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‘Letters to Juliet’ composed and performed by Manor music students and Britten Sinfonia
Students at The Manor school in North Cambridge composed their own songs and performed alongside the internationally acclaimed ensemble Britten Sinfonia, in a two-day music workshop supported by Cambridge University Press.
The Juliet Letters Project, devised by workshop leader Hannah Conway from Britten Sinfonia, was based on Elvis Costello's 1993 album Juliet Letters. The lyrics are imaginary letters to Juliet Capulet, from the famous Shakespeare play Romeo and Juliet. Costello's album was written to be performed by the Brodsky Quartet, whom Costello had seen performing at London's Queen Elizabeth Hall.
Hannah Conway and the musicians worked with a group of Year 7 students from The Manor to compose instrumental and vocal music inspired by letters and diaries, from a musical 'signature' to a poignant piece about memories and a fast-paced song listing the barrage of communications we face in modern life. The pupils then worked with the musicians to practice their newly-composed songs, resulting in an outstanding performance on the final day. The pupils sang their songs, interspersed with Costello's original numbers, alongside Britten Sinfonia's Hannah Conway (workshop leader), Lea Cornthwaite (singer), Thomas Gould (violin), Judith Kelly (violin), Bridget Carey (viola) and Lucy Payne (cello).
Sophie Dunn, Creative Learning Director at Britten Sinfonia, said: "Creative learning for young people, both inside and outside of school, has always been a core part of Britten Sinfonia's mission. The partnership with Cambridge University Press and their relationships with local schools means we are able to offer more young people the chance to enjoy creative workshops with professional musicians, something which we have always been very passionate about."
Ben Slade, Principal at The Manor, added: "Workshops by such an internationally acclaimed orchestra as Britten Sinfonia are a fantastic opportunity for our students; not only for the very best in tuition and an experience not many get to boast about, but this amazing international group was started just down the road. It shows students anything is possible and that we have great city with lots of opportunities to help them in whatever they choose to do."
The partnership between Cambridge University Press and Britten Sinfonia began in 2004 with a small local community project at Addenbrookes Hospital and has continued to grow, with Cambridge becoming the orchestra's first-ever International Partner in 2010.
Cambridge University Press works with many local schools and has supported The Manor in collaboration with Britten Sinfonia since 2010.
Notes for Editors:
For further information, please contact Vicky Westmore, Communications Officer at Cambridge University Press.
Telephone: +44 (0)1223 326194
High-res images and a short video clip are available, please contact Vicky Westmore.
The video can be viewed at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6IV9BtrUm8&feature=youtu.be
About Britten Sinfonia
Britten Sinfonia is one of the world's most celebrated and pioneering ensembles. It is praised for the quality of its performances and an intelligent approach to concert programming that is centred around the development of its players.
Britten Sinfonia is Associate Ensemble at London's Barbican Centre, has residencies in Cambridge (where it is the University's Orchestra-in Residence), Norwich and Brighton, and makes regular guest appearances at UK festivals including the BBC Proms. Its blossoming international profile has recently included acclaimed tours to Mexico and South America, and to Europe. Britten Sinfonia is a BBC Radio 3 broadcast partner.
For more information, go to: http://www.brittensinfonia.com
About The Manor
The Manor is a foundation school with a performing arts specialism, for secondary school age students on Arbury Road, in the North of Cambridge. The Manor is a small community-based school in open and spacious grounds. Its aims are to raise standards, raise aspirations, and develop a culture of 'no excuses'. OfSTED recently judged the school to be "good with an outstanding capacity to make further improvements". The Manor has seen 3 years of record GCSE results and improvement. The Manor gained Trust status in 2010.
For more information, go to: http://www.themanorcambridge.org/
About Cambridge University Press
Cambridge University Press is the publishing business of the University of Cambridge. Dedicated to excellence, its purpose is to further the University's objective of advancing knowledge, education, learning, and research.
Its extensive peer-reviewed publishing lists comprise 45,000 titles covering academic research, professional development, over 300 research journals, school-level education, English language teaching and bible publishing.
Playing a leading role in today's international market place, Cambridge University Press has more than 50 offices around the globe, and it distributes its products to nearly every country in the world.