MEMBERS of a music and arts provider in York, which works with people to help them beat different barriers, took part in an "incredible" nine-hour concert at a popular venue in the city.

Staff and group members at Tang Hall SMART took over York Barbican on Tuesday (November 29) - showcasing a range of talent from their different musicians.

Sue Williamson, the CEO of Tang Hall SMART, and who was performing in her own right as The Punk Crone, said: “The whole event was just incredible – and I found that every performance was moving in one way or another.

"At some points I was on the verge of shedding a tear as I know the barriers some people have faced and felt so pleased for them, to see them shine – and then on other occasions I was moved in a different way and found myself up dancing.

York Press: A range of performers were on show during the concert at York BarbicanA range of performers were on show during the concert at York Barbican (Image: David Harrison)

"Our quality just keeps on rising. We really needed something like The Barbican to showcase the sheer quantity of it.

"I am so proud of everyone, coming together to create such a wonderful community event."

Other acts included audience favourites such as Spencer Harris, an up-and-coming 'RnB' singer who performed some of his new album, Tom and Damo with their original alternative rock set - and rap comedy duo Jonny-the-Wolf and Andrew Silk – young men who have Down’s Syndrome and whose rapping skills "delighted" the audience.

The high-octane event was finished off by the Tang Hall SMART house band, playing a set of feel-good dance numbers.

York Press: The music and arts provider supports people to beat different barriers in their livesThe music and arts provider supports people to beat different barriers in their lives (Image: David Harrison)

Tang Hall SMART CIC is one of the many York charities and social enterprises that continued to operate during the Covid-19 pandemic and did what it could to help the community.

Sue said that it has been a tough couple of years for the group - but the staff have continued to pull together to find new ways of working to support their members.

Sue said: "Luckily, we were able to continue to work with people face-to-face as we were classed as ‘essential workers’ but we also developed a digital college at the time.

"We are now fully operational again - and these days, as well as working with the general community, we specialise in working with people who are disadvantaged in some way, for example by homelessness, addiction, mental health, or a learning disability."

The group, which caters for around 150 people who attend each week, have now taken licence at a second site - The Jam Factory in York, offering a set of rehearsal rooms and recording space.

"From September we have begun operating from this site too. The Jam Factory team hire out rehearsal rooms for the community in the evening so its another fantastic community resource that has continued to thrive," Sue added.