The concert was the first time the young musicians of In Harmony Opera North, In Harmony Liverpool and In Harmony Newcastle had played Stephen Deazley’s The Wonder Files, which was commissioned as part of the Great Exhibition of the North, in its entirety. The event also featured 2016 BBC Young Musician of the Year, 19-year-old Sheku Kanneh-Mason.
We asked the young instrumentalists to tell us about the experience.
The day began with the bus journey to Liverpool, a city which most of the children were visiting for the first time:
“It’s been really good on the bus. Mr Evans is from Liverpool and he remembers lots of places. It was like a mini tour – he showed us the towers and famous building and stuff.”
“I liked the bus drive, especially when we went through the snowy part, because there were lots of mountains next to the motorway and, when it had snow, it looked mystical.”
“It was a long drive but it was worth it!”
In Harmony Teaching Artist Justin Fung with the Low Road String Orchestra © Tom Arber
On arrival in the city, it was straight into the final rehearsal where the children got the opportunity to play alongside Sheku Kanneh-Mason.
“I enjoyed playing Mermaid most, because we got to play with Sheku and it was really fun.”
“My favourite was Mermaids on the Moon because I like the party poppers at the end and the amazing confetti cannon!”
“The rehearsal was challenging, but we’re up for it!”
In Harmony Low Road String Orchestra in rehearsal © Tom Arber
“I liked Sheku’s instrument – and his hairstyle! He’s amazing. I know he played something at the Royal Wedding as well. And he’s only nineteen!”
“I enjoyed the bit when he played Bob Marley. That was cool.”
After the interval, it was the turn of the In Harmony Opera North musicians to make their Liverpool Philharmonic Hall debut. As the young musicians left the stage, they were buzzing with the experience describing it as “magnificent”, “incredible”, “fantastic”, “fun”, “mind-blowing” and “staggering”.
Mr Evans summed it all up:
“Superb, outstanding, inspiring. All the hyperbole in the world would not do the performance justice.”
Thank you to Aaron, Andre, Anirudh, Anshula, Daline, Daniella, Focira, Harshath, Harvey, Hayden, Joshua, Kenny, Michelle, Miller, Millie, Soumyaa, Suvir, Thomas, Venkat and Zia for sharing their thoughts on the day with us.