A Project established by Swansea City Opera to explore and celebrate migration and cultural heritage in the city, was commemorated at an event this week at Swansea’s Waterfront Museum.
YMCA Swansea has been working alongside Swansea City Opera and many of the city’s migrants as part of the ‘Musical Routes’ project.
The event at Waterfront Museum was the culmination of a year’s work where YMCA Swansea has supported many of the city’s migrants to learn a range of musical instruments, and compose songs and music about their culture and heritage. Other organisations involved in the project include Chinese Community Co-operative Centre, Unity and Diversity, and Africa Community Centre.
Throughout the duration of the project, YMCA Swansea’s Music Youth Support Officer, Gergo Daroczi, along with volunteers Yotin Wallace and Ify Iwobi, taught participants to play instruments including piano, drums and guitar, to enable them to share ‘their story’ through their own compositions.
Participants performed their music at the event at the Waterfront Museum this week, which included melodies, rhythms and influences from their cultural heritage that have been fused together through shared experiences during the project.
One of YMCA Swansea’s participants from the Musical Routes project said: “We all had such a good time. Without this project and your help we wouldn’t have had the confidence to go on stage, but we tried our best and really want to learn more. Now we are more comfortable and happy to try new things.’’
YMCA Swansea works with the most difficult-to-engage young people in Swansea and nearby cities. The recording studio at YMCA’s Swansea base focuses on using music as an engagement tool to upskill, motivate and help young people through hard times. YMCA Swansea offers instrument tuition, vocal training, band recording and support in writing songs and forming bands.