Manchester Symphony taking shape

Posted on October 22, 2010

Over the coming season 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 responsibility of creating the Symphony’s first movement fell to a group of Year 5 children from St Philips Church of England Primary School, in Hulme. They’ve been spending the week exploring the classical and neo-classically inspired architecture of Manchester, gaining inspiration for a musical performance.

The results of their labours can be seen at a pre-concert event at the RNCM starting at 6.30pm before Camerata’s Pictures from St Petersburg concert on Saturday 23 October 2010.

This ambitious learning and participation project is being 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.

  Urban Symphony Project Workshop

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Urban Symphony Project Street Workshop   The children were given an an exclusive tour with their musical mentors of Manchester Central Library and the Town Hall Extension, currently being remodelled by Ian Simpson Architects who are advising for the whole of this exciting educational project.

The creative team also includes three Manchester Camerata musicians plus composer Kate Pearson, and video artist Will Robinson.

Together they’ll be helping each group of children create a piece of music which reflects a particular strand of architecture. The children will then première their `Movement’ on stage at the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM), prior to Manchester Camerata concerts whose programming shares some links with the architectural theme they have been exploring.

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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.”

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

  Urban Symphony Education Project