South Bank schools get arty at York Barbican

Pupils from across York-based South Bank Multi Academy Trust (SBMAT) came together for a celebration of the arts at the Trust’s inaugural Arts Fest on the evening of Thursday 13 July.

Families and friends of the pupils turned performers were treated to an evening of song, dance, music and art at York Barbican, as children from SBMAT’s six schools congregated to collaborate, champion and celebrate each other’s artistic achievements.

During the evening, students from Millthorpe School and York High School performed a showcase from their school productions, Mary Poppins and Matilda, and also wowed the audience with their bands, singers and dancers. Carr Junior School’s band gave a fantastic samba reggae performance, whilst Knavesmire Primary School pupils roused the crowd with their steel pan drums and ukulele players. Choirs and dancers from Scarcroft and Woodthorpe primaries sang and danced beautifully, treating their families to renditions of ‘Million Dreams’ from The Greatest Showman and Jason Mraz’s ‘I’m Yours’.

Children’s artwork was also on display on the evening. Prior to the event, pupils across the Trust have worked with local artist Liz Collier to create seven large-scale canvases which used Liz’s figurative work as their inspiration while focussing on the overarching theme of community. Chris Wood from Sing Education also worked with the school choirs, preparing them for Arts Fest, building their love of music and building the children’s self-confidence.

The Arts Fest culminated in a grand finale flash mob performance featuring performers from all six schools, choreographed by Helen Brown from Kinesis Dance. Helen has been working with children at schools across the Trust to help them develop their own routines while learning new and exciting skills and taught pupils the final dance during the day of Arts Fest.

Jennifer Mitchell, SBMAT’s Director of Personal Development and event organiser said: “Arts Fest has been absolutely wonderful and I am in awe of our amazing, talented pupils. As a Trust which has a strong focus on collaboration and community, this was the perfect opportunity to bring our family of schools together, for an evening of art and performance. The success of the event is testament to the hard work of colleagues, their pupils and our wonderful contributors, Liz Collier, Chris Wood and Helen Brown – thanks to them all!”

Chief Executive of SBMAT, Mark Hassack said “Arts Fest is a perfect example of collaboration in action; this is what we’re about as a Trust. I’m so proud of everyone who took part; they all performed their hearts out! At South Bank Multi Academy Trust we want to ensure that all children have the chance to shine and showcase their creativity and Arts Fest is just one way of doing this.

“I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who contributed to Arts Fest. I know how much hard work has gone into the event, from our organisers to our colleagues in schools, our supporters and especially the pupils themselves. I really hope everyone enjoyed the evening and we’ll look forward to the next Arts Fest!”

Arts Fest was made possible with sponsorship from York Music Hub and Bulloughs.

Prior to SportFest, SBMAT staff voted for their chosen charities, of which six were selected as Trust charities. Local charities YorkMind, York Against Cancer, York foodbank, York Special Care Baby Unit and Children Today and national charity, Macmillan Cancer Support were all at the event raising awareness of the great work they do for people in the region.

14 July 2023

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