Jacqui Cameron, Director of Education and In Harmony, Opera North
What is In Harmony?
In Harmony Opera North is a Community Residency programme taking place at Windmill Primary School and Low Road Primary School impacting on 650 children in full-time education and the wider community in the Belle Isle area of South Leeds. It is the first In Harmony project in Yorkshire, the only one nationally that is delivered by an opera company, and includes a significant focus on singing as well as instrument playing.
In Harmony Opera North (Leeds) focuses on the children and wider school community of Windmill and Low Road Primary Schools, aiming to transform aspirations and learning outcomes for children through an immersive programme of high quality music tuition, and regular performance opportunities.
All of the children with In Harmony Opera North take part in transformational music activities, both within curriculum time and as free extra-curricular activities. All Year 1-6 pupils have the opportunity to play in an orchestra and receive their own instrument, in addition to singing activities, which develop musicianship skills.
Other workshops and outreach activities range from a community choir to pop-up performances by musicians from the Orchestra of Opera North in shops and living rooms, extending the reach of In Harmony throughout the local community to include adults and older children.
In Harmony uses music to bring positive change to the lives of children and across the wider community. The programme, currently funded by the Department for Education and Arts Council England, has ongoing projects in Lambeth and Liverpool, Newcastle and Gateshead, Nottingham, and Telford and Stoke in addition to In Harmony Opera North.
In addition to the broad and creative curriculum all our pupils receive, each and every child will learn the violin, viola, cello or double bass and take part in orchestras and choirs led by specially selected teaching artists. This amounts to over 3 hours of additional tuition per week and opportunities to perform in some of the most prestigious venues around the country. Past performances have included Leeds Town Hall, Hull City Hall and the South Bank Centre in London.
Children also have the opportunity to attend up to 3 after school sessions (equating to 7 hours activities) to further develop their social skills and musical talents. The ‘In Harmony Hub’ operates between the South Leeds Youth Hub and Windmill school.
Who manages In Harmony?
Jacqui sits on the management board of Opera North. As Director of Education and In Harmony, she leads a team of nine education staff and is responsible for the overall strategic direction of the department, of which the In Harmony ON programme is a core part. Jacqui is responsible for the role In Harmony ON plays in contributing to the wider company’s strategic objectives.
Charlotte Taylor, In Harmony Manager
Charlotte has overall responsibility for programme delivery, management of the Project Managers and the In Harmony music team, budget management and strategic planning. She also leads on monitoring and evaluation, learning and social outcomes and quality assurance. Charlotte is also SEND Governor for the Music Federation.