Hulme Primary School kicks off Urban Symphony

Posted on October 9, 2010

Over the next few months 120 primary school children from across Greater Manchester will be working with Camerata musicians, architects and a visual artist to create a Manchester Symphony inspired by the city’s architecture.  The first `Movement’ will be performed before Manchester Camerata’s concert at the RNCM on 23 October 2010.

This ambitious learning and participation project run in collaboration with The Bridgewater Hall is linked to the orchestra’s theme for the season – Urban Symphonies – and involves children from four different primary schools. 

A creative team comprising three Manchester Camerata musicians plus composer Kate Pearson, video artist Will Robinson and the ISA architects will help each group of children to create a piece of music which reflects a particular strand of architecture. The children then have the opportunity to première their `Movement’ on stage at the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM), prior to a Manchester Camerata concert whose programming shares some links with the architectural theme they have been exploring.

All four pieces will be drawn together at the end of the project alongside a fifth movement created by community groups at The Bridgewater Hall, as part of a Manchester Symphony.

  Urban Symphony Education Project

Nick Ponsillo, Head of Learning and Participation at Manchester Camerata, says after months of planning, everything is fitting into place:

“The more we looked at this project the more we realised what a common language there is between architecture and music: we all talk of rhythm, space, structure, pace, tempo and so on. What’s so brilliant about the whole scheme is that it has so many elements from which the children can benefit. Our partners in the project, Ian Simpson architects, are incredibly enthusiastic and want to get as many people as possible involved: they have some wonderful materials – photos, paperwork, designs – to share with the children, which I am sure will be inspirational. And alongside that the children also have the opportunity to experience the thrill of working and performing as equals alongside the professional musicians of Manchester Camerata.”

The responsibility of creating the Symphony’s first movement has fallen  to a group of Year 5 children from St Philips Church of England Primary School, Hulme. Their architectural theme is Classicism and neo-Classicism and on 19 October they will be given an exclusive tour with their musical mentors of Manchester Central Library and the Town Hall Extension, currently being remodelled by Ian Simpson Architects.

They will then spend the next three days working with the musicians and Will Robinson to create a visual and musical response to the bricks and mortar to which they have been exposed. The resulting piece will be performed by the children together with the Manchester Camerata musicians prior to Manchester Camerata’s Pictures from St Petersburg concert on 23 October, which features Prokofiev’s Classical Symphony.

Review Manchester Camerata’s recent Education Projects

Read more about Ian Simpson Architects

Find out more about Manchester Camerata’s concert on 23 October 2010