The project, titled ‘Camden to the Caribbean’ was led in collaboration with Kinetika Bloco, a performance group that draws their influences from the Caribbean, Brazil, Africa, and New Orleans. Since September 2022, Kinetika Bloco have worked with four schools – Fleet Primary School, St Albans Primary School, St Mary & St Pancras Primary School, and Regent High School – and introduced the pupils to four distinctive styles of Caribbean music: Calypso, Ska, Soca and Zouk. Over six months, they composed a ten-minute piece celebrating these four music genres.

The schools spent the Spring term rehearsing their piece with staff from Camden Music Hub, alongside Open Academy Fellows and elective students. Children from the four schools have been learning a variety of instruments, from trumpet and trombone to steel pans and percussion and every child learned their parts from memory.

The two thousand students met together for the first time on the day of the concert, bringing together a selection of Camden’s musical ensembles and over eight hundred singers from the borough’s primary and secondary schools to bring the piece to life. The piece was a fantastic celebration of London’s diversity.

Huge congratulations to everyone that was involved in coordinating and performing this exciting work!

Image 1: Camden to the Caribbean at the Royal Albert Hall © Chris Balmer

Images 2&3: Students perform steel pans with Kinetika Bloco © Chris Balmer