Kent Music’s Orchestra ONE, a free creative music course for young people aged 8 to 18, ran from 9th to 12th April at the Cornwallis Academy in Maidstone. 42 children spent four days writing and playing their own music inspired by the theme of ‘War and Peace’. Commemorating one hundred years since the of the end of WWI, the young musicians, with the support of an experienced team of professional music tutors, created three contrasting movements linked by the letters of a young soldier and his sweetheart.
The course culminated in a concert where the participants, dressed as soldiers, nurses and civilians, performed their resulting dramatic piece, which was described by a member of the audience as “impressive, polished and extremely moving”. Talking about the experience provided by being part of the group, one member commented: “Thank you for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime… I feel like each and every person in the group, including the tutors, are my family.”
This was the 19th project for Orchestra ONE, which Kent Music is able to offer for free to participants by using grant funds from Kent County Council and Arts Council England. The group welcomes members from across the county that can play any instrument in any style and this inclusive ethos is part of a major new Inclusion Strategy from Kent Music that will be launched later in 2018.