On 18th December 2018 OMF and Migrant Support (another Manchester based charity) hosted an event to celebrate International Migrants Day
The event had three main objectives:
1) To raise money and awareness for the charities and the work they do
2) To celebrate migration and migrants and the value that they bring to the U.K
3) For the different branches of the charities to meet socialise together
The event consisted of a series of talks and performances from invited artists and speakers.
First up we had Nishla jazz singer/songwriter, currently based in Manchester, UK. She is an artist for Sofar Sounds in Manchester and London, and in March 2018 was announced as one of the Manchester Jazz Festival's Hothouse talent development artists. Nishla performed a series of songs, all soothing and thought-provoking, tying in to the theme of migration.
Second to perform was Ken Cheng a comedian with companies like the BBC and a regular at the Edinburgh Fringe. Ken performed a hilarious stand up routine about the problems associated with being a Chinese immigrant (Ken is the son of Chinese immigrants) which caught a lot of laughs from the audience - as well as a persistent heckler (in the form of a toddler)!
Taking the middle slot of the evening was OMF's youngest choir, Children's Voices. Following on from their successful performance at Manchester Cathedral's carol service, they once again performed to a very high standard. Billy Joel's 'And So It Goes' got the performance off to a great start, but it was 'White Christmas' that stole the show!
Adam Wynter, a double bassists with orchestras Chineke! and The Philharmonia, gave a moving speech about how he had come to access music and the misconceptions and preconceived 'stories' we all carry inside ourselves. He challenged the idea of the formalness of classical concerts and rounded it all off by performing Bottesini's 'Reverie', a spellbinding performance and a rare one of a solo double bass.
The evening was concluded with a talk from Linda Brogan, an award winning playwright, who gave an incredibly moving talk about her journey to excavating the Reno. 'Excavating the Reno' recently won an award at the Manchester Culture Awards and will be appearing in March at the Whitworth Art Gallery. Linda managed to tie together the threads of the evening wonderfully through her own experiences and left the audience feeling thoughtful and reflective.
All together the evening was a fantastic success and everyone left with food for thought and food for eating (thanks to the parents of Children's Voices for providing the delicious samosas, bajis and dumplings)!