This week pupils from across United Learning are participating in recording sessions for Wassail! – a brand new musical score which has been commissioned by the United Learning Partnership Fund.
The United Learning Partnership Fund, which seeks to enhance the opportunities available to United Learning students, commissioned the piece to inspire collaboration, musical excellence and joy through choral singing. The Group asked renowned composer Alexander L’Estrange to compose the piece which seeks to introduce students to a wide variety of musical genres including folk, jazz and choral music.
Over 200 pupils from United Learning’s primary and secondary schools are recording the piece for a CD which will be released in November to coincide with the premiere performances in Southwark Cathedral in London and the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. Over 1,000 pupils and staff across the country are currently rehearsing Wassail! in preparation for these premiere performances.
Wassail! is being published by Faber Music and the score will be made available to all schools so that children from across the country can perform it.
The recordings are taking place at William Hulme’s Grammar School, The Hurlingham Academy, Wilberforce Primary, Lincoln Minster School and Grange Primary Academy. Before the recordings take place, composer Alexander L’Estrange has been facilitating workshops for the pupils in which he runs vocal coaching and explains the themes behind the piece. Alexander said:
“It’s so exciting to hear my composition coming to life, thanks to the brilliant voices of these wonderful children from across the country.”
Catherine Barker, Head of Music and Performing Arts at United Learning, said:
“It’s a great opportunity for our students and staff to be inspired by working with top artists from the music industry. And, in a recording session students need to focus, work as a team and perform to a high standard: developing these skills is really important. I’m really proud of what they have all achieved.”
Gemma Goodier, Subject Leader for Music at William Hulme’s Grammar School, where the very first recording session took place, said:
“It’s a great opportunity for my students to work with a professional composer and choral director – they worked really hard, and really made our school proud.”