Birmingham Contemporary Music Group aid new generation of promoters

Schoolchildren create their own mini music festival.

Pupils from two Birmingham primary schools are staging their own day-long music festivals with the help of Birmingham Contemporary Music Group.

MiniFest has seen 60 pupils at Jervoise Primary School in Weoley Castle and The Oaks Primary School in Druids Heath learn how to plan, produce and promote a music festival in their school.

The 7 and 8 year olds have worked with visual artists, composers and musicians from Birmingham Contemporary Music Group over a three month period, culminating in two full-day festivals. The pupils have composed their own music that they will perform for their classmates, have curated a programme of music for professional musicians to perform and have created visual art and games. The children have also worked in teams to work on the ‘back stage’ elements of the festival, such as event management, marketing, evaluating and writing media reviews.

Emma Nenadic, BCMG Learning Co-ordinator, explained the thinking behind MiniFest: “We love to encourage children and young people to learn by doing, and MiniFest exemplifies this approach. Organising a festival requires many so different skills – the pupils from Jervoise and The Oaks schools have composed and created their own music, have developed the confidence to perform their music to their classmates and teachers, and have learnt how to promote their event. We hope that the experience of working alongside professional musicians will inspire them for many years to come.”

MiniFest takes place at Jervoise Primary and The Oaks Primary in April, for an invited audience of pupils, teachers and parents. MiniFest includes performances by BCMG musicians Jack McNeil and Bridget Carey.

Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, founded in 1987 by musicians from the CBSO with the encouragement of Sir Simon Rattle, is recognised as one of Europe’s leading contemporary ensembles.