The Roots of Rhythm

The two day event ‘The Roots of Rhythm’ celebration got underway on Thursday 22nd June with a mass samba band of Hull Collegiate pupils as well as those from 13 other local East Yorkshire primary schools. The band, led by United Learning’s own Head of Music and Performing Arts, Catherine Barker, marched around the school before pupils were divided into groups for a range of other cultural activities.

Over the course of the first day, pupils learnt to play in a Gamelan orchestra – an Indonesian style of music made up of percussion instruments. They also enjoyed jazz improvisation workshops with the group Steppin’ Out as part of the Live Music Now project. Some groups later took part in creative sessions about business, philosophy and creative writing.

On the following day, the celebrations continued and included special guests from the local community. The poet Ash Dickinson performed several of his poems, including a new one about the city of Hull, and supported pupils in writing their own haikus, quatrains and longer poems about ‘roots and routes’.

The school also welcomed talented folk musician Eliza Carthy, who gave several outstanding performances to smaller groups and in the main school assembly, singing and accompanying herself on the fiddle. Eliza also taught pupils to join in with a cup rhythm as part of her new song about Hull, which has been commissioned for this year’s City of Culture events.