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Harlow students to perform with professional orchestra

Lifestyle / Mon 9th Feb 2015 pm28 05:13pm

SCHOOLCHILDREN in Harlow will perform alongside a professional orchestra as a music project comes to a spectacular conclusion.

Over 100 pupils from Stewards Academy, Burnt Mill Academy, St Mark’s West Essex Catholic School, Passmores Academy and Mark Hall Academy have taken part in a series of workshops led by the City of London Sinfonia and music leader John K Miles as part of the ‘First Time Live – Youth’ project.

Having worked together on collaborative group compositions, they will now perform with the City of London Sinfonia for children from ten Harlow primary schools during an afternoon concert at Stewards Academy on Thursday (February 12).

A concert for the wider community will also take place later that evening at the same venue.

The ‘First Time Live – Youth’ project is supported by music charity Orchestras Live in partnership with Essex Music Education Hub (led by Essex Music Services/Essex County Council), Essex County Council’s cultural development team, the Royal Opera House Bridge and Arts Council England.

The touring initiative, which has also visited other parts of the country, aims to give 10 to 14-year-olds who have had little or no access to live orchestral music the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to perform with a professional orchestra.

As part of the project in Harlow, pupils from Stewards Academy also helped produce and promote the concerts, and will be involved in managing the stage and presenting the events.

Cllr Ray Gooding, Essex County Council’s cabinet member for education and lifelong learning, said: “Music is a crucial part of the curriculum and can play a valuable role in a child’s development. Regardless of their background, we believe all children should have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument if they wish to.

“Projects like this enable children who might not have previously been able to access orchestral music the opportunity to do just that.

“I hope the experience will inspire some pupils to pursue their musical education further.”

Ben Humphries, a young pianist from Stewards Academy, said: “First Time Live is a brilliant way to inspire young people to get involved in classical music.”

Fellow pupil Sarah Ngochinya added: “With this generation only caring about the latest pop songs, First Time Live gives us a chance to break away from this way of thinking and discover the classical wonders that the orchestra can offer.”

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