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Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment Anthem project: York









 
The NCEM and the University of York worked in partnership with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment to bring Anthem for a Child to young people in York. Anthem is OAE's flagship education project, its most exciting and ambitious to date. Students in primary, secondary and university education in the city had the opportunity of taking part, as part of a national programme of events.
 
Primary School Children
Teachers from Bootham Junior, Dringhouses, Dunnington and Heworth Primary Schools were given an initial training session in November 2011 by Cherry Forbes, Education Director of the OAE, and violinist Hetty Wayne.  Each teacher was presented with an extensive Teacher Pack containing information about the orchestra and its instruments, resources for teaching the Anthem music and ideas and suggestions for additional projects and activities.  In February, musicians from the orchestra returned to York and led lively workshops with the children in each of the four schools.  Students from the Music Education Group at the University of York were on hand to support the OAE team.
 
The project culminated in a concert in March 2012 when all four schools finally came together. This was the last schools concert of the OAE's tour and the Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall at the University of York provided the perfect setting. It was a fantastic event with 250 school children attending and singing together. The concert was introduced by James Redwood, composer of My Cry and Twangling Instruments which the children had learnt, and members of the orchestra talked about their instruments and the pieces they played.  A firm favourite was the musical battle in which the musicians used their instruments as pretend weapons.  The climax of the event was the stunning rendition by 250 children's voices of My Cry.
 
Minster Minstrels
York's youth early music ensemble, the Minster Minstrels , had the opportunity of a day of coaching at the NCEM with members of the orchestra and were invited to take part in a massed concert in London, the culmination of the national project.  For more information click here .  
 
University of York students
The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment joined forces with the University of York Baroque Ensemble and Chamber Choir for a concert at the NCEM in March 2012. This celebratory concert marked both the culmination of the orchestra's coaching sessions and creative work with the students and the end of the orchestra's nationwide Anthem tour. It was a special place for them to end the tour; four of its members had studied music at the University of York.
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Anthem for a Child, the OAE's flagship education project, was its most ambitious to date. Working across the country in nine locations from Devon to York, the OAE worked with over 5000 primary pupils, 300 secondary students and 200 university students. The project aimed not only to engage young people in musical activity, but also to leave behind a lasting legacy of enthusiasm and excitement for music and music-making, to 'pass on the baton' in sound.
 
A common factor in the nationwide tour was the performance by all the children involved of two newly-commissioned pieces by James Redwood. Each concert began with the Fanfare Twangling Instruments and ended with My Cry, a song which celebrates the power of each individual singer and their combined power as a choir. Every young person took part, either singing or playing in these pieces which were written to accommodate a range of different instruments to perform alongside the Orchestra.