Stockport Takes Flight with Sound: Charity Captivates 1300 Pupils in Inspirational Workshops

As Stockport continues to revel in its status as the Greater Manchester Town of Culture, the Benedetti Foundation, in collaboration with Stockport Music Service, organized nine immersive workshops for primary and special schools. These workshops, attended by approximately 1,300 children and young people, encouraged active participation through the use of percussion and voice, with the musicians engaging with the students throughout the sessions.

In addition, there was a professional development session for primary school teachers, as well as a training session for instrumental teachers.

The final workshop took place in the ballroom of Stockport Town Hall, where around 160 young musicians who play stringed instruments participated. The workshop concluded with a final performance for parents and carers.

Councillor Frankie Singleton, Cabinet Member for Communities, Culture & Sport, expressed his enthusiasm for the collaboration, saying: “Stockport Council’s music service shares the same goals as the Benedetti Foundation in inspiring and educating the borough’s children through music. We aim to make the magic of music accessible to as many young people as possible, so it was a fantastic opportunity for them to work with the children and teachers here, especially as all the activities were provided free of charge to schools and students through the foundation’s funding.”

The Benedetti Foundation was established in 2019 by violinist and passionate advocate Nicola Benedetti CBE, with support from its Founding Chair and his wife, George and Daphne Burnett. The foundation aims to unite those who believe in the integral role of music in education. It delivers transformative experiences through mass music events and ensures equal access to music participation and appreciation for all. Led by Nicola and an exceptional team of educators and performers from around the world, the foundation has already worked with over 75,000 participants of all ages from 105 countries, including instrumentalists and non-instrumentalists. It has collaborated with hundreds of schools, produced nearly 1,100 pre-recorded and live lessons, and its video content has amassed over 6.5 million views.

Although the Benedetti Foundation team has moved on to other areas, there are still numerous activities planned for young musicians in the coming months.

These activities include:

  • A series of concerts in December and March
  • A ‘Battle of the Bands’ event for secondary school students, where local rock/pop bands compete for the opportunity to perform at The Spinning Top on 19 February and represent Stockport in the Greater Manchester Rock and Pop Showcase at Manchester Academy on 17 March. This event aims to provide creative opportunities to young people that they wouldn’t typically have through schools, building on the foundation’s work in schools.
  • A concert in Stockport Town Hall Ballroom on 2 February, featuring the Wind Band and Youth Orchestra performing together.
  • Other concerts in March at various venues across town, coinciding with the conclusion of the Town of Culture program. These concerts will include:
  1. Thursday, 21 March, Stockport Music Centre, 5pm – Infant Music Makers.
  2. Friday, 22 March, St Andrew’s Church, Cheadle Hulme, 7.30pm – Strings Concert.
  • Monday, 25 March, Venue TBC, 7pm – Rockschool & Rockschool Senior Concert.
  1. Tuesday 26 March, Venue TBC, 7:00pm – Junior Voices and Musical Theatre Concert.
  2. Wednesday, 27 March, St Andrew’s Church, Cheadle Hulme, 7pm – Wind Bands and Jazz Club Concert.
  • Further concerts planned for the summer term, including a musical theatre group performance of High School Musical in July.

Young people interested in participating in the ensembles can contact [email protected], call 0161 483 7636, or visit the Stockport Music Service website for more information.

Various musical events will also take place in different locations around Stockport in the next few months. More details can be found on the Town of Culture website.

Photo courtesy of SLP Photography

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