Classical musicians to visit West Norfolk primary schools

Laura Snowden
Laura Snowden
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A new initiative to make classical music accessible to primary schoolchildren in West Norfolk is being launched this month.

Children at Greyfriars Primary School in Lynn and at Snettisham Primary School will get to meet and hear award-winning classical musicians Joo Yeon Sir (violin) and Laura Snowden (guitar).

Joo Yeon Sir

Joo Yeon Sir

Two music education workshops will be held on Wednesday, October 19, when Joo Yeon and Laura will visit the schools to explain their instruments and perform short pieces of classical music.

Then in early November the two musicians will return for a larger project at St Martha’s Primary School in Lynn, culminating in a short performance with the pupils as part of a King’s Lynn Festival coffee concert at Lynn Town Hall on Friday, November 11.

This outreach project to enable children to hear classical music, while helping to build the audiences of the future, has been set up by Peter Barker, of Snettisham, with “Classical Music Rocks – North West Norfolk” (CMR-NWN), a new not-for-profit community organisation.

A writer and campaigner on children’s issues, he said the aims and objectives were to create opportunities for children to hear classical music in their school setting.

The focus will be on primary school pupils, offering them an introduction to musical instruments and short performances;

It is intended that over time all primary schoolchildren in the area will have this opportunity and the project will enable young people to attend concerts of classical music as cheaply as possible.

It will also provide a platform for young musicians from music colleges to perform for children and inspire an interest in music.

CMR-NWN has been initiated and funded by Mr Barker and others and the project is supported by North West Norfolk MP Sir Henry Bellingham and West Norfolk Borough Council’s heritage champion, Cllr Avril Wright.

Mr Barker said: “I am hoping the children will enjoy listening to classical music, possibly for the first time and become ‘hooked’. They might also take an interest in learning an instrument and express an interest in attending a full concert.

“I aim to hold concerts free of charge to children if I can expand my narrow funding base, thus building audiences of the future. The benefit may last for a lifetime and spread down the generations.”

Joo Yeon and Laura are also committed to bringing music to the wider community. They were brought together through a joint passion for performance and composition, and are giving a series of composition workshops for the Royal College of Music’s Junior Department.

Award-winning Korean-born British violinist Joo Yeon Sir has performed at major venues such as the Royal Albert Hall and the Royal Festival Hall, as well as at St James’s Palace in the presence of the Prince of Wales.

Laura Snowden has won many awards for her guitar playing and was handpicked by Julian Bream to give a recital at the London concert venue, Wigmore Hall, in 2015.

Tickets for their coffee concert on November 11 are £13 adult, £7 under 18s, available from Lynn Corn Exchange box office on 01553 764864.

For further information on the schools’ project – or if you might be interested in supporting it – you can email class icalmusicrocks@mail.com.