In light of recent events we have decided to bring forward the release of a new t-shirt and donate all profits (from all items on Bandcamp and our online shop, between now and midnight Sunday) to The Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust and Chineke Foundation. On Friday (5th) Bandcamp will again generously give up their cut to artists and labels.
We stand in solidarity.
The Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust runs high impact programmes that inspire and enable young people from disadvantaged and underrepresented backgrounds to succeed. We work with schools to broaden young people’s views of what’s possible and help them gain the knowledge, skills and qualifications they need. We support them through further education, and we help them as they progress through the early stages of their career, when many feel the challenges most keenly. Our Transitions programme has supported over 1,000 young people who have received one–to–one advice, career guidance, industry talks and work experience.
We also work with government, business and communities to create a fairer society in which everyone, regardless of their background, has the opportunity and support to succeed. Our Lewisham Young Leaders programme works to bridge the gap between young people in disadvantaged communities and the police. Our BME Network supports voluntary groups working with BME communities.
The Chineke! Foundation was created in 2015 to provide outstanding career opportunities to established and up-and-coming Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) classical musicians in the UK and Europe. Chineke!’s motto is: ‘Championing change and celebrating diversity in classical music’. The organisation aims to be a catalyst for change, realising existing diversity targets within the industry by increasing the representation of BME musicians in British and European orchestras.
The Foundation’s flagship ensemble, the Chineke! Orchestra, comprises exceptional musicians from across the continent brought together multiple times per year. As Europe’s first majority-BME orchestra, the Chineke! Orchestra performs a mixture of standard orchestral repertoire along with the works of BME composers both past and present.
The Chineke! Orchestra works closely with its sister ensemble, the Chineke! Junior Orchestra, a youth orchestra of BME players aged 11-22, with senior players acting as mentors, teachers and role models to the young musicians. With many of our junior musicians already benefitting from several existing youth schemes, junior music colleges and specialist music schools across the UK. The Chineke! Junior Orchestra acts as a bridge between such schemes and higher education, giving its players experience, encouragement and confidence during their formative years, with the hope of increasing the numbers of BME candidates currently studying music at third level. This process has already begun, with several of the junior musicians having won national competitions, gained places at top music schools or been admitted to study at elite third level institutions.