2017 CultureMix Review

CultureMix presents a summary of achievements for 2017 with a 3rd CD from Reading All Steel Percussion Orchestra (RASPO, an international artist residency in Sri Lanka, a new Business and Administration Manager, and a place on Arts Council England’s National Portfolio.


CultureMix review 2017 feat. RASPO Steel Orchestra

CultureMix Music Centre
Bootcamp workshops for beginners are now well established at Reading College attracting dozens of new participants who experience learning the music and culture of the steel pan instrument. More

RASPO Steel Orchestra
Reading’s award winning steel band provided entertainment at Reading Half Marathon, EAT Reading Festival and Carnival of the World with a well attended workshop and performance marquee for the 40th anniversary of Reading Carnival. The smaller ensemble performed at numerous private parties, weddings and corporate functions.

RASPO also provided music for the Peaceful Protest March to save the iconic Black History Mural and the Central Club building, a thriving African Caribbean community centre until it closed in 2005 which is now under threat.

The orchestra released a third CD ‘RASPO Showtime’ featuring Jason Yarde on jazz saxophone for the self penned original piece ‘RASPO Go!’ written especially for steel pan and woodwind.


Moving Beyond – Suramedura Artist Residency, Hikkaduwa Sri Lanka

International
Simon Chatterton from 101 Outdoor Arts nominated CultureMix director Mary Genis for a six week International Suramedura Artist Residency in Hikkaduwa, Sri Lanka. More

Workshops
Children’s Festival workshops provided dozens of eager participants with a chance to have a go at learning the steel pan with some joining the Boot Camp workshops for beginners. More

Team Building workshops with corporate companies like Acutest provided unforgettable group activities that unified staff from different departments. More

Schools
Our schools education programme continues to thrive in partnership with music hubs. With a four strong teaching team we deliver weekly curriculum music to hundreds of children in dozens of schools across Berkshire supplemented by after school clubs for Gifted and Talented children to develop to performance standard. More

Carnival of the World
Carnival of the World returned to Reading with Pax Nindi as compere and programmer. The event featured UK Soca artist Scrappy, Cobra Copoiera, and Ghanian drumming group Osegfeyo. The highlight of the event was the Broad Street Parade featuring dancers, percussionists and costumed masqueraders with parasols and flags. More


RASPO Calypso and Carols Fundraising Concert in Reading UK

Fundraising
RASPO performed two Calypso and Carols concerts raising money to maintain free places for young people to learn steel pan. More

Emma Macedo presented ‘An Evening of Entertainment’ featuring RASPO Steel Band. The event raised over one thousand pounds for The Macmillan Cancer Support charity.

Carnival of the World 2017Rosie Rostron hosted an event and auction with RASPO Steel Band to raise funds for her World Challenge trip to Borneo.

Professional Development
Nathifa Jordan joins CultureMix as a full time Business and Administration Manager.  Nathifa first joined CultureMix for work experience as a Year 10 student. She soon progressed to becoming the RASPO Steel Orchestra captain and personal assistant to the Artistic Director.  Nathifa’s new role will help build CultureMix business as well as manage the company portfolio. More

Jamah Lynam joins CultureMix as a Junior Tutor and Youth Ambassador.  Jamah became involved with RASPO as a teenager and is now a key member of the team supporting Reading College students with career development and working with the team to attract new young players and performers to the activities. More

Awards, Membership and Media
Mary continues her voluntary board trustee work recently joining new ACE NPO, the Museums Partnership Reading (MPR). She continues on the board of Carnival Village Trust, Jelly and Refocus.

Mary received a BAS Lifetime Achievement Award and joins the British Association of Steelbands Hall of Fame. More

Carnival of the World 2017 Reading UK images by Wilf Springer