Children Sing Up a Storm

Hammersmith and Fulham Youth Choir Brush up Their Shakespeare

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Hammersmith was full of noises, sounds and sweet airs on Monday, as children sang songs inspired by Shakespeare's The Tempest. A thousand twangling instruments hummed about the ears of listeners at the evening concert at Hammersmith Town Hall.

More than 300 children from 10 local schools and Hammersmith and Fulham Youth Choir were joined by the BBC singers and BBC Concert Orchestra.

Young players from Hammersmith and Fulham's Children's and Youth Orchestras and the Henry Compton School rock band also took part.

The Tempest concert was part of a long-standing partnership between Hammersmith and Fulham music service and the BBC.
The Music Service commissioned a composition of six songs linked to Shakespeare's play, which opens with a storm and shipwreck.

The opening song, The Storm, was written and composed by the pupils following creative writing workshops in all of the schools. The rest of the songs were composed by Nicholas Patrick, former resident musical director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, with the libretto by Adeen Ashton, acting head of the music service and a former long-standing company member of Les Miserables in the West End. The music was multicultural with Indian, African, Eastern European and Irish influences.

The Tempest concert followed 15 workshops in the schools involving creative writing, drama and music.

Adeen Ashton, head of the council's music service, said, "The Tempest, with its rich and vivid imagery, was a wonderful way for students to explore music. "Our production highlighted ecological issues and had an overall message of forgiveness, reconciliation and respect."

The borough's children's and youth choirs and orchestras, as well as local school bands, will be performing at the Lyric Hammersmith at 7pm on Tuesday (June 12) during Performing Arts Week, which also includes Lyrical Dance at 7pm on Thursday (June14). For tickets call 08700 500 511.

Children and young people who are interested in the borough's choirs, orchestras or steel pans can find out more by calling the music service on 020 8753 3607 or emailing musicservice@lbhf.gov.uk.

May 24, 2007