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Exceptional Education at the Heart of the Community

Exceptional Education at the Heart of the Community

The stage is set as Oasis Academy Shirley Park students prepare to take part in London festival

The stage is set as Oasis Academy Shirley Park students prepare to take part in London festival
Daniel Marsh

A group of teenagers from a secondary school in the heart of Croydon are set to take to the stage of a local festival along with an array of other acts which will be streamed directly to homes from a temporary TV studio being set up at Upper Norwood Library.

Eight year 10 music students from Oasis Academy Shirley Park have been given a local opportunity of a life time to perform their own original music in front of 11,000 digitally streamed viewers.

With the support of Silvastone, a local afrobeat’s producer, the students have created music videos and soundtracks in the space of a six week period, and all digitally due to the meeting restrictions of COVID-19.

Silvastone, Local Afrobeat’s Producer, commented on the students efforts, saying; “Everyone has shown so much enthusiasm and students have grown their skills massively in these last six weeks, so well done to everybody that’s taken part in this.”

The students have had one session a week with Silvastone which began to take place on Thursday 4th June and their last session taking place on Thursday 16th July. Incredibly, seven out of the eight students had never had any previous music production experience before the lockdown began. The group are now working hard to produce a final collaborative track for the festival, combining everyone’s skills and all that they have learnt over the last few weeks.

Tom Lancaster, Head of Music at Oasis Academy Shirley Park, commented saying; “It has been incredible to witness this group of young musicians adapt so well in challenging circumstances. They have shown true resilience, creativity and determination by learning to produce their own original music from scratch over the lockdown period. I’m very proud of their achievements and can’t wait to see all of the hard work come together in the live performance for Crystal Palace Festival in August!”

The online festival will be staged from 2pm to 10pm on August 15th and 16th. The students will be performing on Saturday 15th August, with the full line up and times yet to be announced.

Hosted by a range of dynamic presenters with some famous faces popping up, there will be an array of diverse artists from Crystal Palace and south London to enjoy – music, spoken word, theatre and dance live from one location for a truly festival atmosphere.

Lucy, Year 10 Student and Music Producer at Oasis Academy Shirley Park, commented saying; “This whole experience has encouraged me to write more songs, produce them and get them recorded.”

Stavroula, Year 10 added; “I’ve decided to go down the route of music production as I’m considering music as a future career. I feel like this is a great opportunity to start building skills and experience for future projects that I might want to take on. I’m just really happy to be here.”

It doesn’t end there for the budding musicians. They have also been trained in how to promote themselves as new artists in the music industry and have now been tasked to produce and promote their music online, with their online profiles to be revealed in the festival performance.

The students’ success could not have been achieved without the support of C3Talent, a local youth group service funded by Croydon Council and the Youth Endowment Fund.

Taylor, Year 10 said; “It’s been very useful because it’s a creative outlet for me and it’s been helping with my mental health throughout lockdown.”