A flash mob of over 50 young musicians aged between 11 and 25 years old from World Heart Beat Music Academy and Brazilian orchestra Maré do Amanhã took shoppers by surprise at the newly restored Battersea Power Station one Saturday in July. The group performed a spontaneous and uplifting version of *‘Aquarela do Brasil’, meaning ‘Watercolour of Brazil’, one of the country’s most famous songs which featured at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, held in Brazil.

Today, the flash mob video has been released during The Battersea Games, Battersea Power Station’s new summer event running until 3 September, which features an evolving calendar of sports and games for all ages and interests including a pop-up padel court, climbing wall, 3×3 basketball zone, 100m running track, a range of classes including yoga, boxing and HIIT training, dog agility and training, giant board games and live screenings of the latest sports events, plus free movies in the evening.

Following an introduction from The Brazilian Embassy in London, World Heart Beat and the Orquestra Maré do Amanhã were delighted to collaborate on this uplifting project, bringing young musicians together from Brazil and the UK.

The Brazilian orchestra were visiting London for the first time ever to perform at the Brazilian Embassy following twenty-eight previous performances across Europe. The world-famous song ‘Aquarela do Brasil’ by composer Ary Barosso, was chosen following collaboration between the two organisations to celebrate Brazil’s energy, culture and sport attributes.

Both organisations have a similar ethos, which aims, through music education, to positively transform the lives of young people by nurturing their talent and providing a richly diverse, unique and inclusive teaching environment. They offer a broad programme of music lessons, workshops and events in Brazil and the United Kingdom respectively.

The Maré do Amanhã Orchestra was set up by the conductor Carlos Eduardo Prazeres, who was inspired by his own father, Armando Prazeres, who, in addition to being a conductor himself, was also an educator and diffuser of concert music to disadvantaged and at-risk communities for decades in Brazil. The orchestra teaches classical music to children in one of the most deprived favelas in Rio de Janeiro. Today the project is present in 23 schools in Rio and helps improve thousands of lives of young people from very poor backgrounds. The Orquestra Maré do Amanhã has also reached high levels of proficiency, playing regularly at the Teatro Municipal of Rio de Janeiro or Sala Cecília Meireles – but also in more ‘pop’ venues such as Copacabana New Year’s Eve or Rock in Rio, and has received many awards in Brazil.

World Heart Beat Music Academy, with two music learning centres in Wandsworth (at Kimber Road and more recently Embassy Gardens, Nine Elms) and a state-of-the-art concert hall and recording studios is a joyful, welcoming and innovative place where young people are brought together with world-class musicians to share their love of music. Founded in 2009, over 50% of its students learn for free (with all students receiving instruments free of charge) with an ‘open door’ approach that welcomes any young person interested in learning music. Musicians who took part in the flash mob included those playing in Heart Beat’s 51st State Band and included those playing trombone, trumpet, guitar, flute, saxophone, French horn and drums.

Sahana Gero MBE, Founder and Artistic Director of World Heart Beat, said:
“We are so delighted that The Brazilian Embassy introduced us to collaborate with The Maré do Amanhã Orchestra, who were visiting London for the first time ever this summer. We love the vibrancy of Brazilian culture and the flash mob brought pure joy and energy to the musicians and Battersea Power Station shoppers alike. The project celebrates the power of music to connect communities across the world, to be ‘as one’, to showcase Brazilian culture and to give our young people agency and voice!”

Sarah Banham, Head of Community and Sustainability at Battersea Power Station, said:
“We really enjoyed working with our neighbours, World Heart Beat, to bring this vibrant and exciting flash mob to the Power Station last month. We are always looking for opportunities to bring art, music and culture to the neighbourhood and with the song’s link to the 2014 FIFA World Cup, it also tied in really well with the sports and games theme behind our new summer event, The Battersea Games. It was fantastic to see the joy the flashmob brought to shoppers and to the 50 young musicians taking part too.”