Ulster Orchestra’s Olympic concerts provide Fanfare for London 2012

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Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

Newry Mayor Charlie Casey is pictured with Ulster Orchestra musicians Gareth Hopkins and Patrick McCarthy and Patrick Jordan from St Coleman’s Primary School.

Hundreds of Newry schoolchildren were filled with Olympian spirit last week (May 24th) when they were given the chance to play iconic Olympic themes with the Ulster Orchestra. Organised by the Ulster Orchestra’s Education Department, the Olympic Fanfare 2012 concert included the Grammy-winning Olympic Fanfare and Theme written by John Williams and the Oscar-winning Chariots of Fire score composed by Vangelis. More than 400 pupils from nine primary schools in the Newry area took part in the event at Newry Leisure Centre. Among those attending the concert was the Mayor of Newry and Mourne District Council, Councillor Charlie Casey. Funded by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland National Lottery Project Funding and supported by the Southern Education and Library Board, the hour long concert also included Williams’ atmospheric theme from Jaws, the famous sea shanty, the Sailor’s Hornpipe and Badelt’s popular Pirates of the Caribbean theme. Tracy Marshall, the Ulster Orchestra’s Head of Development said the music would ignite a flame of enthusiasm in the young people for popular, classical music and create anticipation for London 2012. “The Ulster Orchestra musicians look forward every year to the Summer Education Roadshows and a chance to present some of the world’s greatest music to the children of Northern Ireland. We hope our Olympic theme has really got them in the mood for this summer’s great celebration of sport and culture. “The Ulster Orchestra plays to around 100,000 people every year and thousands of children also get to know us through our award-winning education and outreach projects,” she added. Before the concert, the children took part in a series of preparatory workshops that helped them explore their natural creativity by composing their own musical pieces, as well as learning the rhythms for some of the music performed today. Tracy said: “We want the children to experience the excitement and thrill of a live musical performance, to learn about the different sections of a symphony orchestra and give the children a chance to develop their own listening, composing and performing skills. “The project also has a strong recycling theme running through it as the children were encouraged to make instruments they made themselves and bring them to the workshops. One of the children later even had the chance to conduct the orchestra.” As Northern Ireland’s only professional symphony orchestra, the Ulster Orchestra’s Education and Outreach Officer, Jan Power said the Ulster Orchestra placed as much emphasis on its educational and outreach projects as to the many concerts it performs to audiences throughout Northern Ireland. “The Ulster Orchestra has some of the finest musicians in any orchestra in Ireland and the UK. All of them are dedicated through our workshops and education concerts to inspire young people to enjoy orchestral music, fulfill their potential and to realise that learning can be great fun,” she added. For further information contact the Ulster Orchestra Press & Marketing Officer on 028 9026 0473 or 07710 450 462, alternatively email press@ulsterorchestra.com.
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