The Journal Culture Awards 2014 saw Newcastle’s Hawthorn Primary School - specifically the young members of its In Harmony orchestra - named as the inaugural recipients of the Special Award for Young Achievement.
Based in one of the most underprivileged wards in England, the school was chosen to take part in the three-year In Harmony project in 2012.
In Harmony is part of a national programme, funded by Arts Council England and the Department for Education, that aims to inspire and transform the lives of children in deprived communities within the UK, using the power and disciplines of music-making.
It is based on the El Sistema musical programme founded in Venezuela, which produced the world famous Simón Bolivar Orchestra and is credited with steering young people away from drugs and crime.
In Harmony is modelled around the schoolchildren participating in an orchestra, and Royal Northern Sinfonia, orchestra of Sage Gateshead, are central to this project working with Hawthorn Primary School and Ashfield Nursery.
The project has already enabled every child in the school access to a musical instrument and music tutors visit on a daily basis allowing the children to learn to play music.
The Journal Culture Awards were delighted to welcome a group of the talented children on stage at Sunderland Minster on Tuesday night to show us what they have been learning.
A Star Wars medley and an extract from Autumn, Vivaldi’s Four Seasons had the audience on their feet.