Thousands of melodic youngsters are taking over Lewisham venues to showcase their talents in a music, dance and song extravaganza.

More than 2,000 children from 80 different school ensembles across the borough are about to blow, strum and sing their hearts out over a 17-day festival.

Now in its third year, Lewisham Live is bursting with shows in a range of venues including Blackheath Halls, The Broadway and The Albany.

Thanks to partnerships created over the last few years between the council’s music service and organisations including the Horniman Museum, Goldsmiths University and the London Symphony Orchestra, the festival has become bigger than ever.

Peter Hayward, Head of Lewisham Music Service, said: “What we’re hoping people will get a sense of is the breadth of music-making and dance going on in our schools and other organisations, as well as the range of styles and types of music young people are involved with.

“There is a tremendous range going on in the borough - from jazz, rock and drumming to orchestral and concert bands - which is really exciting.

“In addition the festival showcases the quality of performing arts in the borough and it gives the children a great sense of pride in what they do, inspiration to take forward their learning and the satisfaction of feeling they are really doing something that’s of enormous value to other people and themselves.”

The festival – which involves children between seven and 18-years-old - takes place between March 13 and 30 and kicks off with Live at the Halls, the opening gala concert at Blackheath Halls which includes a diverse array from brass to rock and samba to swing.

Live Fabulosity at Conisborough College brings together string and brass ensembles from schools across the borough in a special collaboration with London Symphony Orchestra.

Fionnbarr Byrne, strings co-ordinator, said: “This gives you a flavour of what’s happening in our area and what could potentially be happening in your child’s school if you are in Lewisham.

“At the end we all come together for a big performance.

“This year the full ensemble – beyond 90 kids - is doing Ode to Joy.

“It’s quite a massive group and it’s going to be a pretty powerful sound – a lot different from what people are used to from their regular school assemblies.”

News Shopper: Thousands of musical children to play in Lewisham Live Students in St Augustine’s Catholic Primary School’s brass band are performing their version of the Eurythmics’ Sweet Dreams.

The band of 17 will be playing during the opening Live at the Halls concert on March 13.

Robin Hopcraft, music co-ordinator and teacher at the school, said: “We’ve been rehearsing once a week since Christmas and we’re getting there.

“The festival is brilliant – it’s important the children do things like this because it gives them a chance to perform in front of people.

“It’s much more meaningful to have an audience and get the chance to show people what they can do.

“It’s great for them to have something to aim for.

“People should come and see them because it’ll be a version of Sweet Dreams they’ve never heard before.”

For more information and ticket prices visit

Lewisham Live's full programme

Live at the Halls 13 March,7pm

Blackheath Halls A diverse array of music from brass to rock and samba to swing from Lewisham's young musicians.

Digital band 14 March - 30 March, The Albany Centre and Theatre create an online song with other young musicians and upload it to the Albany website

Live Dance Showcase 14 March, 7pm, Broadway Theatre Inspiring performances with an exciting mix of dance styles from urban to street and jazz to disco.

Live Voices 16 March, 7pm, Broadway Theatre

The most talented young choirs and vocal groups in the borough perform a mix of songs, old and new, from around the world.

Gamelan 18 March, 2.30pm, 3pm, 3.30pm, 4pm, Horniman Museum

Join the Gamelan ensemble and make music from Indonesia - just kick off your shoes, get down on the floor and take part.

Songfest 20 March, 6pm, Sydenham Girls School

Children from Lewisham primary schools and their local secondary school join together for an evening of lively singing.

Songfest 22 March, 6pm, Prendergast Ladywell Fields

Children from Lewisham primary schools and their local secondary school join together for an evening of lively singing.

Live on Stage 22 March, 8pm, Blackheath Halls

Young musicians have programmed and will star in this fantastic concert.

Live Winds 27 March, 7pm, Deptford Town Hall

Wind and brass ensembles from Lewisham Music Service performing their own range of music.

Live Fabulosity 28 March, 6pm, Conisborough College

Lewisham Music Service's Fabulosity string and wind ensembles from primary schools perform with the London Symphony Orchestra.

Tune Up 29 March, 6pm, Sedgehill School Primary

School children will join with musicians from Sedgehill School to play a specially composed piece.

UNCOVER Music Company 30 March, 7.30pm, The Albany Centre and Theatre

A concert featuring emerging artists from the local music scene who have been working with the Albany.