The Earth Meets Sky project brought together OYAP Trust’s Youth Action Teams from Bicester, Grimsbury and Bretch Hill to produce a creative performance with singer, composer and vocal coach Juliet Russell.
Funded by Sanctuary Housing and Arts Council England the youth action teams carry out a range of activities to promote positive social action for the benefit of the community, delivered in partnership with Cherwell District Council and The Hill Community Centre in Banbury.
During the song writing and performance workshops, held at The Mill Arts Centre, the young people worked with industry professionals and received three days of expert coaching in singing and composing, as well as producing a film of their performances.
The film, featuring the Banbury young people, will be played at Juliet’s UK tour of her new album Earth Meets Sky, a fantastic opportunity to bring the creativity that went into the project to a wider national audience.
As part of the Earth Meets Sky project, Juliet and OYAP Trust are giving five emerging professional musicians the opportunity to train to become youth arts practitioners, able to run inspiring creative projects for other young people. The emerging artists will receive mentoring from Juliet and a place on OYAP’s Young Leaders Stepping Up programme.
Graham Nolan, Sanctuary Housing’s head of partnerships, said: “It’s great to see young people developing their skills in such a dynamic way and then being able to share them on a national stage. We hope inspirational opportunities like this contribute to people’s futures.”
Richard Howson, aged 16, who attended, commented: “A real bright, friendly atmosphere which has been relaxed and made the project really enjoyable.
“I’ve learnt a lot from being here, it’s helped me widen my musical skills such as body percussion, harmonising and composition. I’d really enjoy doing something like this again.”
This project was part-funded by Sanctuary Group’s Community Investment Fund, supporting projects which benefit Sanctuary residents and their communities.