As part of Westminster Music Library’s Behind the Lines* programme, we are delivering no fewer than six creative projects in schools all over Westminster and the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea. The first of these projects took place earlier this month, with the final performance on Wednesday 11 December.
Working with a group of pupils aged 12-15 from Sion Manning Roman Catholic Girls School, Workshop Leader Tim Steiner and 3 musicians from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) explored the works the composer Maurice Ravel and the devastating effects of World War One. At the outset of the project the pupils were taken to see the RPO rehearse at Cadogan Hall, where, among other pieces of repertoire, they got to hear Ravel’s Tombeau de Couperin, which he wrote during the war.
The group then visited Westminster Music Library for an introductory session, where the pupils were able to discover the vast selection of books and music scores on the shelves. The sight reading skills of the three RPO musicians were certainly put to the test, when each pupil was given the opportunity to put their chosen score in front of the musicians to play on the spot!
Creativity really took hold once we moved into the school itself, with stimulating workshops using a combination of instrumental composition, poetry readings, and vocal exercises. The resulting final piece was extremely haunting, with the pupils using interesting instrumental effects to create an eerie sound world, as well as beautiful wordless vocal lines.
*Behind the Lines is a year-long programme of participatory events run by Westminster Music Library in partnership with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, to encourage local communities from across Westminster and Kensington and Chelsea to engage with the Library and its collections.
The programme uses the centenary of the First World War as inspiration for a series of interactive workshops and creative projects designed for adult, family and school participants.
There are plenty of music workshops to come for all ages and abilities, check out our website: http://www.musicbehindthelines.org/ to find out more.