Organised in partnership with our long-term partner Orchestras Live, First Time Live – Youth is an innovative orchestral touring initiative set up in 2013. It brings orchestral music into the lives of young people aged 10 to 14 across England, many of whom have little or no engagement with the arts.
As part of this project, more than 100 pupils from five secondary schools in Harlow, Essex took part in a series of workshops led by City of London Sinfonia musicians and music leader John K Miles this February. They worked together to create a collaborative piece for performance: Transition, which focused on the different transitions one might make in life, in particular the journey from primary to secondary school. Together with the young musicians, the orchestra performed in two orchestral concerts – one for an audience of primary school groups and the other for parents, carers and the general public.
“With this generation only caring about the latest pop songs, First Time Live gives us a chance to break away from this way of thinking and discover the classical wonders that the orchestra can offer.” – Sarah Ngochinya, pupil at one of the participating First Time Live secondary schools, February 2015.
In addition to those performing, a group of students acted as young producers, choosing the orchestra pieces to be performed alongside Transition, publicising the project, and presenting the concerts. John K Miles also led workshops at the primary schools beforehand, helping to broaden the reach of the project and further inspire involvement in music.
It really was a fantastic project – many thanks to all involved!