As part of the events planned to mark the Academy’s Bicentenary, Open Academy launched two special projects: 200 PIECES in Schools and Daylighting. Both projects celebrate our long-standing partnership with Camden Music and their commitment to engagement and encouraging participation in music at every level.

The 200 PIECES in Schools project aims to address the observed decrease in the take up of music as a GCSE subject in recent years. Whilst all Open Academy projects have a focus on creativity and music making, the 200 PIECES project offers a new experience to secondary school students, with the intention of encouraging and supporting them in pursuing music as an academic subject. Through a series of workshops devised by PhD composition students Gareth Moorcraft, Keting Sun and James B Wilson (alum), Open Academy worked with 216 secondary school students in their classrooms to support them in creating their own pieces of music by exploring the concept of graphic scores. The school students worked intensively alongside alumni Open Academy fellows, getting to know the characteristics and possibilities of their instruments. This project placed imagination, exploration and expression at the centre of the experience of creating music and encouraged young people to feel that their individual creativity is valuable.

All pieces were recorded and are available online.

Also as part of the Academy’s Bicentenary celebrations, 105 children from Netley and St Alban’s CE Primary Schools have been working with Suzi Zumpe and Hazel Gould during Autumn and Spring term 2021-22. They will be performing alongside Academy students in Daylighting, a new piece by PhD composition student Louise Drewett (with a libretto by Clare Shaw). Daylighting explores the Tyburn, one of London’s hidden rivers that flows within 300 yards of the Academy. Focusing on environmental issues, the piece features one of the herons of Regent’s Park.

These workshops also included visits by the composer, singers and instrumentalists involved in the project.

The piece will bring all performers on stage together in the Academy’s award-winning Susie Sainsbury Theatre in February 2022.

Daylighting takes place Tuesday 22 - Friday 25 February at 6pm, tickets are available here.