Sussex Special Schools

On July 13th, children from Year 7 and Glow Worms classes at Newick House School Burgess Hill performed a music/drama workshop in front of parents and friends with the help of school staff and five players from Horsham-based New Harmonie. The project was made possible by successful grant applications by New Harmonie to The Big Lottery, Jessie’s Fund and The Beaufort House Trust.

A music drama workshop starts with an idea and a set of possibilities. Children, staff and players work together to develop this so that it can be performed in front of parents, friends and other children. The story started in a music shop in Burgess Hill with an unhappy shopkeeper who couldn’t sell his instruments. A Bandleader came into the shop and bought five instruments (flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon and French horn) to provide the music for the Opening Ceremony. Dr Liz Lane composed the Olympic Fanfare, the Olympic March and music from different countries to accompany the grand display. The children acted out the story, dressed up, accompanied some of the music with percussion instruments and helped to create the props.

Dr Geoffrey Richardson who leads New Harmonie said “It has been a real privilege for all of us to work with the children. They have responded to the very considerable challenge over six weeks with great enthusiasm and worked so hard to produce this little pageant. We have had wonderful support from staff. We could not have succeeded without their enthusiasm, commitment and hard work. The grants made it possible to bring five professional musicians into school at a time when school budgets would not have allowed this to happen. We look forward to taking the project into Queen Elizabeth 2 Silver Jubilee School Horsham and Ingfield Manor Billingshurst”.

Jane Worthington who led the staff team said “The children thoroughly enjoyed the workshops and were very enthusiastic throughout the 6 weekly sessions. It was a fantastic opportunity for all the children to participate.”