Yesterday evening (Sunday 17 August 2014), seventeen Every Child a Musician (EcAM) participants from the London Borough of Newham were given the chance of a lifetime as they performed their very own creative composition alongside the RPO at Newham’s annual Under the Stars concert.
The piece was written over four days of creative workshops with RPO musicians, during which participants learned about Elgar’s 'Enigma' Variations before trying their own hands at writing themes and variations about friends, family and people in their community.
In the build-up to the final performance, we asked the participants what they thought of this whirlwind week:
“I personally think that this opportunity/week has been amazing and spectacular. We’ve been challenged by identifying various notes within complex phrases. I learnt new techniques and the project helped me improve my musical skills and I feel honoured. The RPO were fantastic and it was brilliant watching them rehearse. And we even saw the conductor accidentally throw his stick; it was extremely hilarious. Despite us working hard, we still had the most fun of our lives. This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.” – Ahmed, 11
“I really enjoyed my week this week. It was very difficult in the beginning, but as we got to put it together it sounded lovely and I hope I will get another chance to work with the RPO and Under the Stars.” – Jessica, 12
“I enjoyed this project because I learnt new notes in the music and had fun doing it. This has made me better at playing trombone and at playing music. I learnt that if I make mistakes, I just have to learn from it and try again.” – Enock, 11
“I really enjoyed this week because I got to spend the whole week with my friends and hear all the different instruments, such as the vibraphone, which I had never seen or heard before. I am quite nervous for the performance because I have a two-bar solo, as well as a quartet playing the original ‘Enigma’ theme. I am also excited to meet the Orchestra. I would rate my experience as 11 out of 10!” – Ellie, 12
This project was in partnership with London Borough of Newham and took place at East Ham Town Hall and Cadogan Hall on 11–14 August, culminating in a final performance at East Ham Central Park on Sunday 17 August.