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In Harmony NE perform in Sage One!

Posted on 27 January 2015

By John Connolly – Brass Tutor In Harmony NE

This term has been a very rewarding one indeed. We have had a lot of exciting things happen in the project this year and this term has been a real showcase for that. From my perspective as a brass tutor it has been astonishing to see how well my students have adapted into what is for them the very new experience of playing in the symphony orchestra; as all of last year’s year six pupils have now left primary school for pastures new in their secondary school.

One of the major focuses of this term was to play a commission from BBC Outreach and Corporate Responsibility by Steven Deazley for our symphony orchestra; a five movement work especially written for us – Tuba Train. On top of that we were asked to be the opening act for Sage Gateshead’s 10th birthday celebrations. We were blown away by this and really touched that we were being given the chance to showcase the amazing talent we have within our project, but the pressure was now on!

Even though at times we as staff were nervous, the children took it in their stride. The level of commitment and concentration shown from children as young as seven years old was mind blowing. Day after day, rehearsal after rehearsal, they gave us 100%. It is extremely energising as a teacher to work with children who are so willing to push themselves that hard. Suffice to say their hard work paid off!

The day of the concert was a truly memorable occasion. The atmosphere was electric, nerves were showing but more so was the excitement. For some of the children it was their first trip to Sage Gateshead and for some their first trip out of their community. Once we had finished a quick rehearsal downstairs we headed up on to the stage of Sage One. It was a real goose bump moment watching their faces as the audience filtered in, one of my trumpets elevating himself to celebratory status wondering how much his autograph would fetch online.

All of this contributed to what was one of the best concerts we at In Harmony North East have produced. To perform to that many people and let them see what people from this community can do was a momentous occasion and a real endorsement to the power of music to transform lives. For me it merely confirmed and reinforced the passion for the work I do but I can only hope that that passion has now been transferred to everyone who was there that evening and that support for the El Sistema movement will grow and grow!

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