Students were inspired this morning by a workshop with the Emigre Ensemble - a group of professional musicians dedicated to vocal and instrumental chamber music that brings music by composers who have emigrated to a wider audience.
This ensemble has developed the project 'Singing a Song in a Foreign Land' at the Royal College of Music - celebrating the work of composers and musicians who fled from the tyranny of national Socialism in Central Europe in the 1930s and 1940s.
Students performed two pieces - one with our school string players participating called 'I'm a Native of Peel' by Harry Wood and the other a piece accompanied by piano called 'Put that Light Out'. Students learned how this song was originally written to parody the internment guards however ended up providing a somewhat unifying refrain for both guards and internees alike. It was interesting for students to hear how music was used during war time as a powerful source of comfort, entertainment and social interaction.
It was wonderful hear our students singing and playing with professional musicians - and equally lovely to hear such compliments from the visitors - who described working with our pupils as 'easy' and 'a joy'.
The Emigre Ensemble will be giving a full concert in Ballakermeen Studio Theatre tonight from 7pm, and our students have been invited to join in for the songs they have rehearsed this morning!