First Time Live II Luton Evaluation Report
First Time Live II was designed to be an inclusive project that could provide a pathway to active involvement in the orchestral music genre by young people in Luton, particularly through Whole Class Ensemble Teaching with schools in BME communities. This was achieved through collaboration with a professional composer, John K Miles, and one of the country’s foremost chamber orchestras, City of London Sinfonia.
During the project the young instrumentalists generated musical ideas to form a new orchestral piece based on the theme of Carnival. Supported by their tutors and orchestral musicians, the groups rehearsed parts created for them which they performed together with City of London Sinfonia in two large-scale concerts held at the UK Centre for Carnival Arts.
A separate group of young people presented the concerts and helped with event management, adding to the youth-led ethos of the project. The response by those involved was extremely positive, and the partners plan to further develop the project.
“The best bit was playing music with other schools… I loved being part of a big group”
Outputs from the eight-month process were as follows:
- 310 children from 19 schools took part in 30 workshops, 3 rehearsals and 2 concerts
- Approximately 2,000 children from at least 41 schools watched the live streaming of the concerts
- 20 instrumental tutors and 40 Primary teachers were involved in the project delivery
- 12 young people acted as young producers of the final events
- Most participating schools were from diverse communities, and the final performances involved approximately 200 BME young people
- 101 participants achieved Arts Award, and 1 Primary School achieved Artsmark Gold status
- Charanga created an online Carnival resource featuring recorded tracks of the new orchestral score and song
First Time Live II was produced by Orchestras Live in partnership with City of London Sinfonia, The MIX, Luton Culture, elearning@luton, UK Centre for Carnival Arts, the Royal Opera House Bridge and Charanga.