National Centre for Early Music

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BBC Ten Pieces

Pupils from Osbaldwick Primary School performing their interpretation of Holst's Mars
The National Centre for Early Music is part of a network of 250 BBC Ten Pieces Champions working across the UK to promote and celebrate young people's involvement in classical music. The BBC's Ten Pieces project, launched in October 2014 and led by BBC Learning and the BBC Performing Groups, aims to open up the world of classical music to a new generation of children, using ten pieces of music - ranging from baroque to contemporary - as the foundations for inspiration. With the selected ten pieces as a starting point, young people are encouraged to develop their own creative responses through music, dance or digital art and to share these through performance platforms, digital media and exhibitions.

The first year of the initiative focused on primary school children, with the repertoire including: John Adams' Short Ride in a Fast Machine; Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 (1st movement); Britten's Storm Interlude; Grieg's In the Hall of the Mountain King; Handel's Zadok the Priest; Holst's Mars; Anna Meredith's Connect It; Mozart's Horn Concerto No. 4 (3rd movement); Mussorgsky's A Night on the Bare Mountain; and Stravinsky's The Firebird (Finale). The selected works were drawn together into a spectacular film by the BBC, featuring five BBC Orchestras and the BBC Singers, as well as celebrities such as Barney Harwood from Blue Peter, Dick and Dom, Laura Mvula and Katy B, among others. This film provided a nationwide creative impetus for new art made by young people. NCEM worked with York Music Hub to make sure children in York were part of this: from a creative Inspiration Day , through an incredible Creative Body Percussion workshop with Anna Meredith (the Ten Pieces commissioned composer), to a final Showcase sharing event.

The Ten Pieces initiative subsequently developed to include a strand tailored to secondary schools, focusing on a different set of pieces: Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D minor; Bernstein's Mambo from West Side Story; Bizet's Habanera and Toreador Song; Anna Clyne's Night Ferry; Haydn's Trumpet Concerto (3rd movement); Gabriel Prokofiev's Concerto for Turntables and Orchestra (5th movement); Shostakovich's Symphony No. 10 (2nd movement); Vaughan Williams' The Lark Ascending; Verdi's Dies Irae and Tuba Mirum; and Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries. As with the primary programme, these ten pieces formed the focus of a vibrant film featuring BBC Philharmonic, members of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and the Hallé Choir, violinist Nicola Benedetti, trumpeter Alison Balsom and DJ Mr Switch, alongside a host of celebrities including Pixie Lott, James May, Christopher Eccleston, Dion Dublin, and Clara Amfo. NCEM used this programme, in particular the Gabriel Prokofiev work, as a springboard for developing compositional opportunities for secondary school students in York, alongside professional composer Kate Pearson and the York Music Hub, in a project called Musical Inventions .

The BBC has developed a range of resources as part of both the Primary and Secondary initiatives and offers full information on how schools and champions can get involved on their website