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Consone Quartet live and online! Tuesday 24 May 2016

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As part of the Consone Quartet's EEEmerging residency at the National Centre for Early Music in May 2016, we joined forces with the NYMAZ Connect:Resound project to put on a schools' concert with a twist! The quartet not only performed to a live audience of 62 children from Heworth Primary School in York, but also reached out to an online audience of Key Stage 2, 3 and 4 students from 85 schools across the country, including NYMAZ's Connect:Resound partners in Durham and Darlington, Cumbria, North Yorkshire, the East Riding of Yorkshire and Cornwall.

The purpose of this concert was to offer young people opportunities to engage with and be inspired by live classical music, played authentically, by high-calibre performers in the early stages of their professional careers. The collaboration with NYMAZ particularly sought to open up this opportunity to those young people who do not live within an easy distance of a live arts venue, for whom access to inspiring performances and musical role models can be extremely difficult. Having a live-stream allowed these rurally-isolated young people to be part of a performance event, while it was happening, and to share in the excitement of watching and hearing music being brought to life.

The concert was a mix of live music, educational information about the instruments and pieces being played, and introductions to the musicians, offering insights into the paths they have taken to reach professional levels. The performance was enhanced by an online resource, which teachers and young people could access in advance to more deeply explore the music they would hear played at the performance.

Young people and staff in the live audience told us about their experience:
  • "It was entertaining! I liked it when we learnt how to conduct!"
  • "I liked the last movement of the Mozart because it was like the instruments were playing games"
  • "I like the bit where it got really complicated because I can play violin and I know I couldn't play that fast!"
  • "Awesome! All of it was awesome"
  • "I am learning to play and it was so exciting to see people playing such fast, complicated things"
  • "It inspires people to play and enjoy classical music"
  • "The quartet were amazing and their fingers moved really fast!"
  • "Some bits were sad, some bits were jazzy, and I felt consumed by it all"
  • "Wonderfully beautiful and informative"
In preparation for this schools' broadcast, Consone Quartet received coaching and support from the NYMAZ Connect: Resound team and from education specialist Cherry Forbes (Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment). This training provided the quartet with approaches to adapting performances to suit different age groups and also allowed them to reflect on the different considerations needed when performing for an online audience.

The live-streamed event took place on Tuesday 24 May, 1.30-2.15pm and was streamed by UCanPlay.