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5 in 5! It's the In Harmony Christmas Concert Week!

Posted on 18 December 2015

5 concerts…5 days…It’s the In Harmony Christmas Concert week!

The In Harmony programme certainly sprung into an array of festive activity last week! Every child involved had a part to play over a week which culminated in our West Newcastle Symphony Orchestra fundraising concert at Jesmond United Reformed Church.

I was delighted to see so many children from our relatively new after school community orchestra made up of children as young as 7 up to 13. The support for the children was fantastic with a good mixture of family, friends, and enthusiastic members of the local community. Some children were very keen and proud to play solos, and hearing them improvise during a jazz piece was particularly exciting. An enormous amount of self confidence shone through at this event.

The concert season was opened at Gateshead Hilton hotel on Sunday 6th December where children again from WNSO performed as part of the Kielder Calvert Trust Christmas Fayre against a background of stars. I know all the parents, children and music team had great fun!

Hawthorn Primary Symphony Orchestra entertained with great sparkle on Monday evening, with a varied program of seasonal favourites including ‘Troika’ as well as some favourites from their ever growing repertoire. The In Harmony music team deserve a big ‘thank you’ for their willingness to perform on this occasion. The audience evidently enjoyed their efforts.

On Tuesday last week, Hawthorn Primary school became a hive of activity with over 10 different ensembles performing across 2 concerts. Year 1 strings were delightful, as were Vivaldi Strings playing some James Bond music and a Zombie song- all very festive! The Boccherini strings entertained the crowd with an arrangement of “Autumn.” The children were inspired to play the same repertoire as their older friends and siblings from the Symphony Orchestra! Reception class as ever were charming, and certainly impressed me with their beautiful singing and stunning concentration.

Wind bands from years 3, 4, 5 and 6 performed in the afternoon, along with the Corelli and Paganini strings. Many of the children were performing for the very first time on their instruments. We were thoroughly entertained with a wide variety of sounds and music including Raw Hide, Hawthorn Boogie, Shortnin’ Bread, and several renditions of Footsteps in the Snow (one even utilising the Boom-whackers!} There were also wonderful performances by each year group’s choirs.
All in all, the week was a very exciting and successful run of events. Thanks to all Hawthorn Primary school staff and Sage Gateshead staff who work tirelessly to ensure these experiences are life changing for the communities involved with the In Harmony programme.

Pauline Brandon – In Harmony Programme Leader

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