We are so pleased to be joined by musician and activist Jermain Jackman in what will be our first live performance since lockdown, playing a mighty river of music at the Southbank Centre.
Jermain won the third series of BBC competition The Voice in 2014 and campaigns for young people to have a voice in society, a mission shared by us. He is Chair of Hackney’s Young Futures Commission and shaped the #YoungAndBlack campaign – a space to share, listen and learn from the experiences of young Black people.
Curated by NYO musicians, the concert will feature repertoire explored during our latest digital residency where we dived into music by Black composers, learning more about the stories of Black musicians and racial justice initiatives.
At the heart of the concert is Mighty River by Belize-born British composer Errollyn Wallen, a piece exploring the history of the slave trade in Britain with spirituals and gospel music at its core. The orchestral piece was the starting point for important conversations in our recent digital residency which will continue through this concert through interviews and discussions with musicians presented by Radio 3’s Linton Stephens, and conducted by conductor and former-NYO bassist Kwamé Ryan. Following our multi-track performance earlier this year, we are excited to build on our learning, share the project further and bring it to the Royal Festival Hall stage with a special performance of Amazing Grace sung by Jermain Jackman.
The concert will also feature chamber music chosen by NYO musicians including Hades – a piece for double bass and piano by Mason Bynes; Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s Intermezzo arranged for brass quartet; Starburst by Jessie Montgomery; and movements from Adolphus Hailstork’s Flute Set and Florence Price’s String Quartet.
‘Do not ever feel you should be silent. It is down to all of us in this room to speak out and carve the society we want.’ – Jermain Jackman
We were hugely inspired to meet Jermain and hear his advice on how we can use our platform as young musicians to speak out on the issues which matter to us and how we can be a part in societal change, and we can’t wait to collaborate together musically in this concert.
You can hear the full concert broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on Thursday 29 October and for 30 days via the BBC Sounds app.
The concert is part of Southbank Centre’s season of online events streaming music, literature and comedy: Inside Out . Southbank Centre’s Resident and Associate Orchestras will share live performances throughout September to December, with programmes reflecting wider cultural conversations, with 30 broadcasts on BBC Radio 3.
While we strive towards bringing live activities back, we also understand there are still a number of restrictions around live performance, and we are committed to ensuring that our projects are conducted in line with guidelines laid down by the Government and expert bodies. We are also committed that the live activities are conducted in a way that minimises the risks of COVID-19 transmission. This means we are inviting a reduced size orchestra with musicians who are located in close proximity to the venue, to limit the travel for musicians, and there will be no ticketed audience for this project. Both rehearsals and concerts will be socially distanced with extra measures in place to ensure everybody is kept safe.
Photograph by © Mete Coban.