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Young musicians shine bright at ABRSM celebration

6 years ago
Lucy North

Lucy North

Lucy is Content Producer at ABRSM looking after the blog, our online magazine, Libretto, and a range of other written materials and resources. She has a musical background and studied the piano at the Royal Academy of Music. When not writing, commissioning and editing for ABRSM, Lucy enjoys spending time with her two young boys, baking and exploring the Essex countryside.

Last Friday (7 July) music lovers of all ages came along to a free musical celebration at London’s Barbican Centre. They were there for Shine – an ABRSM event showcasing the talents of some of the world’s leading young musicians. Hosted in partnership with the Barbican and Classic FM, and supported by Allianz Musical Insurance, Shine was a celebration of the best of music and music education. Over 200 young musicians delighted guests during a two-hour performance. There were brilliant soloists – cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, singer Josie Duncan, saxophonist Jess Gillam and horn player Ben Goldsheider. Shine was a celebration of musical participation and achievement at all levels and we were lucky enough to welcome two London primary schools to the event. Seeing and hearing the Highfield Junior School choir and the Bounds Green Stomp Group live at the Barbican was an inspiration for everyone. It was great to see them share the stage with some of the UK’s rising musical stars in the form of the National Youth Jazz Orchestra and the Southbank Sinfonia. In his keynote speech at the event, Darren Henley, Chief Executive of Arts Council England, talked about the enormous importance of music to all of us. “Music has a special role in all of our lives. It is the universal language that brings us together and makes our lives richer. It’s an inspiration and a consolation, a means to self-expression and a route to collective harmony. Most of all it brings us delight and pleasure, it makes us truly alive.” Other Shine highlights included an open rehearsal with the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sir Simon Rattle and a selection of dynamic music workshops for teachers and young musicians.

For Michael Elliott, ABRSM’s Chief Executive, this event was about shining a spotlight on the power of music. “We had amazing young performers on stage and heard inspirational stories from musicians from around the world. We were also delighted to honour and recognise the tremendous work of five exceptional music teachers through the Classic FM Music Teacher of the Year Awards. The winners are inspirational role models for the next generation of music performers, leaders and ambassadors.”  At the heart of the event was a specially-commissioned piece by Mark Armstrong – entitled Shine. It was performed by the National Youth Jazz Orchestra and then again by all the performers in a spectacular finale. The score for Shine will be freely available in September along with many other resources to take away, share and get involved with. Look out for updates at



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