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Battle of the Bands at Blackheath Halls

Trinity Laban’s inaugural Battle of the Bands for young musicians took place on 9 July with a huge diversity of talent on show, spanning genres from R&B to metal. Each band presented one cover song and one original composition on the main stage at Blackheath Halls, compered expertly by recent BA Music Performance and Industry graduate Leon Tilbrook, who also performed.

First on, and highly commended by the panel, were the aptly named Rock Band One from Lewisham Music. They opened the night with a confident performance of ‘The Ballad of Mona Lisa’ by Panic! At The Disco and impressed the judges with tight vocal harmonies and onstage rapport. The first half continued with a beautifully sung R&B duet from Platanos College, fantastic stage presence and songwriting from Leigh Academy Blackheath, and well-arranged call and response vocals from Deptford Green School.

The second half was kicked off in epic style by bands from Sedgehill Academy: rock trio Spitflame in Year 10, and the appropriately named Mellow in Year 9. The cover version choices were particular crowd favourites here, with a surprise choice of ‘Careless Whisper’ followed by TLC’s ‘No Scrubs’. Lewisham Music band Red Box followed up with a classic indie guitar set.

After seven fantastic performances, the panel – chaired by Joe Townsend, Head of BA Music Performance & Industry, along with legendary bassist Yolanda Charles and Rudimental member Mark Crown – selected Spitflame as the winner. The band will visit Trinity Laban in the Autumn for a day of expert coaching and studio recording.

This event was part of Trinity Laban’s extensive programme for children and young people, in partnership with the BA Music Performance and Industry programme.

Image Credit: John Williams
montage of photos promoting Trinity Laban's autumn music and dance events

Launching TL’s Autumn Season 22

Running from September to December, Trinity Laban’s autumn season includes an experimental festival of new music and performance in response to the climate crisis, a musical comedy murder mystery, two birthday anniversary celebrations for composers Leonardo Salzedo and Mike Gibbs, the concert and album launch of Rūtsu: Chamber Music 2.0, and a masterclass focusing on Polish composers. 



Taking place across various spaces at Kings Charles Court, Old Royal Naval College, Rude Health Composition Festival (12-16 Dec) is an experimental festival of new music and innovative performances from Trinity Laban’s acclaimed composition students. This year the festival presents creative responses to the climate crisis, so expect the unexpected with installation, multimedia events and music at the cutting edge of sound. 



Trinity Laban’s BA Musical Theatre third year students, perform Holmes, Ebb and Kander’s musical Curtains, a comedy send-up of backstage murder mystery plots, set in 1959 Boston, Massachusetts. When Jessica Cranshaw, the supremely untalented star of ‘Robbin’ Hood of the Old West’ is murdered during her opening night curtain call, it’s up to Lt. Frank Cioffi, a police detective moonlighting as a musical theatre fan to solve the case and save the show, without getting killed himself of course!   

6, 7, 8, 9 Dec at 7pm 

Sat 10 Dec at 2.30pm & 7pm  

Laban Theatre 



Join us for two exhilarating performances at Blackheath Halls from Trinity Laban’s BA (Hons) Music Performance and Industry students (4 Nov). Creative Strings Ensemble: A Better Place, (6pm, Great Hall) is a concert of creative voice and strings performance featuring poetry, improvisation and creative repertoire and in collaboration with BMus Strings students, and Life Is A Song (7.30pm, Hearn Recital Room) for a night of innovative, fresh and harmonious live music. 

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of composer Leonardo Salzedo, Richard Crabtree, professor of viola at Trinity Laban, will play The Viola Concerto, accompanied by Trinity Laban students and conducted by Leslie Howard, a close friend of Salzedo’s. This celebration concert, at Conway Hall (24 Sep, 6pm), also features Baritone Geoff Williams who will sing from the song cycle The Lotus Eater Abroad as well as other works by Salzedo. 

Conducted by Ralph Allwood, Trinity Laban Old Royal Naval College Chapel Choir perform evensong which will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 (28 Sep, 4pm), from The Chapel, Old Royal Naval College.   

Trinity Laban String Ensemble perform works by Daniel Kidane, Schoenberg, and a new work by one of Trinity Laban’s composers in the surroundings of the Great Hall, at Blackheath Halls (14 Oct, 6pm). 

Chamber music is the backbone of teaching and learning at Trinity Laban, so join us for Rush Hour Concert at Blackheath Halls (12 Oct, 6pm) featuring the Carne Trust Junior Fellow Chamber Ensemble and Waldstein String Quartet. They will be paired with a performance of Dvorak’s Piano Quintet, with Irina Lyakhovskaya performing side by side with an ensemble of Trinity Laban students.  

The concert and album launch at Blackheath Halls for Rūtsu: Chamber Music 2.0 (18 Oct, 7.30pm), from Anna Astesano (Harp) and Valentina Ciardelli (Double Bass), explores the deep connections between the influences of Japanese art on Western culture and vice versa. With a talk beforehand (6.30pm), the album features music from Ravel, Stravinsky and Puccini and contemporary compositions, notably Mr Hirano’s Elegy dedicated and composed for the duo. 

Trinity Laban Symphony Orchestra present a diverse programme of established repertoire, contemporary music, and a newly composed work at Blackheath Halls (27 Oct, 7.30pm) then return to play side by side with Trinity Laban staff (2 Dec, 6pm) to perform two works by Coleridge-Taylor. 

Expect spellbinding storytelling and haunting melodies as Trinity Laban vocal students perform scenes from operas in and around King Charles Court, Old Royal Naval College (28 Oct & 8 Dec). And Dominic Ellis-Peckham directs an evening of choral performance at Blackheath Halls (15 Nov, 7.30pm) on the theme of journeys, featuring traditional and folk songs performed by Trinity Laban Undergraduate Chorus and Trinity Laban Show Choir. 

TL Jazz Orchestra celebrate Mike Gibbs’ 85th birthday year, with a two night residency, conducted by Mike and Josephine Davies, at the Vortex Jazz Club (14 & 15 Nov, 7pm & 9pm). 

Our Masterclass: A Focus On Polish Composers (7 Nov, 5pm) at Kings Charles Court, Royal Naval College , includes Trinity Laban students performing works by Polish composers, with masterclass mentoring from Agata Szymczewska (violin) and Wojciech Szymczewska (piano) supported by The PWM Edition, Poland. 


Winter Celebrations 

As the festive season approaches, our young Junior Trinity students perform in their annual Winter Concerts on the stage of Blackheath Halls (26 Nov, 1pm & 7pm) and the Old Royal Naval College Trinity Laban Chapel Choir stage their annual Christmas concert at The Chapel, Old Royal Naval College (12 Dec, 7pm). 

There’s also a special performance from Cirque de Pierrot’s all-women Pierrot Ensemble, (14 Dec, 6pm) at Blackheath Halls, who will be presenting the full Schoenberg and Lee cycles based on the sad clown, Pierrot, as part of Trinity Laban’s Rush Hour Chamber Music Series.  


For full listings, ticketing info and booking visit our What’s On page.