WMA Strings & Benedetti Foundation

On Thursday 14th March, 17 of our Junior Orchestra string players took part in an exciting day of string workshops and rehearsals at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, lead by the Benedetti Foundation; a music education charity established in 2019 by violinist and dedicated advocate Nicola Benedetti CBE.

The day had been carefully constructed by the Philharmonia’s Learning & Engagement team, as part of their series of Featured Artist Programmes in collaboration with world-class musicians. The children had been given specially arranged ‘Spicy’ and ‘Medium’ parts to space themed pieces ‘The Red Spot’ and ‘Saturn’ by composer Joelle Broad. They received two intensive rehearsals led by players from the Philharmonia orchestra, who came to the Wandsworth Music Academy to coach the children. They had a lot of fun focusing in on the music in sectionals to look at the different bow strokes needed, articulation, phrasing and dynamics and came together to communicate the music fully as an ensemble. 

On the 14th March, the children were introduced to violin and workshop leader Rachel Cooper, from the Benedetti Foundation and her team and started their journey of workshop sessions alongside 250 other children from music Hubs across the country. Highlights of the day included singing and rhythmic games, ‘pass the cup’ with a perfect bow hold! and composing a space themed introduction using innovative, new sounds and techniques on their instruments!  

The day culminated in a performance to parents to showcase the pieces and the children’s hard work and dedication. Needless to say, the audience were incredibly impressed and the sound and standard of the ensemble illustrated the impact of the programme and the fun and engagement had by all throughout the project. A huge thank you to the Philharmonia and Benedetti Foundation!