An opera company based in Yorkshire is delivering an inclusive programme of high quality music education and performance opportunities to over 1,000 young people every week, encouraging people from all backgrounds to engage with the arts, to raise aspirations, increase confidence and develop key skills.
In Harmony Opera North ensures over 1,000 children from all backgrounds in South Leeds benefit from the transferable skills that regular structured music making brings: communication and listening skills, confidence, team work and perseverance.
Delivered by one of Europe's leading arts organisations, Opera North, the programme was initially established in one primary school in South Leeds in January 2013. It has since been extended to three primary schools where pupils take part in up to three sessions of music-making activities during school hours each week. Every child sings in a choir and, from the age of seven, every child has their own instrument (violin, viola, cello, double bass, flute, clarinet, trumpet or trombone) and takes part in small group instrumental lessons and orchestra sessions.
The whole school takes part in workshops and performances throughout the year, including concerts with the Orchestra and Chorus of Opera North in venues such as Leeds Town Hall, Sage Gateshead and Ripon Cathedral. In summer 2017, five pupils from Low Road Primary School performed as part of the children’s chorus in Opera North’s acclaimed production of 'Turandot’'.
The In Harmony programme continues to be an essential ingredient in ensuring the future success of our pupils. It continues to define our identity and ethos, and enriches the social, moral, spiritual and cultural aspects of our curriculum in a way that no other project can match. Long may it continue to change lives for the better
Andy Gamble, Executive Headteacher, Windmill and Low Road Primary Schools