Stafford’s Symphony Success

Posted on May 3, 2011

The culmination of the Stafford Urban Symphony project took place on Friday 29 April 2011, when students from Cardinal Griffin Catholic High School joined forces with Camerata’s creative team to produce their own piece of work in response to the majestic Elizabethan architecture of Stafford’s Ancient High House.

The Ancient High House is without doubt one of the finest Tudor buildings in the country, making it a perfect choice for our project. Having once dominated Stafford’s skyline, it is now the largest remaining timber framed town house in England. Pupils from Cardinal Griffin Catholic High School in Stafford worked with composer Andy Smith, film maker Russ Armstrong and Camerata musicians Ben Hudson and Esther Ingham to create their own music and film inspired by the design and history of this incredible Elizabethan building.   Students playing instruments
Stafford Urban Symphony ensemble   At the start of the four day project, the class had a day to explore the town house along with the team and tour guide Penny Holdcroft, examining the architectural features and using music and drama to focus on associations with King Charles I and the English Civil War. The students learnt about the history of the building and took film to form the backdrop to their music. This was then followed by three days back at school in which the students edited the film and began to create their own soundtrack.

Three short films were created during the project, the drama being centred on the residence of King Charles I at the Ancient High House in 1642. The music accompanying each short film reflected this interesting period of history in both musical form and style.

The final performance was given at the Stafford Gatehouse Theatre to an appreciative audience of family and friends.

Keep watching this page for the three film clips.