Through its flagship project ‘Crescendo’, Welsh Sinfonia will work with Christ College, supporting our aspiring instrumental players as they are given the opportunity to perform exciting orchestral repertoire, with professional musicians from Welsh Sinfonia sitting alongside them in a major concert each year.
Director of Music at Christ College, Jonathan Ling, said: “As well as helping to develop instrumental playing at Christ College, there will be a benefit to the whole community in terms of familiarising the next generation of audiences and players with classical music.”
Welsh Sinfonia’s Mark Eager said: “Music is a considerable force in developing young people’s minds, feeding them creatively and stimulating their interest in a range of subjects, positively and vibrantly. Learning instruments is terrific and must be encouraged, but listening to and understanding great music is even more important as it can benefit everyone. It’s never too soon to get the brain turned on to classical music; young people are our future audiences and some of them even our future performers.”
On Monday 22nd September Mark Eager delivered the latest in a series of Crescendo workshops at Christ College as our musicians work towards a concert later this year. The Welsh Sinfonia’s ‘Crescendo’ project, which is supported and partially funded by the Arts Council of Wales, will see The Welsh Sinfonia professionals working with pupils in up to five secondary schools a year all over Wales. A rolling, structured five year programme will cover all aspects of playing classical music in an orchestra, including a leadership and teamwork module relevant to life out of school, delivered by Neath-based youth motivation organisation, Call of the Wild.
The Crescendo project was successfully piloted in 2013 at St John Baptist in Aberdare, whose fledgling orchestra has as a result opted to play an all-classical programme this year. New schools in 2014 are Bro Ddyffi in Machynlleth, Sandfields Comprehensive in Port Talbot, Bryn Hyfryd in Ruthin, and Christ College
The Welsh Sinfonia is also hitting the road with its Crescendo Tour, which is part of the orchestra’s ground-breaking project to build classical orchestras in secondary schools. The young orchestral players they are working with are encouraged to attend the concerts to hear what a full 30-strong professional chamber orchestra sounds like, and to introduce them to a wide range of serious but accessible music played by a highly-regarded orchestra which holds a special place in the musical life of Wales. This includes a concert at Christ College on Friday 16th January 2015 in Y Neuadd Goffa: The Memorial Hall.
The programmes include well known, well-loved works as well as the orchestra’s signature inclusion of 20th century masters, contemporary Welsh music and a new piece from the orchestra’s composer in residence, Michael Csanyi-Wills. Mendelssohn’s Fingal’s Cave, Beethoven’s First Symphony and Fauré’s Pavane sit happily alongside Prokofiev’s First (Classical) Symphony, Gareth Glyn’s Legend of the Lake, and Seagull Nebula by Csanyi-Wills.
The tour comes just months after the orchestra’s maestro, Mark Eager, ran from St David’s Hall in Cardiff to the Royal Albert Hall in London to raise funds for and awareness of the Crescendo Project.
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