The Earl of Wessex has been well-known for promoting musicals, having in the past worked for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Company, but this week he was fulfilling an engagement at the Sage Gateshead to see the benefits music brings to all generations from old to young. and looking at organisations that worked under the umbrella of the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme to provide musical partnerships between schools and community organisations. Especially within the Arts to help music and especially classical music can be used to reach, enrich and inspire. As someone who sings in a chamber choir myself, I know how nice and relaxed I feel after a rehearsal and after a concert, I am way up on “Cloud 9”.
The Prince popped into a rehearsal of the Royal Northern Sinfonia which is based at Sage Gateshead and heard Masque et Bergamasque, an orchestral suite written by Gabriel Faure from music he wrote for an entertainment produced for Albert I of Monaco. He then saw the outreach work that Sage Gateshead does with children, it’s In Harmony project brings music to the deprived areas of West Newcastle and aims to transform and inspire their young lives through the discipline and power of group music making.
Pupils from Hawthorn Primary School and Bridgewater School not only get the chance to learn instruments through the scheme, but it also offers them the chance to attend concerts at Sage Gateshead as well as the chance to perform themselves. Speaking of which Prince Edward heard the Hawthorn Primary Symphony Orchestra play Tchaikovsky’s 1812 overture. Jane Dube, their undoubtedly proud headmistress said “All of our students were so excited to play for His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex. He talked to them about how much they enjoy music and he showed great interest in the programme, appreciating the positive impact it has on their education”
From the young, The Earl then went to the other end of the age spectrum when he went to a rehearsal of the Silver Singers Gateshead. They are just part of the Sage Gateshead’s silver programme of music for the over the fifties recognising that music can have a positive impact for all ages whether it is to transform and inspire the youth of today or improve the physical and mental wellbeing of an older generation.