I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to take part in the very first Kinetika Bloco Junior Summer School which took place at the beginning of the school summer holidays. I went along to play trumpet (obviously) but there was a whole range from steel pans and drums to woodwind and brass. It was a four day course and each of those days started with us dropping our instruments off in different classrooms before returning to the main hall to play games. Although I didn’t know anyone at the start of the course, I soon got to know the others in the brass section and even made some friends from the drum section!
The course ended with a performance that parents and friends came to… but not before we had changed into our KB outfits. I wasn’t sure what to make of the purple shirt, tie, braces and hat to begin with but even I have to admit that we looked pretty good as a group. I’m looking forward to playing with the group at the Royal Festival Hall in a couple of weeks.
Playing samba is something I’ve never done before but I had a great time doing it. It helped that the trumpet section was mentored by Sheila Maurice-Grey (Londoner and female jazz trumpeter – a perfect combination!) who took me under her wing. Thank you Sheila!
One of the other things worth mentioning is that this summer school (for 10-14 year olds) was completely free. Living in London, there are so many brilliant opportunities for young musicians but most of them cost money. I’m lucky enough to live in Lewisham where the excellent Lewisham Music Service host a brilliant Saturday Music Centre along with lots of ensembles during the week. Their groups are affordable but lots of the other organisations locally cost nearly 10 times as much per term i.e. too expensive if your parents are teachers so you don’t qualify for bursaries. Kinetika Bloco’s Junior Summer School was free because it was funded by Youth Music.