A week-long festival of performance and music-making took place recently, as over 650 children from the Windmill and Low Road Music Federation celebrated the successful completion of Low Road Primary School’s first In Harmony year with Opera North.
From concerts and a ceilidh in a ‘Big Top’ in the school grounds to performances in living rooms and residential homes, pupils from years 1-6 entertained friends, family and the wider community with their instrumental skills and musicianship. Throughout the week, they were joined by the children from Windmill Primary School in Belle Isle, which has been involved with the pioneering In Harmony project since its inception in 2013.
Opera North Education Director, Jacqui Cameron, said:
“It’s wonderful to see the impact that placing music at the very heart of the school has had on the children involved. We’ve been really impressed with the enthusiasm shown by the young people at both schools and the incredible results they’ve managed to achieve. The In Harmony Summer Festival was a great opportunity for everyone to celebrate the first birthday of In Harmony at Low Road, to see the amazing instrumental skills the children have acquired and to join them in celebrating the progress they have made.”
The In Harmony residency was created with the aim of enriching lives, transforming aspirations and engaging the next generation through community-based music-making and professional tuition. Every child is supported to learn to sing and to play an instrument through the provision of weekly choral and orchestral experiences at school, as well as taking part in movement and theatre workshops and other creative projects.
The children also have the opportunity to join in arts-based after-school activities three times a week and work together to stage performances within the community and further afield. Over 900 pupils have already benefitted from the project, with increased self-confidence, teamwork and engagement across both schools and a significant improvement in the children’s SATs results.