Thank you

A huge thank you to everyone who took part, supported and enjoyed this year’s festival. We were thrilled with the wonderful audiences and uplifting performances.

If you enjoyed the festival, please consider joining us as a Friend, helping music work its magic with young people and those from marginalised communities.

Our education programme involved over 500 pupils at 15 schools.

The Chiaroscuro quartet, a fusion of players from Sweden, France, Spain and Russia, not only gave a beautiful concert to a packed-out St Stephen’s Church in Colchester, but also wowed the teenagers at the Gilberd School with their stunning playing.

On the same day, Syrian Kanun player Maya Youssef played to 175 students at Colchester Institute, some of whom were sons and daughters of the Syrian refugees who Colchester has welcomed over the last five years. You helped us bring a charismatic musician who not only speaks fluent English and Arabic but whose music builds bridges between the two musical traditions.

Also on the same day, Gwyneth Herbert was in Colchester Academy working with music and drama classes. To be able to bring a generous, empathetic performer like Gwyn to draw out talent and positive change in young people who are facing significant challenges in their personal and academic lives, means everything to us at Roman River Music. The poems that the young people wrote and had the bravery to share with their classmates are a testament to the power of drama and music to heal and bring people together.

Hundreds of young people in three large secondary schools in just one day – and I haven’t even mentioned the hip hop dance class run by Joseph Toonga the previous day, the NYC Fellows performing yesterday at St Helena’s, 220 children enjoying making their own sounds at firstsite, Harriet Mackenzie giving a recital at Philip Morant, horn player Alec Frank-Gemmill at the Grammar School, the insight concert performed by an ensemble of Roman River virtuosi, some serious young talent shown by our young spotlight performers at festival concerts, and above all the wonderful, inspiring talent shown by hundreds of performers in our Festival Finale.

It is your support which makes all this possible. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

If you would like to help us continue our work in 2018 and beyond, please consider joining our happy band of supporters and being a part of the Roman River story. Every pound makes a difference and people really enjoy knowing that they enable all this to happen. A monthly payment of the price of a glass of wine is hugely appreciated, but we also rely on those who can afford it giving £25 – £100 a month to help us make a real difference to the lives of local young people. Your support is tax-deductible and will help make Colchester a better place to live. Thank you.