Our education programme climbed new heights in 2016 reaching over 2500 children, travelling further afield in the UK, working with a broader age range and delivering a more diverse group of projects: from our fantastic new primary schools project Stories in Sound, to a performance at Grange Park with young singers, to chamber music speed-dating at Hull University!
Our new Stories in Sound project in collaboration with Neil Valentine (BSO Associate Artist) and Wiltshire Music Centre took place in June when we visited 9 primary schools in 3 days. Each school created their own unique story performed with narration and live soundtrack, and the visit culminated in a family concert at the fabulous Neeld Concert Hall in Chippenham. The schools were also given a Stories in Sound resource pack which included lesson plans, recordings by the Berkeley Ensemble and information about the music. Press play below to hear the Berkeley Ensemble’s interpretation of a graphic score based on ‘Space’ from this project. The project was such a success that we took it to the Little Venice Music Festival in October for a repeat performance in schools around Little Venice. Plans are now afoot to expand the project to incorporate a word artist, a theatre group and even bigger and better scores.
Lift Off! by the Berkeley Ensemble:
A new collaboration for 2016 with Primary Robins involved members of the ensemble visiting schools in Winchester to introduce the instruments to the children and to work with the children on their songs. This culminated in a fantastic event at Grange Park Opera on July for the children’s Summer Concert where the schools joined together to sing, accompanied by the Berkeley Ensemble.
In the autumn, our visit to the specialist speech and language school in Surrey, Meath School, was another highlight for the ensemble. Working in such a fantastic and inspiring school was a real treat. It gave us the opportunity to approach the design of our workshops differently, to consider more deeply how music can be a vessel for communication and to incorporate many more fun visual elements. We’re looking forward to returning to Meath School in 2017.
Our residencies at Ibstock Place School and Hutton Grammar School are still going strong and we continue to see fantastic results for GCSE and A Level composition. The ensemble is able to support the curriculum by providing live performance, analysis, workshops and coaching to augment these excellent music departments.
Much more happened in 2016 including our residency at Hull University, the chamber music course in Somerset and a wonderful project at Woodfield SEN School in Surrey. To read about what is coming up next check out our post tomorrow where we talk about everything we have planned for 2017!