KEHS pupils to feature in West Midlands Platinum Jubilee celebrations

KEHS pupils to feature in West Midlands Platinum Jubilee celebrations

26 May 2022

A wonderful Platinum Jubilee event involving KEHS pupils will take place during the forthcoming half-term holiday as part of the national celebrations.

On Saturday 4th June at 3pm, Birmingham Symphony Hall will host the West Midlands Platinum Jubilee Anthem World Premiere.

The event will feature the first public performance of Lighting Our Way – the region’s anthem for Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. It is a tremendous honour that our very own Lower Fifth pupil Fatma – who is Birmingham’s Young Poet Laureate 2020-22 – was commissioned to write the lyrics for the piece. A Midlands-wide competition was then arranged to provide music for Fatma’s lyrics, and this was won by Oliver Hayne, a music composition student at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.

Our Lower School Choir will join other school choirs from across the West Midlands for the performance, accompanied by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and conducted by Simon Halsey. Judith Weir CBE, Master of the Queen’s Music, will be among the dignitaries in attendance.

Fatma drew inspiration for her poem from the Queen and her reign, and the impact it has had on people. She said: “The stanzas all feature water imagery, and one of them is about the COVID-19 pandemic, tributes to the NHS and how the Queen was held as a symbol of hope through that.” Encouraging young girls to aspire to positions of leadership and building a brighter future together are also themes covered by her poem.

Kirsty von Malaisé, KEHS Principal, said: “Fatma rose so brilliantly to the challenge of writing song lyrics for such a prestigious occasion, and we look forward to seeing her commission receive richly-deserved recognition as part of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations. The fact that our Lower School Choir will be among the singers performing at Symphony Hall makes the august occasion even more special.”

Fatma has shared her journey into poetry in a video available at, and talks about her inspiration for the Platinum Jubilee anthem.

Tickets for the Symphony Hall performance are priced at £5 and are available from the B:Music website

The Symphony Hall concert is not the only way in which KEHS is marking Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee. The school has already planted four new flowering cherry trees in its grounds as part of the Queen’s Green Canopy initiative, and a film sharing former pupils’ memories of the Queen’s 1955 visit to KEHS and King Edward’s School next-door will be released soon.

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