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‘An experience we will all remember with pride’ - museum’s choral project inspires youngsters from across Norfolk

PUBLISHED: 09:33 20 June 2017

Schools across Norfolk took part in Together to the Workhouse door, a choral project at Gressenhall.  Picture: Norfolk Museums Service

Schools across Norfolk took part in Together to the Workhouse door, a choral project at Gressenhall. Picture: Norfolk Museums Service

Norfolk Museums Service

A £90,000 choral and creative writing project which brought together school children and celebrated artists has been hailed an “incredible success”.

Schools across Norfolk took part in the project at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse led by composer James Redwood, poet Lucy Sheerman and orchestra Sinfonia Viva to create an original oratorio inspired by the stories of those whose lives were shaped by the workhouse.

Together to the Workhouse Door saw groups of singers animate different spaces inside the Grade II listed workhouse with all performers coming together for an open air performance with a professional orchestra and soloists in the workhouse courtyard.

Among those involved were pupils from Foulsham and Cawston primary schools and a choir drawn from the local community.

Also taking part were pupils from Aylsham High, who helped make the costumes, Caston Primary, East Harling Primary, Edward Worlledge Ormiston Academy, Great Yarmouth Holly Meadows School, Parkers Primary, Reepham High, Stoke Holy Cross and Woodlands Primary Academy from Great Yarmouth.

John Ward, chairman of Norfolk Joint Museums Committee, said: “This was an incredibly successful project that really brought the history of Gressenhall alive in a fun and creative way for everyone involved.”

Kay Swann, headteacher at Cawston Primary Academy, said: “We are grateful to Sinfonia Viva, the Norfolk Music Service, Gressenhall staff and the Arts Council for making it possible for our children to work and learn alongside such talented, creative and enthusiastic adults.

“Not only did the children work hard to achieve such an amazing performance but they were inspired and showed great enjoyment. It was great to see all our pupils rise to the challenge of what has been an ambitious and rewarding musical production.

“It will be an experience that we will all remember with pride.”

Commissioned by Norfolk Museums Service, the project was funded by a grant from Arts Council England along with contributions from Broadland District Council, Orchestras Live, Norfolk Arts Service and Norfolk Music Education Hub.

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