Launching in April 2004 we shared our vision for the future with friends, family and interested parties.
Our first session was held at Thames Water in Walton-Upon Thames. A great place for a rehearsal as we could make lots of noise without disturbing the neighbours but a little out of the way. We needed a more central venue.
We moved to The Vineyard Church, Feltham, where we met on Monday evenings for six months.
During that time we held our very first concert, 'Agents Under Cover' in September 2004 at The Hampton Hill Playhouse. It was an exciting time for everyone involved. We'd all worked really hard and seeing our young people perform in front of an audience for the first time was really special.
Shortly after this, we moved to the Hampton Youth Project, a local authority youth centre which has now been our home since late 2004. During that time we have seen an old shower block and dark room converted into a studio/rehearsal room which has created a fantastic environment for our young people to work in. The kitchen and dining area has been opened up and renovated to become a retro 1950's style diner. We use this area to hold the Hampton Diner Open Mic Sessions, another partnership project funded by The Hampton Fuel Allotment Charity. There has been the addition of staging and a powerful PA system for the main social area which allows us to hold concerts and band nights at the venue. We have worked alongside the Hampton Youth Project staff at various sessions and events including Black History Month and the Centre's 20th Birthday celebrations.
We became the first integrated services partner with the Richmond Youth Service, and have received funding for several projects over the years, including song-writing and guitar-building workshops, working on repertoire for showcases and, most recently for an open mic session at the Ham Youth Centre.
We have been involved in a number of fundraisers for good causes within our borough and surrounds. These have included The Shooting Star Hospice, Lynn's Bowel Cancer Campaign, and Disability Network, Hounslow.
After receiving funding from Sound Connections, a music organization which develops, supports and empowers individuals and organisations to deliver high quality music-making with children and young people across London, we ran a project called Download, a music project we developed for the Richmond Young Carers. We then went on to run another project with them, Live & Wired.
We have run schools workshops in music technology, recording and Western music which is influenced by Indian and African music and are able to tailor-make workshops which support the national curriculum.
We collaborated with Bluestones Music, a song-writing initiative for young people, based in Peterhead, Aberdeenshire, performing alongside them at the Aberdeen International Youth Festival twice, and hosting them on a visit to London. We have also collaborated with Unge Spor, a Norwegian Performing Arts Organization, being hosted by them in Norway and hope to host them in summer 2013.
We have performed at almost three hundred events in the past twelve years, won an award for Best Performance Group within our Borough, reached the finals of a National Festival - twice, performed at The Royal Albert Hall and the Aberdeen International Youth Festival twice and have represented Richmond Upon Thames at the London New Year's Day Parade, alongside the many other opportunities we have undertaken.
(Click on our Performance History and Achievements of Note buttons for more details)
We continue to look for new performance opportunities for our members, new partners to collaborate with and new causes to support as we move forward.
Hampton Youth Project
Hampton Youth Project Diner
Unge Spor - Norway
Our very first public performance :
The Hampton Carnival, 2004.
Royal Albert Hall
The Aimless Wanderings of Peer Gynt