News and Reviews
Review: Connected to Music - Connection
Royal & Derngate Theatre, Northampton - Tuesday 25th May 2010
Culmination events usually signal one thing, the end. Not for Connection, the celebration event for the Connected to Music in Northamptonshire, one of the five current Music Partnership Projects. Rather than an end, the performance on 25 May provided the springboard and inspiration for the next phase of the project where the classroom and peripatetic teachers take over the leadership of the creative programme from Tim Steiner and the musicians from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Sinfonia Viva.
Something magical happened on 25 May. After eight months of workshops with a creative team of classroom and peripatetic music teachers, young music leaders and musicians from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Sinfonia Viva, led by Tim Steiner, 350 children and young people from Daventry, some experienced instrumentalists others barely familiar with the new instruments they so proudly held, came together at Royal & Derngate to perform music that they had created, together on equal terms with a professional orchestra, Sinfonia Viva. The young musicians' compositions, inspired by Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, Charles Ives' Tone Roads and Manuel de Falla's El Amor Brujo and orchestrated by Tim, were carefully woven into a stunning programme which featured Sinfonia Viva, conducted by Stuart Stratford, and Daventry-born mezzo soprano Kim-Marie Woodhouse.
Jan Ford, Partnership Manager for Orchestras Live, the national development agency for orchestral music in England and lead partner in the project described the Connection event as "an inspirational milestone" in the project's development for all six partners – Orchestras Live, Northamptonshire County Council, Royal & Dernagte, Sinfonia Viva and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra as well as the Daventry partner schools and Music Centre.
Hilary Miles, Advance Skills Teacher and Creative Ensemble member has found working alongside professional musicians inspirational. "Hearing a child say that they want to play an instrument makes it all worthwhile. I have seen a change in behaviour, concentration, listening skills and general musicianship from all the children that I have worked with, and have been lucky enough to share many exciting performances both in schools and this one tonight."
Henry Little, Orchestras Live's Chief Executive believes the project is a clear illustration of what an effective partnership can achieve and what Orchestras Live is all about. "Every Connected to Music partner has generously contributed their skills, knowledge and resources to create something that is truly greater than the sum of its parts, possibly something even as significant as a new model of music education delivery. Despite the current difficult financial conditions, we are determined to sustain the work in Northamptonshire, linking venues, professional orchestras and educators to deliver high quality music experiences for young people".
Ros Peet, Creative Ensemble member and teacher at Falconer's Hill Junior School summed up the entire concert experience: "We all loved the concert experience and our parents were so impressed. I collapsed in bed last night exhausted but exhilarated. I am more inspired than ever, as I am sure the children are, to continue playing. I'll be practising my Grade 1 pieces later, despite the blisters!!!!"
Reviewed by Orchestras Live website.
Visit the Orchestras Live website (external link) to read the programme booklet from the event and to view photographs.