Last Friday evening (4th) witnessed the culmination of a top quality composition project for Year 10 students from Churchill Academy. They joined forces with students from Worle School in Weston-Super-Mare and Merchants Academy Bristol to create compositions specifically written for a professional string quartet.
The project began in October with a visit from the string quartet (all professional players with Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra) demonstrating what good writing for a string quartet sounded like. In the same session composer in residence Jeff Spencer launched the composition commission which was to write dance based pieces varying from "Waltz" to "Street Dance" and "Tango" to "Contemporary".
Inspired by a this high quality input each school spent time over the next 2 months composing what turned out to be a superb set of final pieces. Hosted at Churchill, an audience of parents, staff, students and members of Churchill Music! enjoyed the live performance given by the string quartet.
Our thanks have to go to Churchill Music! who are the inspiration behind this project, sponsors of this event and who also provided wonderful food refreshments enjoyed by all before and during the performance. Without them this project would not exist.
Thanks also to the string quartet who were brilliant in every way encouraging the students throughout the process - their playing last Friday was as wonderful as ever. As one student put it - "It is so much better hearing your music played live by real instruments rather than a computer programme!!"
Thanks also to Jeff Spencer who prepared really useful material for his visits to each school and has a wonderful way of interacting with students to help draw out the best. He had a great impact on all the students and inspired them to go well beyond what they thought they could do. One teacher from Worle said "Listening to conversations of my students as they have composed has been so interesting and Jeff's input has been really helpful. They are used to me, and getting another person's views has really helped develop their composition skills."
For these budding musicians this was a great way to finish the term - another example of the enrichment students at Churchill are able to access as we work in partnership with other school communities and organisations like Churchill Music! BRILLIANT!