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The Sounds of Croydon: From Samuel Coleridge-Taylor to Stormzy Online Exhibition

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Hiawatha's Weddi
stormzy mark mattock
Samuel-Coleridge Taylor in oil by Wallis
samuel coleridge taylor royal college th
Stormzy I-D Mark Mattock
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor piano arenaPAL
Stormzy Adidas

The Music is Fresh and Original.

It's been more than 120 years since composer Sir Arthur Sullivan described Samuel Coleridge-Taylor's Hiawatha's Wedding Feast as 'fresh and original'. Since then a number of bright young local stars have made their mark on the international music industry and this exhibition showcases their journey.

Curated by lifelong Croydon resident and Director of Past Futures, Micha Nestor wanted to bring a burst of energy to the heritage world, during a time when many organisations are closed or remain offering a limited service as lockdown continues.

Speaking about her inspiration for the exhibition, Micha said "Having grown up in South Norwood for half my life, I regularly drove past the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor youth club and blue plaque commemorating the composer and wondered who he was. That sparked my curiosity, and I quickly became fascinated by the story of this mixed race, Victorian man who had conquered the classical music world and lived just down the road from me."

Fast forward from the times of Coleridge-Taylor's Song of Hiawatha dominating music halls, to Croydon's latest smash hit resident. "Like many people my age who grew up in London, I spent my teenage years dancing along to the latest underground sounds of grime, watching Channel U and singing along to anthems like Lethal Bizzle's Pow!" Growing up in Croydon's Norbury and Thornton Heath, the multi Brit winner Stormzy has played a key role in bringing grime out of the shadows and into popular music charts.

"I think a lot of Croydoners feel a sense of pride when they hear Stormzy mention the Borough. I hope this exhibition will inspire future musicians, songwriters and composers to be trailblazers and create art which uplifts and moves them, just like Stormzy, Coleridge-Taylor and other Croydon residents have achieved before them."

As you explore the exhibition, look out for

the play button throughout.

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©Anthony Spratt

View Full Exhibition

Samuel-Coleridge Taylor in oil by Wallis
stormzy jack davison vogue.jpg


Special thanks to

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This exhibition is now closed and no longer available to view.
Check out our resources to order an accompanying workshop.

BBCxMuseums Association MuseumPassion Supporter

A final thanks to all the photographers who granted

permission for the use of their images within the exhibition.

Others included under Fair Use. #SoundsofCroydon will be available to 

view for free from October - December 2020

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