Our band with steel drums in Greece 2005

Steel Drums Herald Westminster Windrush Anniversary

There’s no more fitting sound to pay respect to the Windrush generation than a Caribbean steel band, and that’s what attendees of the thanksgiving service at Westminster Abbey were treated to in celebration of 70 years since the arrival of Caribbean migrants on the Empire Windrush Ship.

It’s been a controversial time for the government in regards to those originally welcomed to the UK to help the country overcome an employment crisis after the Second World War, as it was recently revealed that records had been lost, and some of those people who had journeyed to the UK by request had been, or had had family, deported because of a lack of official paperwork.

Baroness Floella Benjamin, patron of the Windrush Foundation, was in attendance, and danced in the naves to the likes of songs such as Amazing Grace played on the steel pans, according to the BBC. Other guests included Prime Minister Theresa May and London Mayor Sadie Khan, but the majority of attendees were the family’s of those who came to the UK as part of the Windrush generation.

Addressing the congregation, Reverend Canon Joel Edwards acknowledged the hardships that have been endured by this generation, institutional racism as just the start, but also celebrated the gift that this generation has made to Britain in terms of leaders in the worlds of politics, business, education, music and sport.

From this year on, each 22nd June will be marked officially as Windrush Day, with government grants in support of events celebrating the day and the contributions of the Windrush generation to life in Britain.

Steel Band Features In Girls’ School Celebrations

An all girls school in Wanstead has been celebrating its centenary with a host of activities and events, including a performance by a steel band for pupils and staff.

The Ilford Recorder reported that St Joseph’s Convent School chose to celebrate its 100th anniversary by putting on a day full of fun activities for its current pupils.

A big marquee was erected in the school’s grounds, where the girls currently studying there were invited to take part in creative and drama workshops, as well as to listen to the steel band performance and see a show by a magician.

The day also saw all the children enjoying a picnic together in the sunshine. A centenary disco and summer fair were also organised as part of the festivities.

Headteacher Miss Christine Glover told the news provider that the event was “a lovely way to celebrate such a big milestone in the school’s history”.

She added: “It was a wonderful opportunity to celebrate all our fantastic achievements so far, and a chance to look forward to the future.”

This kind of event offers a great opportunity to introduce children of all ages to different creative activities, whether musical, drama or otherwise.

Last month there were calls from some in the music industry to encourage schools to put a greater focus on music in the curriculum, with many fearing that failing to get children interested in learning a musical instrument at a young age is one of the factors affecting the number of teenagers who go on to study for a GCSE or A-Level in the subject.

If your school would like to offer steel drum lessons in London to your pupils, contact us today to find out how we could help.

Pupils Enjoy Musical Month At Primary School

Although there’s a lot that has to be covered under the national curriculum, that doesn’t mean that schools can’t give pupils a chance for some extra, enriching experiences during their time at school.

This is exactly what St Francis Catholic Primary School in Bradford did in May, when it ran its month-long celebration of music.

The Telegraph and Argus reported on what was organised last month, noting that children at the school had the opportunity to not only try playing different instruments, but also to speak to musicians and find out more about their musical talents.

Among the events run by the primary school were Live for 5 video events, where different professional musicians had five minutes to explain their specialisms, as well as sessions where children could try different instruments, such as the trumpet.

Other highlights included concerts by a brass band and a string trio, giving pupils a chance to experience a range of musical styles.

They were also able to get involved themselves with a hymnathon and extra lunchtime music clubs throughout May.

Head at the school Andrea Haines said the month-long musical celebration had resulted in more children becoming interested in singing and music.

“I have seen the significant difference music and singing has made to the lives of children and adults,” she told the newspaper.

We think this is a great idea, and if you want to organise something similar at your school why not consider adding steel band workshops to the mix?

There have recently been calls from professional musicians for there to be a greater focus on music in schools, both primary and secondary, and this could be an excellent way to introduce more children to the varied instruments and musical styles out there.