Deprived Families To Benefit From Musical Funding Boost

Posted on July 25, 2012

Manchester Camerata is delighted to be a partner of In Harmony, transforming the lives of children in deprived communities through orchestral music-making.

In HarmonyIn Harmony – an innovative project to introduce and encourage young people in Telford and Wrekin and Stoke on Trent to learn music and make music together – has been awarded £575,000 funding from Arts Council England and the Department for Education.

Telford and Wrekin Music is one of four organisations nationwide chosen to deliver an In Harmony project from now until 2015, bringing the total of In Harmony projects to six.

In Harmony is a national programme based on the Venezuelan El Sistema, which aims to inspire and transform the lives of children in deprived communities by using the power and disciplines of community-based orchestral music making.

The new project will build on the experiences and achievements of the existing In Harmony projects, following shared core principles while responding to local circumstances and needs.

Through this project, Telford and Wrekin Music will be working across two local authorities working with and linking two local communities through orchestral playing.

Telford and Wrekin Music will use the money to work over the next two and a half years with two schools – Old Park Primary School in Malinslee and Heron Cross Primary School in Stoke on Trent.

This will be in conjunction with partners Manchester Camerata, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Staffordshire Performing Arts, Stoke on Trent Music Service and Telford and Wrekin Music.

In Harmony projects are encouraged to be entrepreneurial and to inspire other investment to help secure a sustainable longer term future.

They operate within a national evaluation framework to ensure they provide evidence demonstrating how the In Harmony approach can transform the lives of children and their families in area of deprivation.

Councillor Arnold England, cabinet member for Children, Young People and Families, said:

“This is fantastic news for Telford and Wrekin Music and I am delighted that our application has been successful. In Harmony is modelled around children participating in an orchestra with children playing instruments together several times a week from an early age. It seeks to engage all children in the school or community in which a project operates and it is open to all.”

The focus is on making music in an ensemble with everyone helping each other. It is this aspect that develops community cohesion, social awareness, teamwork and fun.

The programme provides opportunities to perform live to family and friends, community and family music inspire days, visits to Symphony Hall in Birmingham and The Bridgewater Hall in Manchester to hear the two orchestras live in concert.

Ros Robins, West Midlands Director with Arts Council England, said:

“We are delighted that a school in Telford and one in Stoke on Trent will benefit from the In Harmony commissions, which will introduce innovative music projects to immerse every student in both primary schools in learning and playing music together.

“Musicians from the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Manchester Camerata will provide whole school musical learning including instrumental tuition, ensemble playing and wider community-based musical activities.

“It is a wonderful opportunity for these young people to be involved in making and learning about music.”