After four fun-filled years RPO Resound’s innovative secondary schools music programme 7UP has come to an end with one final musical extravaganza. The special showcase concert took place on Tuesday, 17th July at Kingsbury High School in Brent and was attended by Guest of Honour, Cllr Arshad Mahmood, Mayor of Brent and an audience of over 100 friends and family.
An enthusiastic and dedicated ensemble of thirty-five Year 7 students from Kingsbury High School took to the stage alongside the Year 8 Kingsbury Ensemble, Brent Music Service Guitar Ensemble North and an octet of RPO musicians to perform brand new compositions inspired by the interrelated stories of Romeo and Juliet and West Side Story. The concert was the culmination of a year-long programme of activities in Kingsbury High School which saw all of the schools 334 Year 7 cohort work with RPO Workshop Leader James Redwood and musicians from the Orchestra to create new music, learn new musical instruments and perform for both their peers and a public audience.
Kingsbury High School, Head of Music, Emily Eastmond said “It’s so important to have professional arts organisation like the RPO come into my school because it widens the student’s outlook and gives them an opportunity to work with excellent musicians. Some students may not have seen some of the instruments being played live before and having more musicians in the classroom enables the students to achieve more in a shorter space of time”.
A collaboration between the RPO and Brent Music Service, the lead organisation from the Brent Music Education Hub, 7UP was a programme of musical activities which aimed to drive curriculum reform across secondary school music departments and address issues around sustained musical progression during the primary to secondary school transition period in the London Borough of Brent.
Supported through a grant of £100,000 from John Lyon’s Charity, the programme has supported and enhanced the delivery of the Year 7 music curriculum in twelve secondary schools in Brent over the last four years. 7UP has enabled over 2,750 11-12 year olds to access high quality, practical music-making and listening experiences, alongside professional development resources and activities for music teachers. The programme has stretched and challenged pupils, raising musical aspirations and established a strong network of music teachers within the borough. In total, the programme has delivered twenty-one teacher training sessions, seventy-seven workshops, composed twenty-three new pieces of music and performed fifty-nine concerts for and with children from the Borough.