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June 2005
Bradford's Musical takes the stage...
Dancers, drummers and singers have come together to tell Bradford's story in musical form.
The 2005 Bradford Festival has kicked off with the premiere of Bradford's very own 'musical,' a major step towards its 'grand finale' in 2007. Hundreds have also been along to Peel Park to see Bradford The Musical launch this year's Mela.

Bradford Festival + Mela Website

Bradford The Musical Website

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The first Bradford Mela took place in 1988 . It is the oldest in the UK.

The word Mela comes from Sanskrit and means "to meet."

People come to Bradford from across the world to learn how to stage a successful Mela.

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Bradford The Musical, 2005-version, is the result of community groups and people of all ages coming together to share their memories, their experiences and their hopes for the future of Bradford, a city which has seen its fair share of problems over recent years.

For this year's Festival the creators of Bradford The Musical have commissioned five special pieces of music written by local composers using styles as diverse as Celtic, Asian, Techno, Gospel, choral and folk.

There were hundreds of performers...

Five pieces of music have been specially commissioned to reflect these very different styles of music. A 200-strong choir with singers of all ages, together with drummers and dancers, have interpreted these pieces for this year's Festival. All the lyrics are about Bradford.

We've been talking to some of the singers from Hill Top C of E Primary School, Low Moor about this ground-breaking performance. Des Martin is Deputy Head Teacher at the school. With him were pupils Radhika, Lee and Sebastian.

The drummers...

Radhika tells us they have been practising the songs for about two months and this is not the first time they have performed with all the company. Sebastian is very enthusiastic: "I think it's the first time I've done something really big for once and it's very good." Lee says they have been singing a lot of songs: "My best one is probably The Ballad Of Bradford Beck."

Des explains: "All the songs have a Bradford theme and, although the children can't relate to the whole of Bradford, certainly the songs relating to the area were more significant to them."

standing on hands
Some performers were surprised by what others had to do...

Hill Top was one of eight schools in Bradford volunteering to take part in The Musical. Des says: "Because we like to promote music and art and dance and drama at our school we decided we wanted to be on board and not miss out on it."

The school hopes to be involved in Bradford The Musical in both 2006 and 2007 - Des hopes that, like the Mela, The Musical will get bigger and bigger. By then Radhika, Lee and Sebastian will have moved on to other schools but they are glad they have played their part in its development and say it has provided them with new experiences, particularly the break-dancing.

Bradford The Musical hopes to grow even bigger and next year community groups from every corner of Bradford will be invited to tell their stories.


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