News & Reviews

Creative Project Marks 800 Year Magna Carta Milestone

Pupils at three local schools will visit Lincoln Castle with musicians from the East Midlands’ professional orchestra Sinfonia Viva on Friday May 22 to gain inspiration for a creative project celebrating the 800th anniversary of the sealing of the 1215 Magna Carta.

The education residency entitled ‘800 Years’ aims to bring the Magna Carta to life for young people, helping them to understand its historical and current importance.

Around 90 young people from Monks Abbey Primary School, Nettleham Junior School and Lincoln Castle Academy are involved in the project. They will work with the Viva team to start writing songs – gaining inspiration from the ‘Lincoln Castle Revealed’ exhibition housing one of the original copies of the Magna Carta.

The young people will then join a series of workshops with Viva composer Filipe Sousa and professional orchestral musicians where they will interpret their findings and write words and music to illustrate the effect of the Magna Carta on the lives of people at the time and through the ages.

The work will culminate in a public performance at Lincoln Drill Hall on Tuesday 16 June under the baton of international conductor Dominic Wheeler.

Viva Education Manager Marianne Barraclough said: “The young people will be working with a highly creative team of Viva musicians and renowned composer Filipe Sousa who has worked on education and community projects throughout the world.

“The aim is to write songs which show the relevance of the 1215 Magna Carta both now and through the ages with themes such as living by rules and individuals’ freedom.

“Having worked so closely last year with the two primary schools for the ‘Dark Clouds are Smouldering into Red’ to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War, we are delighted to be returning to Lincoln to mark yet another momentous occasion in our history.”

Simon Clark, Deputy Head at Monks Abbey Primary School continued: “Working with Sinfonia Viva provides an incredible opportunity and enriching experience for children to work with a professional orchestra and then to perform alongside the players on stage at Lincoln Drill Hall.

“Our children always enjoy the creative process and find it very rewarding to write their own songs and then see how they develop. They are also in awe when they hear their own compositions performed by the Viva players at the concert for the first time.

“The Magna Carta is obviously a hugely influential and renowned document globally, but also with strong local links that help provide a valuable context for our children.

“The values the Magna Carta inspires and teaches us, such as personal liberty, justice, fairness and rules, are intrinsic to British society. I look forward to seeing how this inspires the children and their creativity.”

Simon Hollingworth, Creative Director at Lincoln Drill Hall concluded: “2015 is a very exciting year for Lincoln as it celebrates the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta and this is an exciting project that will give young people the opportunity to work and perform with professional musicians to create something truly unique and extraordinary.”

800 years has been supported by an £8,000 grant from The Magna Carta 800th Anniversary Commemoration Committee and is a partnership with Lincoln Drill Hall, Lincoln Castle, Lincolnshire Music Hub, Bergne Coupland Charity, Orchestras Live, and Aurelius Charitable Trust. Sinfonia Viva is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

Published 18 May 2015

Media enquiries: Sarah Jenkin-Jones - Tel: 01332 515102/07951 945 665