Achievements of Note
Below are some of the highlights of Groove Academy which we've captured on film and hope, that by sharing them with you, you experience something of the work we do with our young people.
Here's some video footage of our Groove Academy Summer Concert at The Basement, Kingston. Some of the young people had only been with us a month before participating in the concert and they did a fantastic job.
Groove Academy's 10th Anniversary in 2014 where students, old and new came along to share in the celebration.
Groove Academy along with Hampton Youth Project, The Tangley Park Family Centre, Richmond Housing Partnership, Paragon Housing and Fulmer Close Residents Association, hosted 'Our Big Gig'. Along with contributions from several local businesses, this proved to be a very successful event.
Check out one of Groove Academy's performances on the day.
Groove Academy took Pulse, our Music for Youth National Festival finalists, to Paris on a busking trip. They performed, did lots of sight-seeing and just had an all round good time.
On 3rd March we filmed our entries for Music for Youth's National Festival 2013. We entered three bands, Pulse - a neo soul band; Breaking Out - our pop/punk entry; and Transit Circus - our alternative rock group.
Pulse were one of fifteen bands invited to perform at the National Finals of the Music for Youth National Festival 2013.
The video on the left shows our performance in the final at Birmingham Town Hall and the fantastic critique the band were given.
In November, we took a team over to Norway for a cultural exchange with the performing arts school, Unge Spor. We were able to exchange ideas, have a lot of fun and had the opportunity to perform for our hosts.
In August, we took a team to the Aberdeen International Youth Festival to perform 'The Aimless Wanderings of Peer Gynt', an original Groove Academy musical, based on Ibsen's 'Peer Gynt'. We performed at a number of venues, including the Aberdeen Arts Centre, Peterhead Community Theatre and Huntly Town Hall. NB Some of the best video footage for this production was filmed at The Waterman's Arts Centre, Brentford, where we premiered in December 2010.
In February, the then Mayor, Councillor David Mellor, held a Thank-You Reception for everyone involved in the London New Year's Day Parade.
We were served a beautiful buffet and our team received medals from the Mayor. We also got to meet the Parade's Excutive Director, Robert Bone, who thanked us for our participation in the Parade.
Unfortunately we don't have video footage but you can see more photos of this event in the Gallery.
In 2010 we were invited by the Mayor of Richmond, Councillor David Mellor, to represent the London Borough of Richmond-Upon-Thames at the London New Year's Day Parade.
Walking through central London, from The Ritz to Westminster with an estimated 500,000 people thronging the streets was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our young people.
The Parade has a league table where boroughs with the most creative, inventive and unusual ideas receive points for their borough. We were honoured to receive points and a cheque for £1 500 to give to the Shooting Star Hospice, our Mayor's chosen charity.
In September 2010 we took a team of our young people to Norway for GrooveFest at the Harbour, collaborating with a group of young musicians calling themselves Fredheim Marina, and Eva Bjerga Haugen, a cutting edge young jazz musician who is currently with Cirrus, a Norwegian chamber jazz trio. We performed at a venue called the Sandnes Brygge, a well known music venue to a fantastic audience.
In August 2010, we collaborated with Bluestones Music, a song-writing initiative for young people based in Peterhead, Aberdeenshire. They travelled to London where we worked together to build a repertoire which we performed at the Ram Jam in Kingston. We also visited the British Music Experience and saw Stomp.
Bluestones Week : Funk Workshop
In August, we were invited to perform at the Aberdeen International Youth Festival, in their Jazz and World Music category. We performed at several venues, including, The Lemon Tree, The Acorn Centre, Banchory Barn and the Union Gardens Terrace. We did a lot of networking and many of our opportunities arose from contacts we made here.
The Lemon Tree - Aberdeen
Aberdeen University - Workshop
In early 2009, we were one of the nominees for 'Best Performance Group' in the Richmond Youth Awards.
Our nomination was successful and we were invited to attend the Award Ceremony in April 2009.
We were delighted when we heard we had won and were invited onto the stage to receive our Award.
In November after our success in the finals of Music for Youths National Festival earlier in the year, we were invited to perform at the School Proms in the Royal Albert Hall.
Performing in front of an audience of 10,000 we were the penultimate act of the evening before the traditional 'Land of Hope and Glory'.
It was a very special evening for all involved.
In July we participated in the finals of Music for Youth's National Festival in their 'Rock, Pop & Urban' category. We performed at the Carling Academy, Birmingham receiving a special commendation from the judges who said we were 'the sleekest, smoothest act of the night'.
Unfortunately we were not allowed to film this event.
Below, however, are some clips of the video footage we sent to Music for Youth, filmed at Heatham House in February '08, which gained us entry into the finals.
In February we were invited to perform at 'The Febs', a series of concerts held in February every year at Thamesmead School, Shepperton.
A performing arts status school, the Music Department was led by Dennis Elvie, an inspirational teacher who was responsible for a vibrant musical community of students, a good proportion of whom have gone on to careers in the music industry.
We were delighted to take part and decided to use some of our Motown material from our 2006 concert.
In October we put on a show, Motown Magic at the Invincibles Suite (Now St George's Suite) in the Twickenham Rugby Stadium.
With a repertoire of 54 songs and over four hours long, it was arguably the most challenging project we have tackled.
Speaking to young people who were involved in this concert, they still rate it as one of the main highlights of their time with us.
It made an immense impact on our young people changing the musical direction many of them were taking.
Below are a few clips from the concert.
I Want You Back
We were invited to perform at the Christmas Lights Ceremony at the Bentall Centre, Kingston.
It was one of our biggest opportunities, at that time, and we were very excited about performing there.
Our very first Groove Academy concert, 'Agents Under Cover', held in September '04 at the Hampton Hill Playhouse, just four months after we had launched.
We performed to a packed house and the whole evening was magical. What we lacked in experience and expertise, we made up for in enthusiasm and the joy of performing together.
An early clip of a Synergy Session.
Whilst not an achievement of note, on it's own, each Synergy Session becomes an important building block for our students, and over a period of time, develops their musical concept adds to their skill set and builds their confidence.