine Event

Mark Armstrong and NYJO members lead a workshop teaching the music to ‘Shine’. Photo credits © Paul J Cochrane


Between sessions, our Learning and Participation Manager Claire, and Development and Communications Coordinator Jelly met musicians and teachers at the foyer exhibition, giving out our canvas bags and ever-popular instrument case stickers, spreading the news of NYJO’s Learning and Participation work, and inviting some promising young musicians to our Saturday NYJO Academy.


Shine marked the first big event in NYJO’s partnership with the ABRSM, and we’ll be sharing more about our ongoing plans to raise the profile of jazz in the near future.


Photo credits © ABRSM / Paul J Cochrane

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