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New Anthem marking 70th anniversary of Windrush Generation composed by Dr Shirley J.Thompson

Music 25 June 2018

Shirley J Thompson conducting the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

The Windrush Anthem has been composed by Westminster’s award-winning Dr Shirley J. Thompson and was performed at the special Commemoration to Windrush Service.

The service was held at Westminster Abbey on 22 June 2018 to mark the 70th anniversary of the arrival of the MV Empire Windrush at Tilbury Docks on 22 June 1948. Several heads of state attended, including Prime Minister, Theresa May and Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.

'Spirit of Windrush - Contributions to Multicultural Britain' aimed to reflect on the impact Caribbean people have had on the UK, particularly since the Windrush's arrival.

The artist Terry Duffy's acclaimed 14ft by 11ft painting 'Victim no Resurrection' was a symbolic offering during the service. Images reflecting the Windrush era was projected on screens before and after the service and an exhibition of the iconic 'grip' (aka suitcase) was on show.

Last year, Shirley Thompson was also listed at number eight in the Top 100 Most Influential People of African and Caribbean Heritage which included comedian Sir Lenny Henry, Olympic champion Mo Farah, and Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton.

Thompson's musical scores have been performed worldwide including in over 40 opera houses such as, La Scala (Milan), Marinsky Opera House and Sydney Opera House.  Previously she was commissioned to compose music for the opening of the Parliamentary exhibition ‘The British Slave Trade: Abolition, Parliament and People’, and has composed a piece commissioned by the Southbank Centre to commemorate 100 days of Barack Obama's presidency.

Earlier this month Shirley J.Thompson also became one of the faces promoting the #BrillianceForAll slogan which features in all of Swarovski’s 2018 campaigns. Shirley J. Thompson follows Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain, TV personality Katie Piper, and CoppaFeel founder Kris Hallenga as ambassadors of the campaign for #femaleempowerment.

In the promotional video of the premium jewellery brand, Thompson says: “I created a symphony that has become the first piece in 40 years to be composed and conducted by a woman in Europe.

“It is having a healthy self-belief in what you can do. People tell you what they think of you and what you are capable of. You have to believe in yourself.”


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