news / Concert and art exhibition in celebration of Nelson Mandela
Over 120 people crammed into the Academy to support The World Heart Beat music students as they played and sang pieces originally by Bheki Mseleku, Stevie Wonder and Sixto Rodriguez, among others. The concert was directed by Trevor Watkis and accompanied by guest artist Tony Kofi (award winning British Jazz musician). The music together with the vibrant surroundings conjured up a tangible South African atmosphere; many of the guests complimented the level of talent on display.
One of the attending guests commented on a social media outlet: "Last night's concert was exceptional, the talent in the room was amazing. There was a fantastic atmosphere and, of course, the cause was very important. I think they could have filled a room ten times bigger - at least! I will be keenly looking out for any repeat performances. Thank you, and congratulations to all involved."
After a brief interval, Alex Pascall OBE (co-founder of the Notting Hill carnival and part of the team behind the birth of national newspaper The Voice) took the stage to deliver a moving speech. He remarked on how wonderful it was to see so many people from such a variety of backgrounds under one roof for a common cause.
The partnership with Wandsworth Museum was instrumental in collecting Nelson Mandela themed art from borough-wide schools (St Thomas London Day School, Christ Church primary School, Evelin Day School, Honeywell Junior School, St Anne's C of E Primary School, Earlsfield Primary School, Griffin Primary, Gatton Primary, St Michael's Primary School), which were exhibited around the Academy as part of the Wandsworth Arts Festival and Fringe 2014. The children's art added personality to the surroundings and it was wonderful to see how they had been inspired by Mandela's quotes and attitudes to create their pieces. These will now be sent to children in South Africa through an exchange scheme in partnership with the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund (UK), along with the proceeds from the concert.
As a result of a need and a high proportion of closure of music education within schools, The World Heart Beat Music Academy (a dynamic charity located in Kimber Road, Wandsworth) opened its doors in 2012. Since then it has grown to over 260 children. They teach them that music has the power to change our lives for the better. They have seen how music lifts children out of isolation and disadvantage, giving them a confidence that translates to other areas of their lives. The World Heart Beat Music Academy believes that music brings communities together, as they saw perfectly exhibited in the concert on Tuesday night.
For more information about The World Heart Beat Music Academey please visit www.worldheartbeat.org