This song cycle was inspired by the RSPB’s 2014 discovery of the migratory route of one of Britain’s rarest birds, the red-necked phalarope.
Facing huge obstacles, this tiny creature which weighs no more than a packet of crisps, successfully crosses the Atlantic between Shetland and Peru every year. It passes through environments as diverse and challenging as the icy regions of the north and the storms of the Caribbean.
This little bird’s journey tells an inspiring story about strength and resilience in the face of harsh conditions, and of the unstoppable drive for survival among earth’s creatures.
The piece, commissioned specially for this event by Haringey Music Service, involved the borough’s youth symphony orchestra, big band, steel pan, guitar ensembles and youth choir Haringey Vox as well as junior instrumentalists and choirs from 48 Haringey schools. A group of young musicians from Lima, Peru also performed at the event.
Alongside learning the songs and instrumental pieces, Haringey children explored the story of the Phalarope’s journey and looked at ideas around flight and freedom through movement, visual art and poetry. Poems written by the children formed the links between each piece of music and carried the story along. (see Poems page)
The song cycle was performed by 2000 young singers and instrumentalists at the Royal Albert Hall on June 27th as the finale of the Haringey Schools Music Festival.
The cycle is being performed by 400 North Cumbrian primary school children accompanied by Cumbria Youth Orchestra and BlueJam Youth Jazz on July 10th 2017.
Individual songs from the cycle were enthusiastically performed at “Big Sing at the Big Screen” events run by BlueJam Arts at Rheged IMAX Theatre in Autumn 2016. Participating schools contributed their own animated films, songs, poems and artwork on the themes of flight and journeys. (see poems and gallery pages)