Manchester Camerata will continue to bring inspiring music-based creative learning projects to Chester and the North West throughout 2009/10 thanks to the generous support of The Bank of America Charitable Foundation.
In partnership with Chester Festivals, Manchester Camerata reached a cross-section of nearly 5,000 people across Chester and Cheshire during 2008 through The Chester Festivals Education Programme. Fifteen individual projects were delivered and the residency culminated with a joint concert, performed by Manchester Camerata and Cheshire Youth Orchestra, at the Chester Cathedral. Plans for the 2009/10 season are even more ambitious, aiming to reach 10,000 people in Chester and the North West.
This year's main project, ‘Songs of the Earth', delivered as part of the Chester Festivals Education Partnership, will explore themes of songs, lyrics, poetry and the environment through music. The project will encompass six separate but linked community arts-based learning projects, developed in partnership with some of Chester's most exciting festivals.
As part of in the Chester Literature Festival schools in the Chester area will creatively explore sections of a poem through music and songs with Camerata musicians, a composer and a writer/poet. The participating schools will join together to perform the entire poem during the Literature Festival in October 2009. Camerata will also deliver three Family Music Days in Chester during the next 12 months, the first of which will take place during the Chester Summer Music Festival in July 2009. In addition, Camerata will work with a wide range of stakeholders throughout the Chester community to create new works.
The centrepiece of the project will be the ‘Songbook of the Earth'. This will engage 14 schools from communities across the North West, including Chester and Manchester. Each school will work with Camerata musicians, a composer and a poet to create a new ‘song cycle', drawing inspiration from science, the environment, geography, diversity and community into the song-writing process. Songbook of the Earth will culminate in a special gala performance of the song cycle by the participating young people, a professional singer and Camerata musicians at The Bridgewater Hall in Manchester, April 2010. Each song will be published in a printed songbook, documenting the project, following the gala performance.
"We are absolutely delighted that the Bank of America Charitable Foundation has renewed its support of Manchester Camerata, Chester Festivals and young people in the North West through Songs of the Earth," says Rob Shaw, Head of Development at Manchester Camerata. "Our work during 2008 produced some remarkable results and truly life changing experiences for all involved. We are extremely excited to be working with associates to build on these successes and support even more communities over the next 12 months."
"Bank of America is delighted to be supporting Manchester Camerata once again, bringing music to communities throughout the region," said Ian O'Doherty, President of Bank of America Europe Card Services. "The relationship underlines our commitment to the local community and we are looking forward to a wide range of events in 2009 and 2010 which will bring music to a wider audience."