As we celebrate the 25th anniversary of our Learning & Participation, we’ll be looking back over highlights from the last quarter-century. To begin with, we head back to 1989, the very first year of what was then the Education Programme, to find out more about our first ever project Ringing the Changes.
As the late Richard Hickox put it “Spitalfields is ideally placed for the planning of an education programme alongside the festival.” And in 1989 we undertook the first ever project in what was then our Education programme, titled Ringing the Changes.
From the very beginning we focussed on bringing together people from the local community with world-renowned artists, and in Ringing the Changes, it was musicians from City of London Sinfonia, alongside sarod player Wajahat Khan and visual artists Fran Cottell, Shafique Uddin and Louise Soloway, working with pupils from Christ Church Primary School, Canon Barnett Primary School and Mulberry School for Girls. Together they explored the area and the students’ surroundings through images and sounds, using creative games to devise music and theatre pieces that delved into the social history of East London. The project culminated in performances in schools and a display of works at Whitechapel Gallery.
Alongside we began what has become a core part of our Learning & Participation programme, professional development training in music leading skills, as City of London Sinfonia musicians worked with the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and the then Centre for Young Musicians (now part of the Guildhall School) worked with teachers at Christ Church Primary School. We now train over 200 artists, teachers, library staff and others each year.
Ringing the Changes in partnership with Centre for Young Musicians and Whitechapel Gallery
Supported by Baring Foundation, Idlewild Trust, Vivien Duffield Foundation, Barclays Bank plc and National Westminster Bank plc