The sound of Syria

Ensemble of Syrian musicians set to play in Walthamstow, writes George Bell

The London Syrian Ensemble

The London Syrian Ensemble

Last summer Martha Tilston played a concert at St Mary’s Music Hall, the exciting new Walthmastow Village venue created inside a 12th Century church.

The fee for the gig was very generously donated by Martha to the charity Music Action International (MAI) and in particular its ‘Everyday People’ programme.

As part of this a group of teenage refugee and asylum seekers will be brought together with local London musicians to create and play music from their own homelands, sharing language, music styles and approaches they love, to collaborate and produce something totally unique.

Regular music activity provides relief from the stresses caused by their traumatic experiences and

encourages friendships with other young people. This project will culminate with a performance of their work at St Mary’s Music Hall on Thursday 2nd November.

We thought there was no better support for the evening than the fabulous London Syrian Ensemble, a collective of some of Syria’s finest musicians, some of whom are now local to Walthamstow.

The ensemble is made up of both newly arrived and long-term residents who either studied or taught in the eminent Damascus Conservatoire, bringing the sounds of Syria through a diverse repertoire of classical and traditional music from the region.

Our event will be free for refugees and asylum seekers.

St Mary’s Music Hall has gone from strength to strength since its first gig in May, developing a strong local following and a reputation for exceptional programming and amazing clarity of sound, making for some pretty special concerts.

The team are now looking forward to 2018 and have a very exciting programme coming together, with highlights including the masterful jazz saxophonist and spoken word artist Soweto Kinch in February.

The venue has also been recently bolstered by a £1.6million grant from Heritage Lottery Fund for renovations and developments. All in all the future is looking pretty bright for St Mary’s Music Hall!

For more information and to book tickets: