'Imagine' concert in Whittlesey celebrates world music and brings children together with Grand Union Orchestra members
PUBLISHED: 15:08 22 March 2017
More than 90 young people joined musicians from the Grand Union Orchestra for a concert in Whittlesey on Saturday (March 18).
Held at Sir Harry Smith Community College, the ‘Imagine’ concert was the culmination of a six-month project organised by Market Place, 20Twenty Productions and Cambridgeshire Music Partnership.
Throughout February and March, Grand Union Orchestra musicians worked with children from Coates Primary School, Park Lane Primary School, and Sir Harry Smith Community College as well as local adult musicians from the Whittlesey Wind Ensemble.
During the rehearsal they explored music stories of land, sea, and myths from around the world.
Shanti Jayasinha, Grand Union Orchestra Project Leader, said: “It’s evenings like this that remind me how amazing it is to create musical experiences with young people - all of the children gave 100 per cent in the performance and achieved more than I could have imagined.
“They improvised on an Indian raag, played African drums, Reggae, Brazilian Samba, Bhangra and sung their hearts out - even encouraging the audience to try and match them. It was a truly memorable event.”
Sue Bradshaw, a teacher at Park Lane Primary School, said: “What an amazing, inspirational experience.
“The atmosphere was electric on Saturday evening as parents and members of the community joined us in a celebration of world music.
“ Our musicians have developed their skills in musical improvisation as well as their confidence by working alongside nurturing, talented musicians - this whole experience has been highly motivating for all students involved.”
Lin Hetherington, deputy leader of the Cambridgeshire Music Partnership, said: “I was delighted to overhear enthusiastic parents in the audience and felt so proud of the whole project.
“It is amazing what can be achieved in such a short space of time. I was impressed with how the dedicated staff from the schools involved were willing to give up their time to support music in school. How lovely to have some members of the community involved too.”
Catherine Mummery, Market Place programme manager, said: “This project was all about bringing people together to share and learn about different music traditions from around the world through workshops and performance.
“Whittlesey is well known for the Straw Bear Festival and I particularly enjoyed the number that merged the Straw Bear dance with a South African township tune.
“Finding what unites us and creating a celebratory event unique a particular place is integral to the Market Place approach as a Creative People and Places project.”