- By Abi Jenkins
As the team at Music for Youth gear up for National Festival 2017, Jessica Berners, Lead Teacher of Whole Class Instrumental Teaching for Norfolk Music Service, is preparing to bring groups to her ninth consecutive year of Music For Youth festivals.
Since 2009 Jessica has led groups of young people from the King’s Lynn area at the Regional Festivals and, by invitation, to the stages of the National Festival in Birmingham. In total she has supported approximately 540 pupils in their performances. She has collected a t-shirt from each annual event and is looking forward to expanding her collection once again this year when performing with two groups from St Martha’s Catholic Primary School at Symphony Hall, Birmingham, in July.
In Jessica’s words: “I am always immensely proud and honoured to have my groups selected, and my excitement when the news come through never wanes! Each year I probably get more excited as I think my luck will come to an end!
Music for Youth events are special because they are on a Regional/National level, not just County. Having the opportunity and chance to progress to the next stage gives a certain goal to aim for.
Pupils react really positively and ‘up their game’ when they perform alongside other counties. They are proud to represent their own county!”
My highlights have been getting (at the National Festival in Birmingham) 3 x NUT Infants/Juniors Awards (2010/2011/2012), Achievement Award for Performance Practice in 2014, and a nomination for a Partnership Award in 2015. Hearing the Music Mentors give positive comments is always rewarding – they especially like the name of one of the groups “Ukelear Power”! Last year one group was invited to perform at the Aldeburgh Primary Proms after being heard at National Festival in Birmingham."
Join us at National Festival 2017, 4-8 July and get a t-shirt of your own!