Music Junction, a project aimed at bringing together young people in North West London to make both music and friends has given its first concert to a rapt Harrow audience.
To end the first year of the three-year partnership project, the professional musicians of the London Chamber Orchestra were joined by pupils from John Lyon, Cedars Manor School and Kenmore Park Junior School for the special evening of music making.
With an audience of more than 250 in the grand surroundings of Harrow School’s Speech Room on Friday 3rd May, attended by the Mayor of Harrow, Councillor Kareema Marikar, the concert of orchestral and choral music performed by the LCO, primary and senior school pupils, included works by L Mozart, Sergei Prokofiev, John Williams and Andrew Lloyd Webber.
There was also a very special new composition, Scenes from a Movie, written by Tony Britten, best known as the composer of the UEFA Champions League anthem.
Supported by John Lyon’s Charity, the LCO’s Music Junction Project has seen the orchestra, John Lyon and Harrow Music Service work together on the unique outreach and education project. Since September 2018, children from all the participating schools, which also included The Red Balloon – NW London and The Helix Education Centre have come together to go on a journey through many different styles of music, learning new instruments and skills along the way.
Throughout the project a number of John Lyon boys have acted as mentors to the younger children, encouraging and enthusing them as well as developing their own leadership and project management skills.
And the hard work all came together in a momentous evening of music making.
The LCO’s Music Junction Administrator, Emi Husband said: “I just wanted to say an absolutely hug thank you and congratulations for all of your hard work on Friday’s concert! It was a fantastic success on all counts.”
John Lyon’s Director of Music, Huw Jones said: “It has been a pleasure and privilege for us to be a part of Music Junction, and our boys have gained so much from it. The primary school children were excellent, enthusiastic students and did such a great job on the night. Our student mentors had never done anything like this before and it has enabled them to grow in confidence and become better musicians through their teaching and interaction with the mentees. And thank you to the LCO musicians for their inspirational guidance and leadership throughout.
John Lyon’s Strategic Operations Officer, Mrs Lynner Plummer said: “The John Lyon students who have acted as mentors have certainly made a very favourable impression. The LCO tutors commented on how proactive they were in helping some of the children to play their instruments, showing great empathy at all times. They were even astounded at how some boys had prepared for the session by writing fingering on the scores and how their language towards the children was very positive and encouraging.
“Their professionalism and commitment to the project were such that one member of LCO joked that they were making the role of the professional musicians redundant.”
Images: Rachel Marchant
Music Junction aims to nurture greater empathy and connection between young people from different backgrounds.
By bringing together children and young people who would not usually meet, and giving them shared opportunities to make music as a group, Music Junction promotes confidence, nurtures self-esteem and encourages participants to develop respect for themselves and each other within their wider communities.