Marylebone pupils set to make classical music cool

Youngsters given ownership of professional concert at top class venue

A GROUP of Marylebone students is taking part in a pioneering campaign to involve young people in classical music by organising a professional concert from scratch.

A total of 15 pupils from St Marylebone School sixth form, on Blandford Street, were selected to take part in the Wigmore Hall Young Producers project at the start of the school year.

Having organised every aspect of the professional concert over the past six months, the students are now preparing for the big day at the world famous Wigmore Hall concert venue on April 1.

Learning producer Julia Roderick said: “The scheme has two main aims – it gives young people ownership of the whole concert, and it’s also a brilliant way for us to find out what they look for in a concert event because we are struggling to engage the 16 to 19-year-old bracket at the venue.


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“It has been a real eye opener for them to find out the amount of preparation and organisation and thought that goes into any event. It’s not something they can just throw together.

“They have had to sort out everything from budgets to liaising with artists to sorting all the publicity.”

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The concert will feature professional chamber musicians Ignite who will play a programme of devised material, including pieces by Ravel and Mendelssohn, as well as the group’s own classical and improvised original works.

The students involved in the scheme have decided to charge �3 for tickets with all profits donated to the Make A Wish Foundation which provides activities for children living with life threatening illnesses.

St Marylebone School pupil Zuzanna Grzeskiewicz, 16, applied for the scheme to combine her musical interests – she is a grade eight saxophonist and grade six pianist – with an ambition to work in PR or marketing.

“For teenagers from a normal inner-city school it’s a real mind-blowing experience to work with professional musicians,” she said. “It’s very exciting.

“It was a chance to learn how to organise a concert from scratch and an exciting opportunity.

“I’ve been to Wigmore Hall many times but I think classical music is not seen as cool by the majority of people at school. People are probably more interested in the more mainstream stuff.

“If you play instruments you are more exposed to classical music. People are not aware of the wealth of classical music and how great it is.

“Make A Wish is all about children and as children we thought we should give something back because we have been given this amazing opportunity.”

The success of this inaugural Young Producers project will see the scheme extended further afield next year with applications for 2011 to 2012 set to open in July.

The April 1 concert is predominantly aimed at 14 to 19-year-olds although tickets, which are now on sale, are available to all.

Call the box office on 020-7935 2141 or visit www.wigmore-hall.org.uk for more details.

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