What an amazing experience! While London was getting ready for the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games, the children of In Harmony Lambeth were performing with the internationally celebrated Beijing Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Maestro Tan Lihua. The Chinese enemble accompanied by the young Sistema England musicians during a concert in Stockwell Park High School.
More than 60 children from In Harmony Lambeth joined the Chinese ensemble for a performance of "Farandole", from Georges Bizet's L'Arlésienne Suite No. 2. You can watch a video below. The event was organised by the London Philharmonic Orchestra, which is a partner in the delivery of In Harmony Lambeth along with Lambeth Council's Children and Young People's Service and the Southbank Centre.
Maestro Tan rehearsed with the In Harmony children for several hours before the performance. The music practice was very hard work for the children, but the effort definitely paid off during their excellent performance. "I am very happy and proud to have been working with the wonderful children in this social programme," said Maestro Tan. "Clearly the In Harmony name is appropriate, as it suggests not only the harmony in music, but also the harmony that music can create in society."
The concert was attended by staff and students from Stockwell Park High School, parents of the children that are part of In Harmony Lambeth and other members of the Stockwell community. The Beijing Symphony Orchestra performed several pieces from both the Chinese and the Classical repertoire. Then the Sistema England children joined the orchestra for a very moving rendition of the "Chariots of Fire" theme, composed by Greek musician Vangelis, conducted by Gerry Sterling, the Director of In Harmony Lambeth. Maestro Tan then conducted the double-sized orchestra for the Bizet.