Education & Engagement

Sinfonia Verdi has given many acclaimed education projects. These have grown naturally as part of our aim to make music an integral part of the local communities within which our musicians live.

We love discussing and conceiving future projects in partnership with the full range of schools, colleges and community groups.

To begin a discussion, contact our education department

Here are some examples of our award winning projects:

Chance Encounters

Chance Encounters is set in the year 3000, when various alien cultures make contact, and meet up for the first time.

It is a large scale project which can be used by up to four schools/community groups simultaneously, each representing one of the planetary cultures. The only means of communication the aliens discover they have in common is sound, and therefore they have to use organised sound to communicate with each other.

The project begins with a chamber music performance for each school involving a string quartet from the orchestra, serving as a general introduction to the process of musical communication, and to the Chance Encounters story.

With each school we then explore how sound communicates, and how dramatic ideas can be translated into sound. Each “alien culture” is envisaged and dramatised as a message in sound. Practical ensemble skills are also explored, and all children are actively involved in composing and performing.

Groups from each school then take their musical message to the “alien conventions” which are also the rehearsals for the final performance. The individual musical messages encounter each other and are melded with an underlying orchestral structure, creating a 15 minute piece which is an ideal item for a family/young person’s concert.

Click here for a link to the London Premiere of this work with children from four primary schools from Sinfonia Verdi’s home base in Hertfordshire.

The Twenty Four Violins of the King

The Twenty Four Violins of the King is a “dramatic concerto” for beginner string players and professional orchestra. If available, young performers of Indian instruments (eg. sitar, tabla, Indian violin) make an ideal addition. It lasts c.15 minutes and is very entertaining for the children taking part, the audience and the professional musicians of the orchestra.

The Twenty Four Violins of the King takes the form of a magical story, where an evil wizard puts a spell on the King’s orchestra (the professional ensemble), and the children, with the help of their instruments, manage to break the spell and return the King’s orchestra to its former glory. In the process, the children learn a great deal about how music communicates, and absorb instrumental and ensemble techniques such as free flowing motion, awareness of intonation and sound quality, listening to colleagues and feeling a common pulse. This all takes place as part of the storyline, and is therefore absorbed naturally. The piece is flexible, and the dramatic scenario is used to stimulate the young performers to create their own contributions to the work.

The piece gives a tremendous boost to young musicians of both Western and Indian classical tradition as it enables them to contribute to, and immersed in the sound of a professional orchestra

The project consists of c. 5 composition and performance workshops for the young musicians followed by rehearsal(s) with string quartet and a rehearsal and performance with the full orchestra.

World Wide Web

World Wide Web for a choir of children and professional orchestra is inspired by a poem on an environmental theme by the Native American Leader Chief Seattle (1788-1866)

“Whatever befalls the Earth
Befalls the sons and daughters of the earth.
We did not weave this web of life,
We are merely a strand in it.
Whatever we do to the web,
We do to ourselves….”

Using the poem as inspiration and techniques from Indian and minimalist music the piece consists of an orchestral structure within which everyone can contribute their ideas to create a piece that communicates the idea of a rotating, dancing continuum.

Every young performer has an input into the work, either in the choral section, or in the material used by the orchestra.

The project consists of composition and performance workshops for the young singers, during which each individual is encouraged to contribute to the final composition. They will be able to say to their friends and family “that was my bar” or “I thought of putting those notes there!”

After the piece has been constructed with the choir, they then rehearse with a string quartet, followed by a rehearsal and performance with the full ensemble.