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Music Students at Headlands prepare for Musicport

20 October 2009

Photocall: Teenagers will be rehearsing with The Balkanatics at Headlands Secondary School, Sewerby Road, Bridlington, YO16 6UR on Friday 23 October at 1.30pm in preparation for their spotlight at Musicport.

Aspiring young musicians from the East Riding of Yorkshire will perform live on stage at this year's Musicport with the world music band The Balkanatics (Saturday 24 October at 7pm) thanks to a collaboration between Music4U - the Humber Region Action Zone and Musicport.

Prior to stepping in to the limelight in front of the Musicport audience at the Bridlington Spa, this group of 12 -18 year old GSCE and 'A' level students from Headlands Secondary School in Bridlington will have had the opportunity to work closely with The Balkanatics, a brass band who play wild, rhythmically driving music from the Balkan region and Anatolia. Born out of London's cosmopolitan music scene, the group combines the cream of the UK with top Balkan expatriate musicians.

The Balkanatics get their main inspiration from the Brass bands that can be found in various parts of the Balkan region. Apart from developing their own compositions and band 'sound' they are constantly studying the rich traditions from the region, developing a large repertoire of the traditional music and traditional ways of performing it.

The students will be working with The Balkanatics in a three day intensive workshop in the lead-up to Musicport to prepare three songs that they will perform live on stage at the start of The Balkanatics music spot. Music teacher, Zoe Backhouse, at Headlands School said the students were extremely excited to be involved in this initiative. She commented: "We have a group of 35 students taking part this year, some of whom took part in the project last year and thoroughly enjoyed themselves. The Balkanatics will focus on the eastern European style of music and will use a range of different instruments including flute, piano, percussion, guitars and brass.

"It is fantastic to have these musicians working with us and for our pupils again to experience music from a different culture. It is really good for our music students to learn directly from professional musicians and I am sure the workshop sessions will improve the musicianship of students. Having the opportunity for them to perform at Musicport is amazing and they are very excited, many of them intend to stay around over the weekend and listen to some of the other world music groups.''

Delma Tomlin, Music4U's Director commented: "We are really pleased to be returning to Headlands and to expose music students to a new musical tradition. This innovative world music project provides the unique chance for some of the region's aspiring young musicians to be part of an internationally recognised world music festival and to learn first hand skills from these fantastic musicians. We intend to gather our own knowledge and skills during this project and to pass it on to other young people in our Zone in future music projects.''

Musicport welcomes this collaboration, Jim McLaughlin, Musicport Festival Director, was delighted to be working with Music4U again. He said: "Projects of this nature are the perfect way to engage with young people in East Yorkshire. We are confident the experience of learning and performing with The Balkanatics as well as seeing some of the other world class acts at the festival will inspire all those involved. As an organisation our remit has always been to engage young people in our work at our events and give them opportunities that otherwise would not have been available to them.''

This project follows on from the successful similar initiative last year where the outstanding world music band from Niger, Etran Finatawa, visited the school to develop the students Afro-Rock techniques.

Music4U is co-ordinated by the National Centre for Early Music who work in partnership with the East Riding of Yorkshire, Hull, North East Lincolnshire and North Lincolnshire Councils and supported by Arts Council England, Yorkshire. More information about Music4U can be found on the website at  www.humber-music4u.com or on myspace at www.myspace.com/music4uhumber.

Ends

Press Contact: Melanie Paris 01904 647408/07931 391736
E Mail: Melanie.Paris@ncem.co.uk

Editor's Notes:

Music4U - is the Humber Region Youth Music Action Zone. Music4U is co-ordinated by the National Centre for Early Music working in partnership with the East Riding of Yorkshire, Hull, North East Lincolnshire and North Lincolnshire Councils. The Action Zones have been instigated and funded by Youth Music and are supported by Arts Council England, Yorkshire. More info is available at http://www.humber-music4u.com

Musicport - takes place from 23-25 October 2009 at The Spa, Bridlington. Ticket phone lines are 0845 373 2760 or 01947 605089. Musicport was established in 2000 to promote live music and music education in the coastal area of Yorkshire with its primary event being Musicport World Music Festival each autumn. Over the last eight years the festival has grown year on year and has established itself as a prestigious event in the festival calendar attracting major names such as Rachid Taha, The Buena Vista Social Club presents Caichito Lopez etc, Misty In Roots, Courtney Pine, Talvin Singh, Altan, Mory Kante, Osibisa, Kate & Anna McGarrigle, & Los De Abajo. More information is available at: http://www.musicportfestival.com

The Balkanatics - a brass band from the Balkan region and Anatolia http://www.balkanatics.co.uk