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


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.

Support us

The coronavirus outbreak resulted in the Hackney Citizen being unable to print a monthly newspaper for three months.

We are grateful that we have been able to resume printing since then. This would not have been possible without the generosity of our readers, whose donations prevented the paper from disappearing completely during a stressful time for residents.

A big thank you to everyone who gave their time and money to help us get the lockdown and to those who continue to do so as we slowly recover from the dramatic decline in ad revenue, in addition to the challenges we face, that threaten the future of local people journalism.

A one-time donation or a regular contribution from anyone who can afford it will help our small team keep the newspaper up and running for the months and years to come.

Find out how to donate.

Thank you for your support and stay safe.

The Hackney Citizen team