England

In Harmony project brings orchestras into primary schools

Children taking part in the In Harmony project
Image caption The project hopes to involve children and their families in a community-based orchestra

Leading orchestras will be working with school children in Shropshire and Staffordshire in a £575,000 project.

The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) and Manchester Camerata will visit Old Park Primary School in Malinslee and Heron Cross Primary School in Stoke on Trent.

The In Harmony project, funded by the Arts Council, aims to encourage young people to learn and make music.

The professional musicians will work with children on a weekly basis.

The Army Air Corps Band is also involved in the project, which will see 200 children and their parents introduced to musical instruments over the next three years.

Community orchestra

The project is based on the principles of the El Sistema scheme in Venezuela, whose aim was to inspire and transform the lives of children in poorer communities through the power of music.

Richard Shrewsbury, from the In Harmony project, said: "The El Sistema approach is all about bringing ensemble activities to young people at an early age, so we've got professional musicians coming in and giving these young people the opportunity to work together."

Organisers said their objective is to involve children and their families in the formation of community-based orchestras.

Telford and Wrekin Council is asking for donations of musical instruments that can be used in the project.

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