You are here: Home News & Blogs Press Releases In Harmony pupils prepare for Great Exhibition of the North ‘Grand Show’

In Harmony pupils prepare for Great Exhibition of the North ‘Grand Show’

Posted on 28 May 2018

Young musicians in the West End of Newcastle are preparing for their Great Exhibition of the North ‘Grand Show’ at Sage Gateshead.

Every child at Hawthorn Primary School in Elswick learns an orchestral instrument through In Harmony Newcastle Gateshead, delivered by Sage Gateshead. They will be joined by In Harmony pupils from Bridgewater School in Scotswood, as well as In Harmony Opera North and In Harmony Liverpool for a celebration event as part of the Great Exhibition of the North on 25 June.

This week (MAY23) members of Royal Northern Sinfonia – orchestra of Sage Gateshead – and renowned composer Stephen Deazley worked with pupils as they rehearsed for the big day.

Stephen, who is composer in residence for In Harmony Newcastle Gateshead, has been commissioned by Sage Gateshead to write a piece for Hawthorn Primary musicians to perform at a Grand Show in the prestigious Sage One concert hall in June. Recent appearances by Stephen include BBC Proms in the Park and the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

He posed the question “I wonder if…?” to pupils and has composed music based on their responses, which include ‘if mermaids would ever exist on the moon’ and ‘spinning so fast that we get to the centre of the earth’!

Stephen Deazley said: “Composing can be a very solitary process so to come to the rehearsal and hear it for the first time is so exciting. The Grand Show will be a wonderful celebration of all their learning.”

Later in the year In Harmony musicians will take Stephen’s piece on tour to Leeds and in 2019 to Liverpool for In Harmony Liverpool’s 10th birthday.

Jane Dube, Headteacher at Hawthorn Primary School, said: “The children are so excited about performing at Sage Gateshead and to be part of something so big like Great Exhibition of the North.

“It has made such a difference for them to work closely with Stephen and members of Royal Northern Sinfonia. It has been wonderful to watch and we hope lots of people will come and celebrate their achievements with us on June 25.”

In Harmony aims to inspire and transform the lives of children in deprived communities using the power and disciplines of group music-making. As well as forming part of the hotly anticipated Great Exhibition of the North programme, the day-long event will mark In Harmony Newcastle Gateshead’s sixth birthday and tell the inspiring story of this life-changing project.

Delivered by Sage Gateshead and funded by Arts Council England and Department for Education, In Harmony Newcastle Gateshead is one of six projects in England and ensures every child is immersed in music on a weekly basis. It takes place at Hawthorn Primary School and recently expanded to nearby Bridgewater School in Scotswood, its attached nursery and nearby Rye Hill Community Nursery.

Musical skills, confidence and self esteem, educational attainment and health and well-being are improved through learning about and taking part in orchestral music-making.

Teachers, musicians, the schools, children and their families will tell their In Harmony story at the celebration event in June. There will be lots of performances by pupils including an Early Years sing-a-long, a Mini Strings sharing concert, a Mass Sing on the concourse, a pre-concert talk and The Grand Show featuring all of the northern In Harmony schools.

For more information or to book your free ticket/s for the event on 25 June, visit

Media contact:
Emily Taylor, Communications Officer
M. 07793 762 879 T. 0191 443 4617