- By Abi Jenkins
Eleanor Mumford and May Robson make up the duo Miss Jones.
In July 2016 They joined 10,000 other musicians at the Music for Youth National Festival. Throughout the week, they performed on Festival Fringe and Main Stages and took part in music workshops throughout Birmingham City Centre.
Eleanor documented their experience, check it out below!
‘Myself and May Robson make up the duo Miss Jones; a kind of jazzy, folk-like acoustic genre. This was the first year we had taken part in the Music for Youth festival, so not knowing too much about it, we decided to apply for pretty much everything; a fringe gig every day, three or four workshops, and then our Town Hall performance. This, we found out, wasn’t the usual way of ‘going about’ the festival, but it also turned out to be a wonderful way to leap outside of our comfort zones and have a taste of every aspect of the festival, and every style of music and performance.
Our fringe gigs did not always have a huge reception, some had a nice buzz, and some were a little empty. However with each performance the team of Music for Youth staff were always by our side; always extremely helpful, optimistic and gave us feedback too - lovely people!
The experience of having to put yourself out there, even with only a few people watching, is so important getting over the embarrassment and just continuing on is a lesson I will certainly take home with me.
A highlight of the trip has to be one of the workshops. I had applied with the idea of a Soweto-style singing workshop, but it turned out Soweto was the name of an incredible Jazz musician, and it was for Jazz instrumentalists rather than two non-technical singers. However Soweto was so warm and open; he let us into the Jazz world, with a group of fantastically talented young musicians. It was truly inspirational to submerge ourselves in such talent, and to really feel a part of things, despite the distinct lack of technical Jazz skills.
The improvisation sessions left me tingling; the movement of the music, the rhythms, harmonies and riffs all had a live energy that was made so much more intense and deeper by actually being involved.’
The Music for Youth National Festival returns to Birmingham this Summer from the 4th-8th July 2017!