Uniting over 650 school children from across Calderdale, the Calderdale Music Ensemble is a feast for the ears and eyes.

Led by Parkinson Lane Community Primary School, delivered in partnership with Calderdale Music Hub and West Central Halifax Partnership schools, this project has brought together young musicians and 10 participating schools in what is truly a spectacular show of dance, music and drama.

The ambitious piece came out of a Year 6 project that looked at community cohesion, exploring the themes of equal opportunities, right versus wrong and just against the unjust. The young people taking part come from a range of different backgrounds, abilities and musical experiences, united in the celebration of participatory music-making in a project that offers something for every individual young person.

The famous Qawwali Tumhein Dil Lagi, composed by the late master Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, has been taught to children across the schools by music leaders Shahbaz Hussain and Bobby R.S. 

Set in 13th century India, the play tells the story of the female warrior Razia Sultan as she battles Malik Al-Tunia for the throne of Dehli.

The children, representing the two sides of good and evil, will demonstrate the horrors of war through singing, chants and clapping in true Qawwali style. Accompanying the singers will be a brass section, providing scintillating bass lines and heart racing riffs, accompanied by timpani players. Ten tabla players provide the rhythm to this Qawwali and are joined by dancers on the rostrum stage.

Music leader and conductor Bobby R.S said: “It has been an honour to work with so many children and teachers. I have seen the children’s confidence and musical abilities grow and seen the sharing and togetherness of musicals ideas and I hope this continues.”

Earlier this month, Calderdale Massed Ensemble descended on Halifax for a flash-mob performance, helping to promote their involvement in the Schools Prom concerts at the Royal Albert Hall.

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