Performing with glee

Children performing at Edmonton Glee (credit Paul Seaby)
Children performing at Edmonton Glee (credit Paul Seaby)

Giuliana Rubinia from Edmonton Community Partnership on a project that celebrates local talent

Amid the negative stories and issues plaguing Edmonton at present, Edmonton Glee is a programme that positively changes the lives of many of the children and young people in the area.

This is the flagship annual event for local charity Edmonton Community Partnership (ECP), and the finals took place last month at Hackney Empire – showcasing the talents of more than 300 Edmonton children and young people.

The project gives disadvantaged children the opportunity to experience the world of performing arts in an inclusive, safe and engaging way. Children who ordinarily wouldn’t have the opportunity to dance, sing and act on stage, get to develop new skills under the talented guidance of Pineapple Performing Arts School tutors, perform in a London theatre, and show the world what they can do.

But that’s not all; children and young adults have the chance to win life-changing scholarships with Pineapple Performing Arts, so they can continue living their dream.

Edmonton Glee brings together 19 primary, secondary and special schools within Edmonton, one of the country’s most deprived areas. Pineapple provides each school with 16 weeks’ tuition in singing, dancing and drama, which culminates in the grand final performance. It is fully inclusive and vulnerable children are encouraged to take part, including those with disabilities, special educational needs, and those who are excluded or at risk of exclusion from school.

The programme has a profound impact on the lives of many children. It exposes them to new possibilities and opportunities, helps to re-engage students with school, learn new skills, build confidence and self-esteem, provide opportunities to meet new people, work as a team, and make friends. The biggest emphasis is on fun, while our annual event showcases the most amazing talent that otherwise might have gone unnoticed.

Our sponsor is the philanthropist Sir Harvey McGrath and he, alongside the generosity of the funded scholarships provided by Pineapple Performing Arts, has allowed this programme to continue, flourish and provide a lasting legacy.

Maggie Peterson, principal at Pineapple Performing Arts School, said: “We are proud to be facilitators for the amazing Edmonton Glee project. The raw talent and enthusiasm at every school is incredible, from the classroom every week to the final showcase at Hackney Empire our teachers absolutely love helping and seeing the confidence grow in all the children taking part.

“We have awarded scholarships to a variety of individuals across the age groups to join our summer schools in musical theatre and street dance. We can’t wait to see them develop their skills and talents even more!

“The skills and confidence gained and memories made from this year’s Edmonton Glee will have a lasting impact on many of our local children and community.”

For more information:
Visit edmontoncommunitypartnership.org