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This term over 200 primary school pupils gathered at Heworth Grange Academy to hear Royal Northern Sinfonia play a special concert for them in November 2018.

Shahed Al-Rajab, a pupil at Carr Hill Primary School, attended the concert. Shahed who is ten years old and has only been in England since the end of September 2018 and doesn’t speak much English loved the concert, describing how it made her feel warm and calm.

“_I very (much) loved the afternoon at Heworth and loved listening to the playing of the different songs from the people in the orchestra. I liked this a lot. I liked listening to all the instruments especially the violins, flutes and the big harp. The music made me feel really happy, calm and relaxed. I have never been to a performance like this but hope to go back again soon. I am learning to play the violin in my school, with my new friends, and I have been doing this for the last four/five weeks. I am playing at the church with the school next week. When I was living in Lebanon I learnt the flute. I want to keep practising the violin, so I can play like the people in the orchestra.

“When I play the violin, I feel warm and calm and just love the feeling that playing music gives. I felt the same when I was listening to the performance_.”

Other schools who attended the performance included, Lingey House, St Alban’s, Whitemere, Windy Nook and Bill Quay Primary as well as Heworth Grange Academy.

As part of the orchestra’s 60th birthday, Sage Gateshead are appealing for contributions to help support this very kind of social and community work carried out by the orchestra. The funds will help enable them to take the very best in classical music to as wide an audience as possible to continue to reach those who may not be able to travel to Sage Gateshead and to work with children and young people and inspiring the next generation of classical music fans.

With a target of £60,000 to be met by the end of the 18/19 classical season (June 2019), the appeal is for donations to either mark the year the orchestra was founded with a monthly direct debit of £19.58 or a donation of £60 to help celebrate the 60th anniversary. As an incentive, anyone who donates is entered into a prize draw. The winner is given the opportunity for a quartet/quintet to play in their living room or local community centre and the chance to chat to the musicians afterwards – a chamber ensemble in their chamber!

Read about the campaign and make a donation here

Photo Credit: Mark Savage