Youngsters to compose new music inspired by the cycles of the moon
A PROJECT for young people that links music and science will be launched in Derby next week.
More than 150 pupils from six schools will work with Derby-based regional orchestra Sinfonia Viva, Derby Live and Derby Museums over the coming months on the project entitled Moon.
It will also celebrate the 300th anniversary of the birth of John Whitehurst, the city clock maker on whose work the Smith clock factory in Derby was founded.
Whitehurst was also the father of modern geology and a founder member of the Lunar Society, along with Derby artist Joseph Wright and other famous thinkers, philosophers and industrialists who were instrumental in the birth of the industrial revolution.
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The pupils involved are from Becket Primary School in Derby, Griffe Field Primary School in Heatherton, Littleover Community School, Derby College, Creswell Junior School and John Flamsteed Community School in Denby.
They will work alongside Viva workshop leaders James Redwood and Jack Ross and young composer Anna Meredith.
Twelve pieces of music will be created, based on the Algonquian Native American names for the 12 full moons of the year.
Anna will compose five, combining electronics and classical music.
The other seven pieces will be written by the young people which they will perform alongside the orchestra.
The project launches on Tuesday, January 29, at Derby College's Roundhouse campus, where one of John Whitehurst's clocks still stands.
After hearing about the work of the clock maker from Bob Betts, the managing director of Smith of Derby, pupils will join creative workshop sessions at the Roundhouse before returning to their schools to work with the Viva composers and musicians to create their own music.
The project will culminate in a concert at the Assembly Rooms on March 21, when the orchestra will perform alongside young players and singers on a giant stage taking up the whole of the ground floor of the Great Hall, with the audience will be in the balcony above.
A series of live drawings, created by Anna's sister, artist Eleanor Meredith, to illustrate the musical themes, will be projected on to the stage.
Marianne Barraclough, Sinfonia Viva's education manager, said: "This project is ground-breaking in so many ways.
"Anna is a brilliant composer and has worked with us several times. We are looking forward to it getting under way."
Project sponsors include Rolls-Royce, Orchestras Live, Derby City Council and the Tom Carey Fund.