Leeds band strikes a chord with 12-hour rehearsal

Leeds Youth Jazz Rock Orchestra.
Leeds Youth Jazz Rock Orchestra.
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A LEEDS orchestra made some noise during a mammoth 12-hour rehearsal to help raise cash for music projects in South Africa.

Leeds Youth Jazz Rock Orchestra (LYJRO) held a sponsored play-a-thon fundraiser at Leeds Civic Hall yesterday to help pay for the orchestra’s Durban project.

Around £16,000 has been raised by members in the past three years to visit primary schools and arts centres in the country and help with music education.

The fundraising will also help to buy musical instruments and pay for music teachers.

LYJRO has already been on two tours to South Africa but will return for another tour to Durban on July 21 this year.

During the visit, the orchestra will have the chance to do concerts with local musicians, deliver music workshops for school children and see how their fundraising has helped the locals.

Carmel Smickersgill, 17, is a guitarist in the band.

The Notre Dame Catholic Sixth Form College pupil said: “I’m very excited to be going out to Durban because nowhere else really gives you the chance to do something like that.

“The benefits of bringing music to a community is unimaginable.

“It just makes people get on better.”

She added: “People there are a lot more open about dancing and singing along to the music over there and I like that.”

The band leader, Brendan Duffy, said: “When we go out [to Durban] we hope to bring everyone together and have a big concert.”

Speaking about the youngsters’ sponsored play-a-thon, he added: “They have given up their day to come here and raise money.”

l See tomorrow’s Yorkshire Evening Post for information on what is happening over the Easter holidays across Leeds.

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