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Birmingham’s iconic Symphony Hall will come alive with the sounds of the city this month as it plays host to Beyond the Bricks of Brum. The showcase concert – part of the six-month cultural festival associated with the 2022 Commonwealth Games –takes place on Friday June 17.

Black Voices Artistic Director Shereece Storrod. Photo Johnathan Williams

As part of the Birmingham 2022 Festival, the large-scale Beyond the Bricks of Brum event – staged by B:Music – will shine a global spotlight on creativity from across the region and features more than 100 musicians in a celebration of music and spoken word. Some of the most exciting and talented performing artists from Birmingham will partner with the renowned BBC Symphony Orchestra, one of the country’s top orchestras, for this one-off performance.

Led by Principal Guest Conductor, Dalia Stasevska, and featuring arrangements and orchestrations by Jules Buckley, the BBC Symphony Orchestra will play brand new arrangements and compositions from the likes of internationally renowned a cappella quintet Black Voices, Birmingham Poet Laureate Casey Bailey and rapper and MC Sanity, plus other invited guest artists.

The three lead artists, Casey Bailey, Sanity and Shereece Storrod of Black Voices, were asked to invite other local artists who they felt should also have the opportunity to have their work accompanied and arranged alongside the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Those four invited artists are poet and rapper John Bernard, spoken-word poet Jasmine Gardosi, hip-hop artist TrueMendous and singer and composer Agaama.

Black Voices and John Bernard on stage at Symphony Hall. Photo Johnathan Williams

Shereece Storrod, Artistic Director of B:Music Associate Artists Black Voices, explains: “Black Voices are delighted to be involved in this amazing concert, collaborating with some of Brum’s finest talent and celebrating the variety of musical styles and art forms that this wonderful city has to offer. Where better to hold this extravaganza of singing, spoken word and live orchestra than at Symphony Hall? Prepare to be moved, challenged and to experience great talent in our home city.”

Poet and rapper John Bernard added: “Over the years, Birmingham has welcomed me with open arms and a willing heart. The city held me up through university, my first ‘proper’ job after my studies, and has ultimately been a place of cultivation for me. It is an honour to be included in the celebrations ahead of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and to perform alongside the BBC Symphony Orchestra and our incredible home-grown artists. The audience can expect to be inspired, to be informed and to celebrate the city that is home to so many wonderful individuals”.

As a legacy to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, B:Music has named a seat in Symphony Hall after the international multi-sport event. Row B, seat 22 in the stalls will honour the Games’ part in demonstrating the very best of Birmingham to the world and showcasing the region’s strengths. The Name a Seat campaign enables donors to dedicate a seat to their favourite musicians and performances or to remember a loved one. Donations to the scheme support its innovative Learning and Participation programme, which creates musical opportunities and experiences for more than 18,000 young people and adults each year.

BMusic CEO Nick Reed in the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games seat at Symphony Hall. Photo Johnathan Williams

Nick Reed, Chief Executive of B:Music said: “B:Music is thrilled to be producing Beyond the Bricks of Brum as our flagship contribution to the Birmingham 2022 Festival. Commissioned specially for the Festival, this show brings together some of the most exciting, inspiring and melodic voices from across the region in a real celebration of home-grown talent. Using brand new arrangements, these voices will combine with the BBC Symphony Orchestra on the Symphony Hall stage to create something very special. From Birmingham with love, to the Commonwealth and beyond, this is sure to be a night to remember.

“We are also marking the arrival of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games in the city by gifting a seat plaque in Symphony Hall. Birmingham 2022 has really captured the imagination of the city and is sure to have a positive impact within the arts and cultural community in the West Midlands.”

Beyond the Bricks of Brum will take place at Symphony Hall, a B:Music venue on Friday 17 June 2022 at 8pm. For more information and tickets click HERE. B:Music is a Birmingham-based charity with a mission to inspire a love of live music, through performance, participation and learning. Its venues Town Hall and Symphony Hall are the centre of the city’s cultural heart, presenting the world’s most exciting and diverse artists, orchestras and bands. Each year, a programme of nearly 800 concerts and events brings the best jazz, folk, world, roots, classical, rock and pop performers to audiences of more than half a million.