Birmingham Schools compete to compose Equality Anthem

Competition set to celebrate diversity and equality.

A competition has been launched by Educate & Celebrate, the UK charity dedicated to making schools LGBT+Friendly, inviting secondary schools to compose and perform an Equality Anthem for Birmingham. The prize for the winner includes studio time to record their song as well as the chance to perform it live at the Midlands Schools Showcase in February.

Singer-Songwriter Vix Perks is both organising the competition and helping judge the entries. Vix, formerly of Fuzzbox and now with her new band Vix & her MsChiefs has had a long and successful career in the music industry and has consistently been a role model and positive advocate for equality. As a patron of Educate & Celebrate, Vix has also composed original songs using children’s books with a LGBT+Friendly theme to help schools celebrate differences. Vix explained why the competition has been launched:

“As a Brummie born and bred, I am extremely proud to be part of a wonderfully diverse community that celebrates difference. My father was a Headteacher which is why I am drawn to making a difference in education and thrilled to be a patron with Educate & Celebrate. I want pupils to use their creative talents to compose an anthem to say what Birmingham means to them, a song we can all be proud to sing that says no to discrimination, yes to equality. The winning song should both connect with us emotionally and make us feel a sense of unity.”

Elly Barnes, the CEO of Educate & Celebrate, who are contracted by Birmingham City Council to roll out their programme added:

“Kids really amaze me, their views are so refreshing. Every day their questioning of all forms of discrimination inspires me. I was a music teacher so therefore have seen first hand just how music captures imaginations and can deliver a message in 5 minutes! Our PRIDE in Primary Education songs were a joy to create with the super talented ViX. This competition is a really exciting opportunity for ViX to work with secondary schools to create a song to unite the city to celebrate our diversity. The lucky winner and runners up will secure studio time and perform their songs at our Midlands showcase at the Matthew Boulton College in February 2016. I’m really looking forward to the show!”

A student from the region who participated in previous Educate & Celebrate showcases said: “Having the chance to speak openly and honestly in front of such a diverse and energetic crowd means a lot to me.

It is truly inspiring to see people listen and engage whilst truly enjoying the night, I could see this from the reactions whilst giving my speech, I shall remember this moment for a very long time. We learnt about being proud to be yourself!”

The competition is open now until the end of January to secondary schools in Birmingham. For more detail email ellybarnes@educateandcelebrate.org More information about the charity and resources for schools can be found at www.educateandcelebrate.org