First live indoor musical performance to take place in district later this month

The first indoor live classical music performance in Wakefield since the district went into lockdown in March 2020 is set to take place at the former Market Hall on Thursday 24 June.

Wakefield Youth Orchestra will be performing as a closing event for ‘Together & Apart’ – a lockdown-inspired exhibition which will play a vital role in commemorating difficult losses, remembering and celebrating resilience, and offering a hopeful vision for a connected and caring community going forward.

The orchestra, which includes 50 players aged 11 to 18, have put together an exciting range of pieces around the theme ‘The World About Us’, which celebrates the wonderful world of nature that lots of people have come to appreciate on an even deeper level throughout the pandemic.

The performance will also lead nicely into Festival of the Earth, which will run across the district from July to October 2021, and aims to encourage residents to make positive environmental changes to their daily lives.

Rehearsals began back in January on Zoom and the orchestra began face to face rehearsals again in April, with only half the orchestra practising together at once, on limited rehearsal time.

The Wakefield Music Education Hub have throughout the pandemic broadcast numerous live events and performances such as their Winter Concert, Big Sings and live workshops, but this will be the first time they have brought young musicians together for an event since March 2020 and will be a wonderful finale to the exhibition – on Thursday 24 June at 7pm with the exhibition as a backdrop.

Michael Graham smiling
Cllr Michael Graham

Cllr Michael Graham, Wakefield Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport, said: “I am so excited to see Wakefield Youth Orchestra perform at the ‘Together & Apart’ exhibition – we have all really missed live musical performances and I know the young people have worked really hard in difficult circumstances to put this performance together for us all to enjoy.

“It is also a great opportunity to showcase the former Market Hall as a performance and exhibition space and we will see lots more events held here in the future once the space has been redeveloped.

“I look forward to the opening of the exhibition and seeing what individuals and communities have created during these unprecedented times. Please come along and take a look.”

The ‘Together & Apart’ exhibition opens on Thursday 10 June and runs until Sunday 20 June, open daily 10am-4pm, at the former Market Hall on Union Street (Wakefield, WF1 3AE).

The exhibition is free to attend and advance booking is not required.

The former Market Hall is Covid-secure and measures will be in place to ensure the safety of all artists, staff and visitors to the space.

Residents are invited to share their own experiences and stories from lockdown and covid-19 using #TogetherandApart

Together & Apart and the redevelopment of the former Market Hall have been part-funded by The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s Cultural Development Fund grant, which is administered by Arts Council England. To find out more about this fund, please visit the Creative Wakefield website at creativewakefield.net/cdf

For more information about the exhibition, and all the local artists taking part, please visit creativewakefield.net/together-and-apart