Havering Music School in Hornchurch encouraged local students to celebrate and explore music through a week-long series of workshops. Students were invited to take part in a range of sessions including DJ-ing classes led by Future DJs, composition workshops, samba lessons as well as a Conductive Music workshop, where students built, programmed and composed for electronic instruments.
As part of the school’s ongoing partnership with the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in London, it also played host to an amazing group of musicians from Indonesia who worked alongside staff and pupils at the Music Summer School, collaborating on two pieces that combine orchestral instruments with the sounds of West Javanese drums, flutes and vocals.
Students at the Music Summer School had the opportunity to learn traditional gamelan and other instruments from Indonesia in special masterclasses with the musicians and singers from the group Kyai Fatahillah and Havering-based gamelan teacher Sarah Stuchfield.
The two pieces, including a special performance of traditional West Javanese music and dance by these world class performers in the theatre space in Havering Sixth Form College, were then performed for students and their families. These were written and led by Indonesian composer and master musician Iwan Gunawan.
The group is in the UK as part of an Indonesian Cultural Caravan, which has seen them perform all over the country, including a performance at the WOMAD festival.
The Education and Culture Attaché at the Embassy of Indonesia in London, Prof. E. Aminudin Aziz said: “The aim of the Cultural Caravan is to strengthen the ties between our two island nations of Indonesia and the UK, via projects that are always based in educational institutions, with a view to their sustainability in the long term.
“The project is the initiative of the Education and Culture Attaché and receives full funding support from the Embassy of Indonesia in London and the Ministry of Education and Culture, Indonesia”.
The project is part of an ongoing partnership between the Indonesian Embassy in London and Havering Music School – over the last two years the Indonesian Embassy has sponsored numerous residencies in schools in the borough and a collaborative project with students at Havering Sixth Form College, as well as gifting a set of Angklung instruments to Havering Music School to be used in schools and sent a member of staff to Bandung, Indonesia, to train to play them.
Gary Griffiths, head of Havering Music School said: “It’s brilliant to see how engaged the students were in all of the different sessions which took place throughout the week. Music is such an effective way for children to express themselves, and it was great for parents to be able to see everything they had learnt during the final performance.”