Street art and music came together last week as young people from across Kent aged 8-18 years attended the latest free Kent Music Orchestra ONE course at Invicta Grammar School in Maidstone. Musicians were joined over four days by a group of artists led by Greg Stobbs aka SquirlArt to create immersive visual installations alongside the music sessions, culminating in a live concert on Friday 4th August.
Exploring the theme of ‘Roots’, the young musicians and artists wove together individual stories of origins, journeys and life defining moments. 55 young musicians took part, including seven drummers, two trombonists, a harpist and one young musician on a piccolo.
Greg Stobbs said of the experience: “Working with Kent Music and the music tutors has been a real eye opener. They have an ability to be open and free in their thinking, while simultaneously inspiring a fearlessness in the young people they work with. Seeing the end product of the concert taking place, with visual and audible stimulation from the musicians and the set/installation is an experience unlike any other I have had in my career as an artist.”
Prior to the performance the audience were given a guided tour of the art installations that included a huge floating house and luggage label raindrops suspended from clouds, each inscribed with a participants’ defining experience. Both musicians and art were decorated with UV glow paint creating a dramatic visual experience for the audience. The lyrics of the finale emphasised the value of new experiences and friendships but never forgetting the importance of going ‘back to your roots’.
This 17th Project for Orchestra ONE was sponsored by Golding Vision, the community arm of Golding Homes. Caroline McBride, Head of Community Development at Golding Homes said: “We are really pleased to be able to support this project which encourages young people from all backgrounds who may never been involved in music or art previously to participate”. The next Orchestra ONE project will take place in October. Visit the Orchestra ONE webpage for details.