The artwork of a group of Kettering Buccleuch Academy students will feature on the cover of a newly commissioned musical score. The eight students were asked to design the cover of the score for Wassail! – a piece of music 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.
Alexander L’Estrange spent time with the Kettering Buccleuch students in July to introduce them to the piece. He performed some of the music and explained the background to the piece. The students then worked together to produce a colourful and bright collage for the cover of the score. The score has now been printed and distributed to schools across United Learning so that students throughout the Group can rehearse in preparation for performances in November in Southwark Cathedral in London and the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. Students from Kettering Buccleuch Academy and Grange Primary School, which is also part of United Learning, will perform Wassail! in the London performance.
Talking about being involved in the project, each student took a different inspiration for their artwork. Emily, who plays the violin, commented this was a great opportunity to combine her love of music and art. Imogen took the opportunity to explore the folklore around the time of the writing of the original lyrics. Megija used the musical score for the background to her artwork to show a direct connection between the music and the artwork. Denise looked at the types of musical instruments used when the music was first played and Chloe used her interest in photography to illustrate specific lyrics.
Art teacher Adriano Di Salvo who worked with the students said:
“To design a piece of art that gets printed and distributed to thousands of students across the country is very special for our students. They really enjoyed working with Alexander L’Estrange and were inspired to create a fantastic piece which truly reflects the key themes of the piece. When the printed scores arrived, the students were incredibly excited to see their work on the front cover.”
Catherine Barker, Head of Music and Performing Arts at United Learning, said:
“Projects like this seek to give our students an opportunity to participate in activities they would not necessarily get the chance to do. For these students to have their work published and distributed across the country is a wonderful opportunity. Following the premieres in November, the score will be made available to other schools to learn and perform and we hope that this cover will become a feature of every school’s music department for many years to come.”