On Monday 11th May, 55 Lister students had the unique opportunity to perform on the main stage the Barbican alongside the internationally famous violin virtuoso Nicola Benedetti MBE. They were amongst students from six different schools who receive funding from the Music in Secondary Schools Trust (MiSST).
The concert was a celebration of all the music making that is happening in the six schools, with students joining together to form orchestras and ensembles to play pieces such as ‘Hall of the Mountain King’ by Grieg and ‘Tragic Overture’ by Brahms. The students were delighted to welcome Ms Benedetti as a special guest, and play alongside her.
At the end of the concert Ms Benedetti made a short speech about the importance of music education. She said ‘music in schools is so often misconstrued as another subject. It is quite often misunderstood. Music is the one that permeates everything, that encompasses everything. It helps deal with matters of the soul and the spirit. These are things that help us problem solve, help us face life with a little bit more optimism, a little bit more compassion, a little bit more empathy and understanding. It teaches us to listen to one another and really care for one another.’
Lister pupil Bryanna Bondzie, age 12 in Year 8 said ‘it was so fun playing with Nicola Benedetti, she was really nice and so inspirational because she is such a good player. It was so exciting to play at the Barbican and I really want to do it again!’
Anthony Wilson, Headteacher of Lister, said ‘I was enormously proud to see our students playing on the big stage alongside one of the great starts of classical music. Nicola Benedetti is a wonderful example of how far hard work can take you, and our students have learned a huge amount from her. It was an amazing evening.’
Pierce Brown the Director of Music for MiSST said ‘The event was a huge success and I’m overwhelmed by the messages I’ve received from staff, Headteachers, parents, various arts organisations and institutions and the wider community… This was an ambitious first for us and proved to be an absolute triumph for all students and staff involved.’
The Chair of Governors for Lister, Dave Wood, said ‘I attended the MISST concert last night and was really impressed with the contribution made by the Lister students… I believe that to prepare our students for the wider world we need to deliver a broad based education where the arts in all forms are an important component.’
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