Get involved case study: youth project

Southbank Centre youth project: WHY? event with the BBC Concert Orchestra.

What happens when young people take over an event featuring one of the UK’s great concert orchestras? And how does this help instill confidence and creativity?

We decided to find out by putting a team of 12 young people in charge of a BBC Concert Orchestra performance in October 2016, as part of the WHY? What’s Happening for the Young festival. 

WHY? What’s Happening for the Young

Established in 2013, WHY? What's Happening for the Young is a youth-focused Southbank Centre festival that considers how under-18s can understand and use their rights to influence the world around them.

Inspired by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, the festival provides a forum for children, young people, parents, teachers and professionals involved in caring for under-18s. It's an opportunity to learn about and celebrate young people's rights alongside artists, campaigners and activists.

Through performances, workshops, talks and debates, the festival explores the right to freedom of expression, play, care, safety and access to the arts and culture. Many events are programmed or led by young people.

Find out more about Southbank Centre’s courses for young people

a night with the bbc concert orchestra

One such event programmed by young people as part of the festival is a night with the BBC Concert Orchestra, one of Southbank Centre’s associate orchestras. This orchestra is equally at home in a classical symphony, film soundtrack or even alongside UK grime artists, so the scope for the young people was wide.