Talented young Wigan trio will bring global grooves to epic jubilee pageant

Three gifted young performers from Wigan have been selected to join the biggest street celebration in decades, which will also feature some famous music stars.
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Dancer Robyn Brown, 17 and percussionists Catherine Rhodes, 17, and Sam Park, 19, are amongst 200 young people from Greater Manchester who are currently rehearsing for the Queen's Platinum Jubilee Pageant, a spectacular parade which willl take place in London on Sunday June, 5.

The teenagers were chosen to take part in the parade by the carnival arts organisation Global Grooves, the only northern group to produce a section of the Royal celebrations which will see well-known music stars from Ed Sheeran to Sir Cliff Richard and Basil Brush.

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Robyn, from Shevington, has performed in a number of TV shows, including CBBC's Nova Jones with Molly Rainford and was put forward for the jubilee opportunity by WigLe Dance. She is a member of WN Dance Company.

Lefot to right: Catherine Rhodes, Sam Park and Robyn Brown.Lefot to right: Catherine Rhodes, Sam Park and Robyn Brown.
Lefot to right: Catherine Rhodes, Sam Park and Robyn Brown.

Catherine, from Hindley, is a member of Wigan Youth Jazz Orchestra, Brass Band, Percussion Ensemble and Greater Manchester Youth Brass Band.

Sam, who is a member of a number of Wigan music service groups, has played drums in bands for 11 years.

They will represent Wigan in front of the Royal Family which will be viewed by a global TV and online audience of hundreds of millions in a carnival which draws its inspiration from across the Commonwealth.

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At the head of the parade will feature a queen in her chariot, played by Manchester drag artist Cheddar Gorgeous, followed by four giant walkabout puppets, a 100-strong young people's carnival music group, 50 dancers and a sea of giant flag bearers.

It will make its way through the streets of Westminster, the Mall and past Buckingham Palace, using dance, music, circus and street theatre to tell the story of Her Majesty's record 70-year-long reign in one of the final events across the four day bank holiday weekend from June 2 to 5.

David Little, head of music service at Wigan Council, said: "Catherine and Sam are outstanding young percussionists, but more than that, they are both incredibly loyal and dedicated to the musical community here in Wigan."

Catherine said: "I'm really excited to learn a new style of music as I love trying new styles and expanding my musical knowledge and skills, and am really looking forward to performing in the pageant."

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Robyn said: "Performing at the Queen's Jubilee is the opportunity of a lifetime and I am very grateful."

Freya Bennett-Nielsen, producer for Global Grooves, said: "Our carnival parade celebrates Greater Manchester in all of its wonderful diversity and shines a light on the cultural exchanges that take place when people collaborate with others who have vastly different experiences, ideas and ways of living.

“We are proud to be taking some of Wigan's finest young performers down to London and absolutely know they will do us proud in front of the eyes of the world."

Kirsty Connell, network coordinator for Greater Manchester Arts, said: "The Queen's Platinum Jubilee Pageant offers a fantastic opportunity to showcase some of the talent we have here in Greater Manchester.