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Northern Sinfonia, Orchestra of Sage Gateshead Perform at Hawthorn Primary School

Posted on 20 May 2013

Hawthorn Primary School in Elswick, Newcastle, had their own exclusive performance today [Monday 20 May] from* Northern Sinfonia, orchestra of Sage Gateshead* as part of their In Harmony project, delivered by Sage Gateshead.

Orchestral members have already been working closely with the children since the start of the project, teaching them about the different orchestral instruments, but this is the first time the full orchestra has performed in the school.

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. In Harmony is modeled around the schoolchildren participating in an orchestra, and Northern Sinfonia are central to this project. 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.

Wendy Smith, Head of Strategy and Enterprise at Sage Gateshead, said: “Today has been an important and exciting day with Northern Sinfonia, orchestra of Sage Gateshead performing in Hawthorn Primary School, Elswick. All two hundred children at the school have, over the past six months, been learning orchestral instruments and today has been a wonderful opportunity for them to listen to and see where their own musical potential and hard work could lead them.

“Everyone has already noticed increased confidence and well-being in the pupils at the school as well as improvements in the children’s learning and concentration. The music tutors we have working with the school every day are impressed by the care and thought that the children put into their music-making and how quickly they are making progress. They are learning lots of different kinds of music, including Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and the theme music to Skyfall.”

Alan Fearon, Sage Gateshead’s Learning & Participation Artistic Advisor, said: “Working with the students at Hawthorn Primary School is inspiring for all of Northern Sinfonia. It’s a privilege to work with children who obviously get so much out of music; they are one of the most receptive audiences we’ve ever had.”

The pieces performed were from Bach, Handel, Mozart and Prokofiev.


Notes to Editors

Sage Gateshead was chosen to lead the three year regional project working with Hawthorn Primary School in the heart of Newcastle upon Tyne. Based on the principles of Venezuela’s inspirational El Sistema – which produced the world famous Simón Bolivar Symphony Orchestra.

The funding is from Arts Council England and the Department for Education and has enabled every child in the school access to a musical instrument and music tutors from Sage Gateshead and the Newcastle and Northumberland Music Education Hub to work with the pupils, their parents and the school staff on a daily basis.

The project is very much about involving the families, supporting aspirations and expectations for their children through music.

For further information please contact: Gaynor Ellis, Marketing & Communications Manager (e)
(t) 0191 443 4613

Date of release – 20 May 2013