Playwright Lee Hall and musician Sting have provided extra funding towards the In Harmony NewcastleGateshead project that aims to inspire and transform the lives of children in deprived communities, using the power and disciplines of orchestral music-making.
The Sage Gateshead was chosen to lead the three year regional project working with Hawthorn Primary School in the heart of Newcastle upon Tyne. Based on the principles of Venezuela’s inspirational* El Sistema* – which produced the world famous Simón Bolivar Symphony Orchestra – the project will give every child in the school access to a musical instrument and music tutors on a daily basis. In order to deliver the sessions regularly, the school requires extra space to be able to house rehearsals and workshops.
Funding for In Harmony has come from Arts Council England and the Department for Education. Within this grant, money was allocated to fund a temporary basic portacabin to be built to be able to provide this extra learning room. Since then, Lee Hall and Sting have made a significant further contribution to provide an even more inviting environment for the young people to learn in, one of which is a permanent structure using cedar cladding that will give a lasting legacy for the pupils of Hawthorn Primary School.
Lee Hall and Sting in a joint statement said: "We are delighted to be part of this excellent and exciting initiative. The El Sistema system has been inspiring and effective in many countries and we hope that Newcastle and the Elswick community as a whole will benefit from its introduction."
Alison Clark-Jenkins, Regional Director, Arts Council England said: "I am thrilled that Lee Hall and Sting have made a contribution to The Sage Gateshead’s In Harmony project. These additional funds not only ensure there will be a lasting legacy of the project at Hawthorn Primary School, but the gesture solidifies the reputation of The Sage Gateshead as more than a music venue, but a force for good in cultural education in the North East."
Wendy Smith, Head of Strategy & Enterprise at The Sage Gateshead said: "We are thrilled to gain this fantastic support from Lee Hall and Sting which gives the children of Hawthorn Primary School, Newcastle a beautiful space to learn music in, now and in the future".
The new music cabin is to be opened in the week of the 5th November when the children will have the first opportunity to play the new instruments.