Huddersfield festival launches health strand

Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (hcmf//) will work with refugees and asylum seekers as part of its new Health and Wellbeing strand.

Launched last month, the 12-week project, Momentum, will see creative sessions held at Huddersfield’s The Reach Project, and Huddersfield Mission.

Momentum will be led by music and health practitioner Georgina Aasgaard, and will focus on building participants’ confidence and self-esteem as well as exploring emotional and physical issues through creative music-making.

Aasgaard is a regular practitioner working with Liverpool Philharmonic as lead artist for their work with Mersey Care NHS Trust, as well as being a mentor for music and health practice with Live Music Now. She also regularly performs as a cellist with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the Hallé and BBC Philharmonic.

Momentum is being funded by a Big Lottery Fund grant, as well as cash raised by the festival team’s cycle from London to Paris this summer.

Sarah McWatt, learning and participation officer for hcmf// said: ‘Engaging with the community has long been an important part of the festival’s work. Whilst we are regarded by many as Europe’s leading celebration of new music, we are also firmly rooted in Huddersfield, and we are delighted to have secured funding (partly through our own pedal power!) to launch a new strand of work that will hopefully make a significant difference to the lives of people in Kirklees over the next three years.’

The festival, which takes place in Yorkshire from 21-30 November, is an annual showcase of new music. Brit James Dillon will be composer in residence at this year’s event.