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What's on: Halle Orchestra, Blackburn, June 22
ALMOST 1,000 local schoolchildren are to perform with one of Britain’s best-known orchestras next week in an East Lancashire first.
Pupils from 14 primary schools in Blackburn and Darwen are to accompany the Halle Orchestra in a special concert with an Olympic theme at King George’s Hall, Blackburn, as part of a project to give youngsters first-hand experience of working alongside professional classical musicians.
‘Come and Play with the Halle’ is a national scheme aimed at giving children music education as part of their weekly curriculum which already involves concerts in Nottingham and at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall.
“This is the first time we have done anything like this in Blackburn and Friday’s lunchtime concert has sold out because of the interest of local schools.
“‘Come and Play with the Halle’ allows thousands of schoolchildren to not only listen to a world-class orchestra, but perform alongside one too.
“We are proud to be working alongside the music service on this fantastic project which we hope will inspire the players and audiences of t he future.”
Coun Damian Talbot, executive member for culture and leisure, said: “This initiative is absolutely brilliant. We have worked to build up attendances at evening concerts and particularly wanted to attract the young and turn them on to classical music.
“We are really pleased that the Halle have given us this opportunity and that the schools have taken up the places so keenly. We now want to ensure that this becomes an annual event.”
With the Olympics in mind, they will also sing Terry Caffrey’s sport-inspired Chase Down the Sun.
Under assistant conductor Andrew Gourlay, the concert will also include John Williams’ Olympic Fanfare and Theme and some of his Star Wars soundtrack along with favourites like Rossini’s William Tell Overture and Strauss’s Thunder and Lightning Polka.
Primary schools taking part are: St James’s, Darwen, St Paul’s CE, St Alban’s, St Paul’s RC, Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, St Michael with St John, St Matthew’s CE, St Anne’s RC, Wensley Fold, Holy Trinity, Holy Souls, Brookhouse, St Antony’s and Longshaw Junior. Friday’s initiative will only be half of a hectic day in Blackburn for the 153-year-old orchestra.
In the evening, under conductor Stephen Bell, King George’s Hall will host a ‘Fanfare for The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee — a tribute dedicated to Her Majesty including music from The King's Speech, The Queen and Henry V, as well as royal masterpieces by Elgar, Coates and Walton, including Orb and Sceptre, his 1953 Coronation march.
The concert starts at 7.30pm and tickets, priced from £15 are available from the box office on 0844 847 1664.
From 6 to 7pm Stephen Bell will giving a pre-concert talk. Admission is £3.50, including a glass of wine and canapes.