Our talented learners from Emerge Community Arts performed at Holyhead Festival 2022! | Adult Learning Wales

Our talented learners from Emerge Community Arts performed at Holyhead Festival 2022!


Our talented learners from Emerge Community Arts performed at Holyhead Festival 2022, Anna Davies from Emerge Community Arts shares the event with us. . .

Anna says, “The pandemic and lockdown brought us all uncertainty, isolation and many potential mental health issues. To do our best to combat this we worked to support our learners using Zoom and on-line learning. We created courses that would enable us to come together, keep on learning and have fun in uncertain times.

Two and a half years ago, during lockdown we were asked to start running sessions at the Byron Centre in Holyhead and we continue to deliver this online course as we emerge from the pandemic. We meet up weekly to deliver Music and Performing Arts sessions on-line. We have lots of fun, learning new skills in Makaton signing, drama, singing and playing instruments and even though we had not met each other before, through Zoom we have made lots of new friends.

Natalie Harper, who facilitates our Zoom sessions at the Byron Centre has organised a festival for Anglesey Day Services as part of the Holyhead Festival 2022. Our learners from Flintshire - 'Sound Express', a group of musicians who experience learning differences, were invited to play and showcase their work.

Performing a 40 minute set of songs including those written by the band during Lockdown again through Zoom, the band wowed the festival audience. This opportunity brought everyone from Byron centre and Sound Express (Flintshire learners) together. We met our learners from the Byron Centre for the first time in person and it was quite emotional. We all commented how tall people seemed in real life and laughed when we realised we had only seen tiny images of each other on the computer screen!

Natalie from The Byron Centre said, “It is great to do something in real life together, to celebrate this positive relationship that has come from the pandemic.”
Natalie also commented how well we had got to know each other even though we had never actually met in person until the gig.

Jess a learner from Byron centre said, “I am so excited to meet Jamie and everyone in person, I can’t believe it! I am so excited.”

Aaron from Sound Express (Flintshire learner) who was quite anxious about performing before the show said, “That was awesome…. I can't wait to do more gigs!”

Ryan also from Sound Express said, “It is great to meet new people and all have a great time, I have had the best day of my life”

Millie from Sound Express said, “It is so exciting to be part of a festival, it is Music and it makes me feel alive!”

Parents, carers and families also came along and the Mayor of Holyhead, and many people in the huge audience commented on how amazing Sound Express were during their set.

The Mayor said, “This festival shows us that we must continue to develop our skills outside of the pandemic especially those IT skills people have developed, people can communicate across great distances and plan these amazing events, what a great day.”

We all had fun together on the day, dancing together and practicing our moves in real life! So many smiles and celebrations. We will continue to deliver our on-line learning on Anglesey and hope to be part of another event back in Holyhead soon!”

We would like to wish a huge congratulations to our wonderful learners and we look forward to seeing what they do next!

Click on the links below to find out more about Emerge Community Arts!



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