Stories, Sites and Sounds

Members of the Chineke! Junior Orchestra explored the lives of three historical figures, and then created incredible pieces of music inspired by their stories.

Young musicians at Kenwood

In spring 2021, we worked with 12 members of the Chineke! Junior Orchestra to create new (and amazing) pieces of music based on the lives of three inspirational historical figures.

Getting together via zoom and using tools like Jamboard we researched, learnt about, and celebrated the lives of Abdul Karim, Dido Belle, and Sarah Forbes-Bonetta!

Working with composer James B Wilson, professional Chineke! musicians, each quartet created a piece of music inspired by the lives of their chosen people from history. These pieces were then recorded and performed at Kenwood House in August 2021.


Dido Belle portrait
Abdul Karim
Sarah Forbes Bonetta

You can now watch the full musical pieces and find out more about this project over on our Google Arts and Culture pages. We have four pages for you to explore:

You can find out more about how each of the groups created their pieces by visiting the ‘Making Of’ page here.

To watch ‘Life of the Munshi’, all about the life of Abdul Karim, click here.

To see ‘Dido Belle – A Musical Voyage’, click here.

And finally for ‘In Memory of SFB’, about Sarah Forbes Bonetta, click here.


Group performing at Kenwood
Group performing at Kenwood

The Chineke! Junior Orchestra is a youth orchestra of Black and ethnically diverse players aged 11-22. Alongside its sister ensemble, the Chineke! Orchestra, they aim to create opportunities for emerging and established musicians of Black and ethnically diverse heritage. You may have seen them in the semi-finals of Britain’s Got Talent in 2020!