From January – November 2022, NYJO were delighted to partner with Hull Music Service on a new creative composition project, led by NYJO Emerging Professional Myra Brownbridge!
The project was designed to develop young musicians’ confidence in their own creativity and support them to feel confident expressing their own ideas through music-making. Myra was chosen to deliver the project because the young musicians really connected with her ideas for composing a piece that focused on their experiences of living in Hull. Together, they created a brand-new piece from scratch that was performed at Hull Jazz Festival.
My aims at the beginning of the project were to create a composition which reflected the NYJO Academy members’ personal experiences of their life growing up in Hull and Humberside, connecting to the history of Hull and what life in the city and surrounding areas means to them.
Myra Brownbridge, Composer
The final piece that the group created together was 20 minutes long, featuring four sections with titles taken from poetry extracts that the group connected with:
- Chaos, Industrial Shadows
- Change, Seed Sown into Concrete
- Regeneration, Colours in Art We Cannot Hide
- Pearl to go, Two Pound Strawberries for the Road
I think we were able to use the idea of a ‘sense of place’ as a thread throughout the project. Whether this was the Music Centre building, the City of Hull and its history or the wider cultural history of the region; all were explored at a pace where ideas could form, develop and change without the rush for a final product or deadline.
Sean Miller, Partnerships and Community Engagement, Hull Music Service
The piece is all about Hull’s journey through time. So it starts out in the beginning with a sort of dark section, and then by the end of it, it’s this more open, free, uplifting section.
Henry, young musician
Ideas of place are central to NYJO Learning’s Widening Access programme. It is always important to us that the work we create in these communities feels rooted in the local areas, and that the projects centre the voices of the young people taking part. For many young musicians that live in our Widening Access partner areas, opportunities to play in groups with other like-minded young musicians can be more difficult to access – often because they live rurally or because of issues with public transport links. Through our Widening Access programme, we support Hubs and Music Services to try out new ways of supporting young people to overcome these barriers to accessing music-making opportunities.
My music service in Grimsby is inaccessible for many – this gives an opportunity for people to develop skills.
Thomas, young musician
If you work for a Hub or Music Service and are interested in getting involved with our Widening Access programme, please get in touch today!