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High note for Havering musicians as the Duchess of Cornwall pops in to rehearsals

PUBLISHED: 12:42 05 May 2016 | UPDATED: 13:04 05 May 2016

The Duchess of Cornwall on a visit to the People's Palace at Queen Mary's University to see a production by the London Chamber Orchestra. Students from the Havering Music Service

The Duchess of Cornwall on a visit to the People's Palace at Queen Mary's University to see a production by the London Chamber Orchestra. Students from the Havering Music Service

Archant

Talented musicians from the borough were treated to a royal visit on Wednesday afternoon.

The Duchess of Cornwall met students from Havering Music School taking part in a dress rehearsal for a new work being performed by the London Chamber Orchestra (LCO).

Afterwards, Jan Flanders, music and resources manager at Havering Music School, and young musician Holly Jackson met Camilla, who is patron of the orchestra, at a private reception.

Jan said: “That was a fantastic experience.

“Holly was very excited to meet Camilla and it was really lovely.

“We were thrilled to be involved in the project and the children have learnt so much from taking part in an experience like this.”

At the dress rehearsal at Queen Mary University’s Mile End, more than 130 children met for the first time, after six months of local workshops, some having only recently taken up playing an instrument.

Students from the music school have been mentoring children from diverse backgrounds, including Havering Young Carers.

The project is part of the LCO’s Music Junction programme, and sees children taught how to play instruments in order to create and perform their own compositions

Now the work they have created, titled I Am You, Brave and Strong, will be given its world premiere at Cadogan Hall in Chelsea tonight (Friday).

The piece includes a theme composed by the late Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, former Master of The Queen’s Music.

It will be conducted by LCO’s Music Director, Christopher Warren-Green.

Jan said: “It is a lot of pressure to meet just for one rehearsal, but it went really well.”

“It’s very inspiring to watch children get ready to perform at a big concert after not having played an instrument for that long.”

Now in its sixth year, the outreach and diversity project includes children from schools in Waltham Forest, Havering, Kent and Berkshire.

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