An orchestra plays on a wooden panelled stage, with a large screen above them showing a  yellow background and a stick-like human figure

Tuesday 29 March 2022 marked the culmination of ‘Express Yourself’, the 2022 edition of the Wandsworth Special Schools project developed by long-time partners Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Wandsworth Music.

Starting in January 2022, the project has reached over 245 primary and secondary age pupils from five schools located in the borough. Pupils with a range of special educational needs and disabilities had an opportunity to gain new skills while experimenting with both music and animation-based activities. The final concert at Fairfield Halls in Croydon, London, featured participants’ musical and visual creations devised during the workshops, bringing to light the creativity, talent and performance skills of the participants.

Dan White, Wandsworth Music Chief Executive and Chris Spreadbury, Wandsworth Music Instrumental Music Manager share their perceptions about the project:

‘The workshops with Paul were once again, a particular highlight of Wandsworth Music’s year. The children worked so well together to produce an inspiring, and musically impressive composition - each school having significant input into the final piece. This year was particularly impressive musically, with several children taking part in their second, third, and even fourth workshops with Paul and the RPO. Without exception, the students always come running into the room, desperate to get started with the music and leave with a huge smile on their faces. It’s an amazing opportunity for our young people to be able to work with, and perform alongside inspirational musicians from the RPO. To see the children’s confidence develop during the project, and to perform with such energy, excitement and joy on the Fairfield Halls stage was truly inspirational!’

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