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Pupils from Harlow’s five secondary schools to perform with City of London Sinfonia

11th February 2015

Scores of children from Harlow are preparing to perform alongside a professional orchestra later this week.

More than 100 pupils from Stewards Academy, Burnt Mill Academy, St Mark’s West Essex Catholic School, Passmores Academy and Mark Hall Academy have been taking part in a series of workshops led by the City of London Sinfonia and music leader John K Miles.

Having worked together on collaborative group compositions, they will now perform with the City of London Sinfonia for children from 10 of the town’s primary schools during an afternoon concert at Stewards Academy on Thursday (February 12).

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

The ‘First Time Live – Youth’ project is supported by music charity Orchestras Live in partnership with Essex Music Education Hub , 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 10-14 year-olds who have had little or no access to live orchestral music the 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.”

Read more on the Harlow Star website