Hackney college students carry out on the annual Tower of London arts competition

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Benthal students (in purple) perform with students from all over London.
Photo: Historic royal palaces

Up-and-coming musicians from a Hackney Elementary School held a special performance at the Tower of London for the landmark’s annual arts festival.

Children from Benthal Primary School in Hackney Downs were invited to the famous fort to sing at Water City Music 2019, which took place last week.

Inspired by the history of the place, they performed both existing pieces and their own compositions for an audience of tourists and beefeaters – while the legendary ravens of the tower watched.

The festival is organized by Historic Royal Palaces, the independent charity that looks after the Tower, in partnership with the Water City Music charity.

It is designed to help students across London build their confidence as a performer in an iconic setting and with a unique audience.

This year, over 1,000 primary and secondary school students spoiled visitors with a diverse mix of styles such as jazz and funk-rock.

Lucie Parkes, Learning Manager at Historic Royal Palaces said, “Music is a powerful tool for bringing historical figures and events to life and making them relevant to today’s young people.

“Despite being so local, many of the students who performed at the event have never visited the Tower before.”

According to Parkes, the festival is a “brilliant” way to connect children with both their community and their hometown’s past.

She added: “Many of the participating schools are from London boroughs, where child poverty is among the highest in the country. We therefore hope that the event will have a lasting effect on the self-confidence, the sense of belonging and the motivation of the students, practice and perform music. “

For more information on Water City Music in the Tower, visit hrp.org.uk.

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