Friday 10th January, 2020

Prior Pursglove College students work with Royal Northern Sinfonia on Beethoven Project

Our hardworking Music and Orchestra students have had the opportunity to work with Royal Northern Sinfonia orchestra this term, taking part in in their Beethoven 2020 Education Project to mark Beethoven’s 250th anniversary.

The Royal Northern Sinfonia are a British chamber orchestra which were founded in Newcastle upon Tyne are currently based at Sage Gateshead. Their project asks the next generation of conductors and composers why Beethoven is still relevant today and allows them the opportunity to create music based on his renown symphonies.

Composer Michael Betteridge who is involved in working with young people working collaboratively creating music together led the Beethoven workshop. During the session students experimented with Beethoven’s Symphony no. 3 and produce a piece of music in response to the symphony using their own instruments.

They also had the opportunity to compose their own pieces of music for the 5 members of the orchestra to play and work on collaboratively.

The students have been given the opportunity to perform alongside Royal Northern Sinfonia at the Middlesbrough Town Hall on Thursday 23rd January. They will take to the stage ahead of the orchestras concert as part of their 2020 Beethoven Series at the Town Hall.

Michael Betteridge Freelance Composer said:

“The young musicians at the college are phenomenal, there is so much talent in the room.

In today’s session they are exploring Beethoven’s music and taking elements of Symphony no. 3 which is one of the most important pieces of classical music and they are creating a new piece of music in response.  Their response is very experimental incorporating instruments like the accordion has created quite a folky sound which is an interesting take on it. Beethoven himself was an experimenter so this is something he would have done

Chrissie Slater Royal Northern Sinfonia Learning Manager said:

“The students are exploring why Beethoven is still relevant today, some already have prior knowledge about him and others are learning about him and his music for the first time today.

It is a great opportunity for the students to work first hand with the orchestra, they are all on board with this project and are excited to perform beside the Royal Northern Sinfonia at a concert later this month.”

A Level Music students Sofia Maqbool (former Macmillan Academy) and Lucy Pepper (former Rye Hills) both took part in the workshop today said: “We are enjoying creating music in response to his symphony, we are composing like Beethoven but putting a modern twist to it.

“We are learning new composition skills which will help us in A Level Music. It is great to see and hear how Beethoven is still relevant in the 21st century.”

Tickets for the Royal Northern Sinfonia – Beethoven 2020: The Next Generation can be purchased here: https://www.middlesbroughtownhall.co.uk/event/royal-northern-sinfonia/