New music for a new generation.

(DURHAM) It’s been a busy few months. Looking back on the year so far, I’m certainly most proud of the outreach work that my colleague Mark Carroll and I have been doing in a couple of schools in County Durham. We offered a series of sessions with pre-GCSE students (around 13 years of age) at Wellfield School and Shotton Hall Academy, with another cohort coming in from Seaham – in all about 50 students were involved, dipping their toes in the waters of 20th/21st century music history and practice. We had a fantastic time with them, sparking their interest in the myriad possibilities available to the modern composer. Yesterday we finished off the programme series with a concert by Durham Uni’s current ensemble in residence, Ensemble 7Bridges, who played a concert of completely new pieces by Durham composers. For many of the students (almost all of whom are from the northeast), it was their first time to visit a university music school. Needless to say, they were very excited and it was such a treat to show them round, let them interact with the performers and composers, and to give them a small taste of what it’s like to prepare a concert of new music with professional musicians. Many thanks to Durham University for their generous Seedcorn Grant which funded the project!

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