The Leeds Schools Music Association, often known as the LSMA, is led by a group of teachers from ArtForms and schools in Leeds. They run an annual programme of festival concerts at Leeds Town Hall. These performances are part of a long tradition of children’s concerts going back to the 1930s. Many of the children never forget the excitement of performing on the Town Hall stage and it can be a transformative experience for the participants.
One previous participant, now a full time singer, said: “I first sang in the LSMA concert at Leeds Town Hall aged 8, with St Mary’s C of E, Middleton. The concerts were hugely important to me and also my family. I also went there as a teenager with Matthew Murray School, and still have an abiding memory of singing ‘Yellow Bird’.”
In 2014, we commissioned a set of songs to celebrate the Tour de France. This was a good opportunity to expand the summer festival from one concert to three full days of musical activities! These are now well established and involve up to 2000 children and young people. They are:
· The Big Play: 600 Key Stage 2 children singing and playing ukuleles, violins, trumpets, clarinets, recorders and percussion.
· The Big Sing : 800 children spend an afternoon of signing new songs as one big choir at Leeds Town Hall.
· The Finale concert: 500 year 5 and 6 pupils playing in a string orchestra, wind band and guitar ensemble alongside a large choir.
At Christmas the City of Leeds Youth Orchestra play alongside the primary school choir of 350 voices, creating another evening to remember. Past members of the orchestra who took part in these concerts include Sam Swallow (now a member of the Hoosiers and recently on the Jooles Holland show and Blue Peter) and Tim Lihoreau of Classic FM.
If you are interested in your school becoming involved with the LSMA, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
ArtForms Arts Development