LCO launches 2015/16 Music Junction programme with ‘Ode to Joy’ Flash Mobs in Partner Schools

The London Chamber Orchestra’s groundbreaking outreach project will introduce hundreds of school children to Beethoven’s Ninth throughout November.
LCO’s Music Junction kicks off its 15/16 programme this month with four days of Flash Mobs in partner schools and organisations across Kent, Berkshire, Waltham Forest and Havering.
A specially arranged version of ‘Ode to Joy’ from Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony will be heard by children from schools, music authorities and young carer organisations when LCO Musicians and Music Junction Mentors – the more experienced members of the Music Junction programme – perform unannounced in assemblies, dining halls and classrooms in nine institutions across four days.
Now in its sixth year, LCO Music Junction aspires to effect social change, bringing together young people from different backgrounds to encourage communication and confidence building through shared musical experience.
Last month, participants met with LCO Music Director and Principal Conductor Christopher Warren-Green at Bancroft’s School in Essex to rehearse and film their Flash Mobs before starting their ‘surprise’ tour of Beethoven’s seminal work.
Following the performance, LCO Musicians and Music Junction Mentors then set up instrument try-out stations for their surprised young audience members, many of whom have never played a musical instrument in their lives before.
LCO Music Junction now comprises 15 partner organisations and a participant core of 160 children drawn from very diverse social backgrounds. Each year the creative work is based around LCO’s season programme; Music Junction’s four geographical hubs work separately and intensely from January through to May creating musical material with LCO musicians, workshop leaders and a creative leader.
After visiting Sir Peter Maxwell Davies in Orkney earlier this year, Rosemary Warren-Green, LCO Education and Outreach Artistic Director, was delighted by the offer from the composer to write a theme for this year’s Music Junction. Participants working with composer Cheryl Frances-Hoad will use Sir Peter’s theme to create a work for chamber orchestra that they will perform with the London Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Christopher Warren-Green, on May 6th 2016 in Cadogan Hall, Chelsea.

London Chamber Orchestra  “Ode To Joy” Flash-Mob
by Jessica L, Year 10

On Wednesday 4th November, the Year 10 GCSE Music class had the opportunity to play with 10 members of the London Chamber Orchestra in front of the Year 7's. We performed the Ode to Joy from Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. Those of us who played orchestral instruments performed it, while those who didn’t sang along. We practiced with the LCO members before the Year 7’s arrived, so that we could have the chance to play the piece up to speed and get any last minute advice. The majority of us were surprised at the quick tempo, and were quite grateful for the practice.

We performed the Ode To Joy in the style of a flash-mob. While the Year 7’s were filing in, the whole orchestra went off-stage, so that we could come on just before we began to play our part of the piece. It commenced with the double bassist, and then around ten bars later the cellists and the bassoonist joined in. Afterwards, the flautists and violinists started to play the main melody of the piece. Finally, the wind, brass and percussion (consisting of a timpani, triangle, French horn, oboist and saxophone) joined in at the B-section. What we particularly enjoyed about the experience, was that we were able to play with much more experienced musicians and were able to learn a lot from them.