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Wembley Park to transform into a musical wonderland this September

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) and Wembley Park are teaming up once again to present the highly anticipated second instalment of Wemba’s Dream: Join the Journey.

The event, featuring a fusion of music, dance, poetry, and carnival arts, will take place on Sunday, 3rd September, in various unique urban locations within Wembley Park – including a car park!

Wemba’s Dream: Join the Journey revolves around the captivating story of Wemba, an Anglo-Saxon traveller who settled in the clearing that would later become known as Wembley. The performance explores the transformative power of personal journeys and celebrates the strength and diversity of the Brent community. It pays homage to individuals who have traversed continents and oceans, overcoming obstacles to find a place they can call home while expressing their stories through art.

Originally scheduled for 2022 but postponed due to the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, Wemba’s Dream: Join the Journey will feature a remarkable 50+-piece RPO orchestra. Joining forces with local talent, including St Michael & All Angels Steel Orchestra, Mahogany Carnival Arts, Word Up, and the Sujata Banerjee Dance Company, the RPO aims to deliver a sensational performance.

Wembley Park to transform into a musical wonderland this September Harrow Online
Image: Chris Winter/Wembley Park

The event will commence at The Undercroft, an exciting new performance space beneath the Olympic Steps leading to Wembley Stadium. From there, the audience will embark on a procession, led by the legendary Mahogany Carnival Arts, to the multi-purpose space at Green Parking.

There will be three performances of Wemba’s Dream: Join the Journey on 3rd September, scheduled for 1.15pm, 2.30pm, and 3.45pm. With a total audience capacity of 1,500 people, tickets must be reserved in advance through wembleypark.com/wembas-dream.

The composition for Wemba’s Dream: Join the Journey is the brainchild of Dani Howard, a rising star in contemporary music known for her innovative approach and commitment to broadening classical music’s reach. Collaborating closely with RPO musicians and local performers from Brent, Howard has crafted new scores and reimagined arrangements that promise to captivate audiences.

This free event marks a significant milestone in the RPO’s ambition to embed itself within a diverse community, aligning with its mission of becoming a truly inclusive and contemporary international orchestra. In 2025, the RPO will establish its headquarters in Wembley Park, making this performance a precursor to their permanent presence.

Josh McNorton, Cultural Director of Wembley Park, commented on the collab saying, “”We are delighted to mark the enduring partnership between Wembley Park and the RPO through this creative event, aimed at highlighting Brent’s finest talents and celebrating our local heritage. Wemba’s Dream, with its innovative and fresh take on orchestral music, is a jewel in our calendar of annual events here at Wembley Park. The fact that it’s returning this year thrills us immensely. With the rich and diverse creative talent in Brent and the RPO, we’re certain Wemba’s Dream will strike a chord with our local audiences.”

Wembley Park to transform into a musical wonderland this September Harrow Online
Wemba’s Dream, 2021. Image: Chris Winter/Wembley Park

James Williams, Managing Director of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra said, “Our vision is to ensure that everyone, everywhere can experience the thrill and excitement of live orchestral music. Community engagement and inclusion play a central role in that. We want everyone to feel welcome, from our current audiences to those who have never before experienced the power and the beauty of live classical music.

“The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra is on a journey to build an inclusive, relevant and exciting orchestra for the modern age, where musicians from all backgrounds have equal opportunities based on merit. Our projects in Wembley Park are perfectly aligned with that vision and we are delighted to be reaching new and diverse audiences this September with Wemba’s Dream: Join the Journey.”

Wemba’s Dream: Join the Journey is set to resonate with both seasoned classical music enthusiasts and those encountering it for the first time, as the performance showcases the power and beauty of live orchestral music.

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