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On 12th June 2019 school children participating in the Crescendo music programme performed at the Ulster Hall with the Ulster Orchestra to showcase their progress.


The Centre for Evidence and Social Innovation are working in partnership with the Ulster Orchestra, Greater Shankill Children and Young People Zone and Colin Neighbourhood Partnership in the development of a music programme for children. ‘Crescendo’ is a 26 week programme currently delivered by the Ulster Orchestra in four Belfast schools (Wheatfield Primary School, Malvern Primary School, Holy Evangelists’ Primary School and The Good Shepherd Primary School) that boasts a range of benefits for the children involved and their communities. Since it was established in 2016, Crescendo has made significant strides in engaging with children, their families and the wider Colin and Shankill communities in West Belfast.

At the end of the 26 week programme, children from the four schools are invited to the Ulster Hall to perform with the Ulster Orchestra.  This year’s event was held on the 12th June 2019 and involved P3, P6 and P7 children and their families.  The musical theme was focused on Space.  The programme was devised around two movements of Gustav Holst's "Planets" suite, which lent themselves to adaptation for the students and the techniques they are currently working on. The event was a success for all involved and an apt finale to showcase the work of the Orchestra and children over the last number of years.



“Some people might find it daunting to perform in the Ulster Hall alongside the full Ulster Orchestra, but the P3 and P7 Crescendo pupils and their tutors and teachers put on a fabulous display which demonstrated the huge progress they have made, both in terms of their confidence and musical skills.” (Lucy McCullagh, Ulster Orchestra)

“This was an amazing uplifting experience, the children and the UO musicians lifted the spirits of all of us who attended. The parents, teachers, musicians and associates should be very proud of what these children have achieved.   I sincerely hope the Crescendo programme goes from strength to strength, can’t wait until the next performance.” (Annie Armstrong, Colin Neighbourhood Partnership)

“Once again a symphonic end of term celebration for Crescendo in the Ulster Hall! This is a fantastically innovative project providing children, parents, schools, researchers and whole communities the opportunity to collaborate on the development of musical, social and emotional skills.” (Dr Liam O’Hare, Centre for Evidence and Social Innovation, Queen’s University Belfast)

“The music, the energy, the pupils performance, the families engagement and the partnership of the schools, Ulster Orchestra, QUB/CESI and PwC around Crescendo in the Ulster Hall gave an expression of what the Shankill Children Zone is about.” (Dr Jackie Redpath, Greater Shankill Children and Young People Zone)

“Watching the Crescendo concert was a joyful experience. Happy children, proud parents and skilful guidance from musicians .....It was wonderful”. (Kate Thompson, Crescendo Committee Chair)

“I have been involved in this project from the outset and admired the efforts at the other projects we visited, always hoping that some day we can do something similar. Well, I am so delighted to see the progress that Crescendo has made and it was a fantastic experience to watch the children playing such beautiful music with the Ulster Orchestra. Truly inspiring!” (Kieran Drayne, Colin Neighbourhood Partnership)