Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall meets TGS staff and students at London Chamber Orchestra’s Music Junction Programme

On Wednesday 4 May, 2016, the London Chamber Orchestra’s Patron, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall, listened to the dress rehearsal of I Am You, Brave and Strong – a new work commissioned by LCO for Music Junction, the orchestra’s education and outreach programme. TGS Head student Isabella Savage and Head of Music Simon Hayward met HRH after the rehearsal.

Composed by award winning Cheryl Frances-Hoad, the work incorporates a theme ‘donated’ by the late Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, alongside contributions from the young student participants of LCO Music Junction. I Am You, Brave and Strong will receive its world premiere at Cadogan Hall on Friday 6 May.

Since 2010 LCO Music Junction has brought together over 1,000 young people from all backgrounds and varying musical ability to share in the joy of creative music-making – helping them to develop empathy, self-confidence and a sense of aspiration, as well as engendering a lasting interest in classical music. Staff and musicians from TGS have helped develop the programme since its inception to the events of this week, hosting music workshops with members of the LCO and developing individual mentoring with students from Skinners Kent Academy and Barnardo’s Meadows School in Southborough.

In a foreword to this year’s world premiere, HRH The Duchess of Cornwall described LCO Music Junction’s impact on young people:

“What makes Music Junction so remarkable is the wide range of backgrounds of the participants – from independent schools to Barnardo’s schools and young carer’s projects. Everyone has something to contribute, and in working together to create a piece, they have grown not only in their understanding of music, but of each other.”

The premiere of I Am You, Brave and Strong will feature 130 children, aged between 9 and 17 and drawn from 14 schools and organisations across Havering, Waltham Forest, Kent and Berkshire, including students from TGS. They all met together for the first time at the dress rehearsal following six months of workshops.

The rehearsal took place at The People’s Palace, part of Queen Mary University of London. The historic venue has seen a number of important premieres since it opened in 1936, most notably the UK premiere of Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring.

Article written by A Pitts