World Music Conference promotes Mental Health

Dhiren Katwa Tuesday 12th November 2019 05:19 EST
(L-R) John Crabtree OBE, winner Nikhil Kapoor, Deputy Consul General of India Happy Guptan, Cllr Stephen Reynolds

This year’s World Music Conference has once again been hailed a huge success. The festival attracted expert speakers, over 100 school children from all specialties from across the West Midlands and representatives from over 12 countries. It was organised by the British Carnatic Choir (BCC) and hosted by Aston University in Birmingham on 8th November, Friday. The core objective of this year’s event was to raise awareness of links between music and mental health and well-being.

The whole day event, now in its third year, featured interactive workshops, stage performances and panel discussions, concluding with the popular BCC concert and conference dinner.

Introduced this year were the Midlands Young Ambassadors of Music Awards where educationalists, parents and guardians were encouraged to nominate children and young people for their flair for singing, playing instruments, dance, or anything related to music. Winners of these inaugural awards were:

Anupama Harish – She has won the BCC’s Patrons Award for three successive years and is a Grade 3 violinist.

Maisie Stewart – A member of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. A violinist, Maisie is currently at Solihull Sixth Form.

Sami Rao - A Year 11 student at Sutton Coldfield Grammar School for Girls, Sami is a viola player. She is an inspiration to her peers.

Ankita Sai Ananth Kumar - Music is her passion and she enjoys entertaining audiences. Her passion lies in music from both East and West.

A second set of awards, the BCC annual awards, were presented to those who have demonstrated excellence in the Arts & Culture sector, through innovation, passion and pride in the work that they undertake to make a positive difference to the lives of individuals and communities. Winners were:

Ben Parry – Artistic Director & Principal Conductor, National Youth Choirs Great Britain

Stuart Birnie – Head of the Music Services, Services For Education

Nikhil Kapoor – Dance instructor, Shiamak Midlands

This year’s event was supported by Aston University, West Midlands Combined Authority and the Consulate General of India. The keynote address was given by Professor Martin Levermore MBE DL, Chief Executive of MDTi Limited. Event chief organiser, Dr Chithra Ramakrishnan FRSA said,

“Music has a phenomenal effect on mental health and this conference aims to offer practical ‘hands on’ musical experiences for everyone, particularly young people.”

Andy Street CBE, Mayor for West Midlands, had this to say: “The festival is unique in its aim of bringing together artists, academics and music educators from across Africa, Europe, the USA and India.”

The World Music Conference, launched in 2017, aims to promote and bring together academics, musicians, experts, children and young people of all abilities representing all facets of multicultural Britain under one platform.



Picture Courtesy: S M Irfan Tahir

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