During the 2018-2019 season we have worked in the three ways:
1. Arranging and funding visits by professional musicians
In November 2018 The Martinu string quartet, a Czech group, visited Avenue Junior School and St Francis of Assisi RC Primary School, following a concert in Norwich and ahead of playing live on BBC Radio 3. Approximately 200 children heard them demonstrate the range of their instruments. The players illustrated parts of the music which represented the rhythm of a train and the song of a bird, so that the children could listen for them in excerpts of Czech music.
The Chroma Ensemble Schools Project in March 2019, culminating in the concert at the John Innes Centre, was the major project directly organized and funded by NNCM this year.
The might of the brass section arrived in Norwich for three fantastic, lively days. They reached almost 1000 children, visiting Avenue Junior School, Bignold Primary School, Cringleford Primary, Eaton Primary, Costessey Junior and Yaxham C of E Primary School. Approximately 300 of those pupils were later at the concert at the John Innes Conference Centre.
The theme was film scores from films based on children’s books. Ryan Hume, trombonist, prepared musical arrangements for the brass quartet, especially for us. We heard the full range of the trumpet, trombone, French horn and tuba, plus a percussionist with glockenspiel and drum kit on stage for the concluding concert. The children’s attention was caught and held by music they recognised from ‘Harry Potter’, ‘The Jungle Book’, ‘The Hobbit’, ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ and ‘The Wizard of Oz’, plus some James Bond!
The musicians’ relaxed, welcoming and interactive approach engaged the pupils, as well as skilfully conveying information to them, about the workings of brass instruments and some of their history. The announcement that the concert was nearly over was met with disappointment; they left with smiles and spontaneous thanks; and the strains of ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow’ drifted back into the auditorium as the children headed to their waiting coaches.
2. Funding support and encouragement to talented students
Direct support was given through student bursaries for three pupils engaging in ensemble work at the Norfolk Centre for Young Musicians which meets at the Eaton CNS School on Saturdays. This is a division of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama based at the Barbican, London.
Support was given towards the Norfolk Young Musicians Competition arranged by the Michael Badminton Young Musicians Trust, including the award of the Woodwind Prize, won this year by young bassoonist Joanna Asher.
3. Funding support for Sistema, working in less advantaged areas
Donations were made to Sistema Norwich, which works with children of both primary and secondary age, to introduce the enjoyment and discipline of music-making into schools which have not had such resources. The specific donation this year was to help fund performance projects, contributing to the costs of the various venues.
Sincere thanks are due to our generous donors and all those who participated and helped in any way.