It was a national affair as Grand Central Birmingham finally opened its doors to shoppers but, they ensured that their launch was rooted firmly in the Birmingham local community by collaborating with young performers from across the region.
As part of the launch, 66 young performers from Aston Performing Arts Academy aged from 7-24 performed 6 ‘flash mob’ performances across the venue. After 2 months of rehearsals every Monday and Sunday, clocking up over 30 hours, the performers sang and danced 6 musical numbers. From contemporary hits such as ‘Uptown Funk’ by Bruno Mars, to pop classics like the Jackson Five’s ‘I want you back’. The music and choreography were carefully chosen to highlight Grand Central’s role as a meeting place for commuters, shoppers, families and friends.
Grand Central has a strong investment in the local community, not only through the thousands of jobs created in the centre and the economic growth the project will generate for the region, but also through community engagement by creating a location that can be enjoyed and shared by everyone, irrespective of age, background or culture.
Likewise, Aston Performing Arts Academy is primarily a community interest organisation providing tuition, performance opportunities, and fundamentally a positive outlet for young people from all different backgrounds.
Tru Powell, Creative and Events Director from Aston Performing Arts Academy, was thrilled to be part of the launch commenting;
Without a doubt, this is one of the biggest performances we have ever been involved in and we are so proud to be part of such a significant event in Birmingham’s history. Performing on a stage like Grand Central has boosted our performer’s confidence and given them an opportunity to reach nationwide audiences.
Barbara Buko, one of the performers added;
This has been an amazing experience and something I’ll never forget. I feel really proud to have been involved in this launch that will be firmly marked in Birmingham’s history.
Jonathan Cheetham, centre manager for Grand Central, said;
The performers from Aston Performing Arts Academy were an obvious choice for the Grand Central launch because we want to encourage partnerships within the local community. The dedication and commitment displayed by these brilliant, young performers demonstrates the potential young people from Birmingham can offer our city, which we avidly encourage at Grand Central.