Orchestras Live - far and wide (November 2011)
Orchestras Live works across England with local authorities, orchestras and other partners to deliver dynamic and artistically adventurous projects with lasting legacies. This regular update gives a snapshot of some of the work we are currently involved with.
In Ashford... following a very successful first orchestral concert with Aurora at the refurbished and re-ordered St Mary’s Church, we are in discussion with Ashford Borough Council to develop the relationship with Aurora Orchestra in the future.
In Bedford… the latest Hear and Now intergenerational project with the Philharmonia and diverse communities began in September with a series of mentoring sessions led by Tim Steiner for selected members of Fusion Youth Singing and the Alzheimer’s Society Music for Memory group, who were given a level of leadership in the subsequent creative workshops. A new group involved this year was the First Generation Italian Club. On 28 October all participants performed with a Philharmonia ensemble and local singer Pooja Gupta at All Saints Church in Queens Park, which proved to be an energetic and moving occasion for involved.
In Bolsover... the evaluation report and documentary film of Heritage Back to the Future are now on this website. Both illustrate the many positive outcomes of the project. A follow-up intergenerational project is now being planned, again involving creation of a film and live soundtrack, with an artistic focus based on raising awareness of recycling. This will contribute to the sustainability agenda of Heritage High School and the surrounding community of Clowne. The project will culminate in performances with a Hallé ensemble in July 2012.
In Cambridge City... as part of the continuing partnership between Cambridge Corn Exchange and Cambridge Youth Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra will be undertaking a short residency for the Brass section of CYO to create a new fanfare to launch the Corn Exchange anniversary concert with the RPO on 2nd December.
In Chelmsford... our partnership with Essex on Tour saw a City of London Sinfonia clarinet quintet hosted by Essex on Tour voluntary promoters at Horndon on the Hill, Witham and Loughton in mid October. These events were linked to the subsequent City of London Sinfonia concert in Chelmsford on 20 October with a ticket deal to encourage recital audiences to attend the orchestral concert.
In Harlow... the two Lullaby Concerts held at Meadow Children’s Centre in July proved very popular. Over the two concerts 137 children and 72 parents/carers took part, and for most it was their first experience of live orchestral music. Evaluation showed many families found it a unique experience for all ages, with 85% of the adults agreeing the event was ‘fantastic’ and all 100% agreeing that they would like to come to more events of this kind. Essex County Council is keen to repeat the model in Harlow and other areas of the county.
In Loughborough... there has been a very encouraging start to the Orchestra of the Swan residency at Loughborough Town Hall with the first concert selling out. The BBC live broadcast greatly enhanced the offer as did the soloist Julian Lloyd Webber.
In North Norfolk... the final concert in the 2011 Orchestras Live North Norfolk series featured the Academy of St Martin in the Fields performing at Fakenham Church, and the audience of more than 200 people responded well.
In Suffolk... this year’s Lullaby project has been a huge success. Claire Bloor has been leading workshops at 13 nursery settings in four districts, with excellent responses from the young children and practitioners. Claire has produced music resource boxes for each setting, including a booklet with songs and an original story plus an accompanying CD. Two training days and four twilight INSET sessions were arranged to develop the music skills of Early Years practitioners and help them make the most of the project. There has been extensive media publicity about the concerts, including through the successful open-access workshops held by Claire and a CLS brass trio during the Magical Marshes family festival at Snape Maltings in July. The eight Lullaby Concerts included three young instrumentalists from Suffolk County Youth Orchestra performing in one of the pieces with the City of London Sinfonia. In the related Music of Dreams project, supported by Youth Music, we appointed Hannah Vesty as the Trainee Music Leader who is now working alongside Claire in the Newmarket workshops. Hannah is based in Bury St Edmunds and will be a resource for continued Early Years music work in Suffolk after the end of the project.