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Newcastle United Stars Meet 'In Harmony' Children

Posted on 25 November 2013

Pardew and Krul to visit inspirational scheme at West End primary school

Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew and goalkeeper Tim Krul today (Monday 25th November) met some inspirational city children whose lives are being changed by a unique music project delivered by Sage Gateshead.

The football stars came face to face with musical talent from Hawthorn Primary School in the West End of Newcastle, where every single child is learning to play an orchestral instrument of their choice.

During their visit to find out more about the project, Alan and Tim were treated to a performance by the school’s In Harmony Symphony Orchestra.

Based in one of the most deprived wards in England, Hawthorn Primary School was chosen to take part in the three-year In Harmony project last year. In Harmony is part of a national programme that aims to inspire and transform the lives of children in deprived communities within the UK, using the power and disciplines of music-making. It is based on the El Sistema musical programme founded in Venezuela, which produced the world famous Simón Bolivar Orchestra and is credited with steering young people away from drugs and crime.

Sage Gateshead is delivering the project, which works with children and teachers to teach them musical skills, in an inspiring programme funded by the Arts Council England and the Department for Education.

The project has already enabled every child in the school access to a musical instrument and music tutors visit on a daily basis allowing the children to learn to play music. Pupils gave their first public concert at the end of the summer term, to mark the first year of the ground-breaking project.

Hawthorn Primary head teacher, Judy Cowgill, said: “Having Alan and Tim come to Hawthorn specifically to see the orchestra demonstrates to the children how much music means to everyone, including their sporting heroes.

We want our children to believe they can do anything they want if their put their minds to it; the In Harmony project has raised their aspirations already. If they have the support and encouragement of such influential sportsmen then they will try even harder.”

NUFC manager, Alan Pardew, said: “It has been an absolute honour to come to Hawthorn Primary School and hear the children perform. The project is truly inspiring and I look forward to hearing more about how the pupils and their music-making develop.”

Goalkeeper Tim Krul added: “I am amazed at the standard the children have reached in their music in such a short space of time. The dedication and discipline required is similar to that of any sportsman. Seeing the pupils so motivated and enthused has been fantastic and I wish them success.”

Wendy Smith, Head of Enterprise and Strategy at Sage Gateshead, said: “It was a fantastic opportunity for the children to meet and perform to such inspiring role models and we are extremely grateful to Alan and Tim for coming to visit and find out more about this amazing project.”

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