We recently finished a fantastic project working with schools across Nottinghamshire, marking the 100 anniversary of the Armistice.  Students from Wadsworth Fields and Leen Mills Schools worked with composer James Redwood to create new songs inspired by local stories from The Great War, including getting hands on with the Fanny Taylor artefact crate.  They performed their new pieces at a special concert in St. Mary’s Church, Nottingham, accompanied by Sinfonia Viva, and conducted by renowned choral conductor, David Lawrence.  The concert also included poetry readings, a specially-commissioned performance of chamber music extracts from Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem.

We wanted to share some brilliant feedback we had from Gail Brown, a teacher from Leen Mills Primary School

“The whole experience was wonderful. I loved how the musicians and leaders got really hands on with the children and really helped with the song writing.  There is so little time in school to do this kind of creative composing, it was so refreshing and inspiring.  Viva are a tremendous team - they were all totally professional, but fun and inspiring.  Their own love for their job came across and filtered through in how they worked with the children.  The resources, stimulus and information given before the project began was perfect. 

I was overwhelmed by the concert and so very proud.  The children did our school proud.  The concert programme was great, very well constructed and well prepared.  The visuals, written poems and programme were fabulous and made the whole concert a totally multi-senses experience.  I thought the mixture of classical extracts and the children’s own work was a great blend.  We have had wonderful comments and feedback from audience members and parents who came to watch.

So many wonderful skills have been developed during this project. Children’s self-esteem, self-belief, self-worth.  Ability to perform in front of a live audience, with a professional orchestra. Believing that they are capable of writing their own songs and performing it confidently to others.  I would hope to continue this positivity, creativity and music in offering our children other opportunities to perform and composer music themselves.

We would love to be involved in any other further projects – this has been a wonderful experience, one that we will remember for a very long time.”