Creation: Art and Music in Durham Primary Schools

Haydn’s music paints wonderful pictures, and so we invited several primary schools to bring those musical pictures to life through art. Children from Howletch Lane Primary School, Polam Hall School, Hamsterley Primary School, Butterknowle Primary School, Cotsford Primary School (pictured) and Murton Primary School began their exploration of Haydn’s music with a visit from our Gabriel, soprano Clare Tunney, who sang two of her arias to the children and answered their questions about her musical training (“how do you sing so loudly?”) and her life studying at music college.

The children then worked with mosaic artists Amanda and Angela Cuskin on mosaics to be displayed in the cathedral during our concert, and on their own art projects: you can see a gallery of the artwork from Polam Hall below. They’ve also been learning the soprano line to the most famous chorus in The Creation, “The Heavens are Telling”, which they will perform with us and our orchestra during our afternoon rehearsal in the cathedral – come along on the afternoon of 21st November to see the mosaic art, and hear a free performance of Part 1, from 3pm.

Although this is a new style of music for the choir and also quite a challenge for pupils of this age, the children are thoroughly enjoying their rehearsals, which were further enhanced by a visit from Clare Tunney earlier this year. Clare was a lot of fun, engaging and inspirational, and the fact that she comes from Middlesbrough and has done so well really had an impact on the young singers in the Howletch choir. Personally I feel that this is a wonderful opportunity for the choir to sing in such a fabulous setting with professional musicians and I am thrilled that the Durham singers are working collaboratively with schools in the local area in order for them to experience incredible opportunities such as this. 
Helen Adair, Headteacher, Howeletch Lane Primary School