Symphonize is a pioneering creative partnership between the Philharmonia Orchestra and local youth charity Soft Touch Arts, providing disadvantaged young people in Leicester with the opportunity to immerse themselves in music composition and production.
Led by Jason Rowland and supported by Philharmonia musicians and Soft Touch reggae, dub and hip-hop producers, participants have explored fusing classical and urban music genres with an intensive week-long creative project, culminating in a performance at New Walk Museum.
Jack from Fullhurst Community College says “it’s fun, worthwhile and I’m working with great musicians who are inspiring me. I can’t wait to perform tomorrow”.
The project offers a radical new approach; enabling young people from some of the 5% most deprived areas in the country, who are passionate about popular music styles, to work alongside musicians from a professional, classical symphony orchestra.
Utilising music as a tool, the project leaders will provide structured opportunities in a supportive and non-institutional environment to bring out talents, skills and ambitions previously undiscovered in young people who have struggled, or are still struggling, within formal education and are, or at risk of poor educational outcomes. The project is an innovative application of creative music making to drive social change, using a fusion of musical styles as the catalyst to create new opportunities and change the direction of the lives of marginalised teenagers.
“The Philharmonia partnership project is a great way to give our music leaders and the young people we work with a fantastic, inspiring experience. Everyone is learning new things from each other and coming up with some amazing music compositions which mix music technology and urban music production with classical instruments.”
Joe Crofton, Director, Soft Touch Arts
“The Philharmonia has been resident at De Montfort Hall since 1997, and we’re committed to surrounding our annual concert series with an extensive programme of work in Leicester’s wider communities. We’re very proud of our partnership with Soft Touch Arts and are delighted to work with them on this pioneering creative project, bringing together the respective musicians and musical styles of our two organisations.”
Alexandra Brierley, Director of Education, The Philharmonia Orchestra
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