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Wigmore Hall debut with Heath Quartet for Arnhem Wharf school's young composers

PUBLISHED: 12:37 06 March 2015 | UPDATED: 13:11 09 March 2015

On the fiddle... Arnhem Wharf pupils' in Wigmore Hall debut

On the fiddle... Arnhem Wharf pupils' in Wigmore Hall debut

Janet Banzaca/Arnham Wharf

Music compositions by children from a Docklands school in London's East End have been performed on stage at the prestigeous Wigmore Hall.

Workshop at Arnhem Wharf Primary... rehersing with professional string quartetWorkshop at Arnhem Wharf Primary... rehersing with professional string quartet

The honour follows a series of professional workshops held at Millwall’s Arnhem Primary, on Isle of Dogs, where youngsters aged eight and nine have been taking part in a music project.

The workshops led to a performance of their compositions at The Wigmore on Tuesday.

The Year 4 pupils have been receiving classical music tuition in the Chamber Challenge, a project run by Wigmore Hall Learning programme.

Isle of Dogs Youngsters have their debut at The WigmoreIsle of Dogs Youngsters have their debut at The Wigmore

The compositions were inspired by CS Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe which they read in their literacy lessons.

“The experience of performing on the stage at Wigmore Hall is something the children will never forget,” Arnhem Warf’s Arts Curriculum teacher Janet Banzaca explained.

“They started learning violin or ’cello in September. Many were amazed to be playing alongside some of the country’s best musicians and discovered musical talents they didn’t know they had.”

The 60 pupils have been writing scores for the renowned Heath Quartet, an internationally-acclaimed string quartet, and performing their compositions alongside them.

Wigmore Hall’s Schools project manager Daisy Swift said: “The imagination, focus and creativity of the pupils was fantastic, seeing their compositions unfold, while witnessing young people engaging with and being inspired by world-class musicians.”

Arnhem Wharf’s website reveals a love of the Arts at the school, catering for children between three and 11, and across the curriculum and all aspects of school life. “We are particularly proud of the recognition we have received for our work in the arts,” it says. “We have been awarded both Sing Up Platinum and Artsmark Gold awards.”

Ofsted’s 2013 report described the school as showing a “passion for the pupils”.

The school has support funding from Morgan Stanley financial services in Canary Wharf nearby, which pays for its breakfast club and school journeys.

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