Manchester Camerata Composition Workshop

On Thursday 27th and Friday 28th April, the Manchester Camerata Orchestra visited Withernsea High School to deliver a composition workshop to 21 of our Year 8 students.

Founded in 1972 and once referred to by The Times newspaper as ‘Britain’s most adventurous orchestra’, the award-winning ensemble have built a reputation for diversity based on collaborations with artists ranging from prominent figures in the classical world through to rock / synth band New Order.

The workshops delivered to our students formed part of a wider project known as ‘Classically Yours’ – a series of events in celebration of Hull’s year as City of Culture which aim to increase the amount of high quality music available in the county and encourage more participation in arts and culture.

Two musicians from the orchestra, plus a community musician from the ‘Classically Yours’ team, worked with Year 8 to compose two pieces of music with the intention of performing these at a range of events over the course of 2017 and in to 2018.

During the workshops, students used a range of instruments to create expressive pieces inspired by imagery of Withernsea. Students were shown silent footage from around the town and were asked to think about the type of atmosphere, sounds and styles that would match the visuals. Students then worked in small groups and as a whole to create, share and perform their ideas. 

Two additional workshops are planned for the second half of the summer term where students will refine their ideas and bring their performances up to a professional standard in preparation for their first live performance in July.

Music teacher Rebecca Tillman commented, ‘The students were an absolute credit to the school. The visiting musicians commented on the talent they displayed and how well they engaged with the project. I would like to thank the Camerata and the ‘Classically Yours’ project team for choosing Withernsea as their focus. Both myself and the students really appreciate it’.

The students’ work will be premiered at Withernsea Carnival on Saturday 22nd July with a follow-up performance booked for the residents of a local care home at the Meridian Centre on Thursday 18th October.

The culmination of the collaboration will see our students given the unique opportunity to perform alongside two professional orchestras, the Manchester Camerata and Sinfonia Viva, on stage at Bridlington Spa on Sunday 28th January 2018. This once in a lifetime experience is sure to be one which the students will never forget.

For more information about the Manchester Camerata Orchestra and Classically Yours, please visit the links below.

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