Thornton Heath gets Afrobeat with £15,000 Arts Council grant

A music charity based in Thornton Heath has been awarded £15,000 by Arts Council England to set up an Afrobeat orchestra for Croydon youngsters.

The project, called Thornton Heath Afrobeat Orchestra – THABO – aims to develop the musical skills of local young people across all ages through regular rehearsals, learning, composing and performing of music from the African diaspora, such as Afrobeat, reggae, jazz, blues and Latin.

It is being funded through the Arts Council’s National Lottery Project Grants programme.

THABO is a collaborative effort between south London musician Ed Cubitt and the Music Relief Foundation, which is based in Thornton Heath.

Building on the success of pilot workshops, the new orchestra will undertake weekly rehearsals over a 16-week period to learn about and recreate important pieces of music.

They will use Cubitt’s “Music is Easy” method, which aims to simplify music making and ensure it is fun for all. The group will perform regularly, including a headline summer concert.

THABO will be launched formally this Saturday, April 15, at The Scouts Centre in Thornton Heath (105-105 Beulah Rd, CR7 8JG) from 3.30pm to 6.30pm.

“THABO is about embracing our collective cultural roots while providing a space for our community’s youth to express themselves and grow,” said Cubitt.

“Our goal is simple: to empower these young voices, foster unity, and create lasting positive change through music in Croydon and south London.”

National Lottery Project Grants is the Arts Council’s open access programme for arts, museums and libraries projects. The fund supports thousands of individual artists, community and cultural organisations.

National Lottery players raise more than £30million for good causes each week, funding arts, heritage, sports, voluntary and charity projects around the country. More than £43billion has been raised for good causes since the National Lottery began in 1994.

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