OAEducation - Durham

The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (OAEducation) gave two performances on Wednesday 30th of January 2019 in two schools in County Durham.

The project followed on from a similar one that took place in London in November 2018. Like the November project, it catered for young musicians including those with Special Educational Needs (SEN).

Again, Purcell's Fairy Queen was the focus of these educational performances and the story of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream was a key element of the workshop and story. Kirsty Hopkins (Soprano) and Timothy Dickinson (Bass) gave fantastic performances as the protagonists and love interests of the story.

The composer and animateur James Redwood enlivened the capacity audiences in these schools and all the students were all able to participate in a meaningful and enjoyable way.

I watched in amazement as a student with hearing difficulties sat on the floor in front of our double bass player, in one of the schools. At times she had been allowed to put her hand on the front of his double bass and she could feel the vibrations coming from it. Most of the time she looked up at John-Henry playing it, with her head tilted almost as far back as possible. She watched him in undistracted awe and she had the look of someone who was taking it all in.

It's always amazing to hear children singing and playing instruments with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. The fantastic music captivated the young people's imaginations and it was great to see total participation throughout.

I played first trumpet with Will Russell on second and Will Edwards on percussion.

Congratulations and thanks to all involved in another excellent OAEducation project and special thanks must go to the animateur, teachers and assistants who ensured the smooth running of the workshops.

Russell Gilmour
Russell Gilmour Blog
writing on music, photography, engraving, travel and life as a freelance professional musician.