Hawthorn Primary Symphony Orchestra

Since 2012 Hawthorn has been part of the In Harmony project, this was originally a 3 year project – working with Sage Gateshead. Inspired by the principles of Venezuela’s inspirational El Sistema - every child in the school is taught a musical instrument and play in small or large groups (ensembles) until they are good enough to be in the Hawthorn Primary Symphony Orchestra!

The children have one individual lesson a week from one of 12 music tutors who have become part of the Hawthorn family. These tutors are excellent musicians who love teaching our children. Find out more about them on the tutor page.
Since the beginning of the project the children have had experiences most of us could just dream of. They have played on the stage in Hall One of Sage Gateshead, the concourse of Sage Gateshead, Tyne Theatre and Opera House, St James' Park and Jesmond URC, they have played in other primary schools and in their local community as well as to their wonderful and supportive parents in school. Everyone who sees them is amazed.

Tyne TheatreSeveral of them who have been discovered to have real talent have been given the opportunity to join in with the Centre for Advanced Training at the Sage on a Sunday – free of charge owing to a bursary from the Music and Dance Scheme and this is proving life changing for some of them. Many of them have visited London to join in with other In Harmony projects or in January 2015 to watch and meet the world famous Simon Bolivar orchestra from Venezuela and their superstar conductor Gustavo Dudamel.

And all of them have been visited by all sorts of famous people. We have had a visit from Lee Hall who came to see the children when they very first got their instruments. Sting came a bit later on and he and Lee gave us money to build a practice room.

Kathryn Tickell (famous folk musician) came to play to the children and so did Alison Balsom who is an internationally famous trumpet player and Lars Vogt a world famous pianist. In December 2014 Julian Lloyd Webber spent time with the mini string players and was astonished by the orchestra.

Other people have been to hear the children play – Alan Pardew came and so did his goalie Tim Krul. So we really do mix with the stars!

During December 2014 Gina Southgate, an internationally renowned artist, spent three days painting pictures of the children while they played. These paintings were part of an exhibition at Sage Gateshead in March 2015.

But the real stars are the children themselves; it is incredibly emotional seeing the children play from the very youngest until they leave us in Year 6. It is just as moving seeing how proud their parents are! We have had to change the school a lot , we work later Monday to Thursday until 3.30 and the children get an early finish on Fridays. We don’t miss out on any of the rest of the curriculum and yes we still play football but we do love our music.