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Watch national award nominated music performance featuring Essex school pupils and Eyez, Max Wheeler

PUBLISHED: 08:12 17 December 2017 | UPDATED: 08:12 17 December 2017

Grime Opera project. Picture: ESSEX COUNTY COUNCIL

Grime Opera project. Picture: ESSEX COUNTY COUNCIL

Archant

An Essex music project featuring school pupils and a well-known grime MC has been shortlsited for a national award.

Grown: A Grime Opera was performed as part of the Sounds of Essex youth music festival in Colchester this summer.

Led by Essex County Council’s Essex Music Education Hub, it saw grime artist Eyez, Max Wheeler and young Essex rappers and electronic artists rehearse and then perform alongside Essex Youth Orchestra and Burnt Mill Academy’s choir.

It has now been named as a finalist in the 2018 Music Teacher Awards for Excellence under the Best Musical Initiative category, with the winners due to be announced in February.

Ray Gooding, Essex County Council’s cabinet member for education, said: “Music can play a valuable role in a young person’s development and we believe children should have access to a whole range of musical opportunities.”

“Projects like this certainly show there is a lot more on offer in Essex than just the traditional genres you would associate with school music.

“It is also a fine example of how we are keen to challenge stereotypes around grime and orchestral music, and show that the two contrasting styles can be brought together so powerfully.

“I am delighted to see such musical innovation happening in Essex and would like to congratulate all of those involved in the project on being shortlisted for such a prestigious award.”

As well as the grime opera performance, which involved about 70 young people, the two-day Sounds of Essex music festival also saw a new world record set for the most people taking part in a STOMP body percussion routine.

There were also acts from various genres, celebrating the Essex’s rich musical history, showcasing youth music from across the county and marking 60 years of Essex Youth Orchestras.

A similar event is now being planned for Chelmsford next summer.

Essex Music Education Hub is also applying for funding to tour Grown: a Grime Opera nationally in February 2019.

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