Top orchestra swaps Royal Albert Hall for Red House Academy

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A leading orchestra took time out from its busy schedule to raise the roof at Red House Academy.

The Royal Northern Sinfonia went along to the school to perform a string of classical favourites for students, staff and members of the community.

The Royal Northern Sinfonia pictured during their performance at Red House Academy

The Royal Northern Sinfonia pictured during their performance at Red House Academy

Pupils took a break from lessons and instead enjoyed a concert featuring music from films including Star Wars and Harry Potter, and afterwards members of the community were invited in for a second performance.

Paul Callaghan, chairman of governors at the Rutherglen Road school, said it was a fantastic opportunity to have such a top-class orchestra playing there. He added: “It was wonderful to have the Royal Northern Sinfonia play here for us.

“It was the first time anything like this has ever happened at Red House.

“They performed for our children and youngsters from our feeder primaries came across. The kids were enthralled, it was amazing.”

Dr Therese Quincey, principal of Red House Academy, said the school was thrilled to host the orchestra, and the staff and students felt very privileged.

The event was organised by Cultural Spring, a £2million Arts Council-funded project aimed at increasing arts engagement in Sunderland and South Tyneside.

And the concert gave people in Red House a chance to experience live music from the country’s only full-time chamber orchestra for the cost of just £2 a ticket. The three-year Cultural Spring project is working in a number of other Wearside areas, including Castletown, Southwick, Fulwell, St Peter’s and Biddick, and its partners include The University of Sunderland, The Customs House and Sunderland Music, Arts and Culture Trust.

Rebecca Ball, Cultural Spring project director, said she was delighted to present a prestigious orchestra on Wearside.

She said: “It was a real coup for us, and we were thrilled to bring such fantastic musical talent to the city.

“The Cultural Spring aims to bring excellent art and artists to our communities, and we hope having an internationally renowned orchestra performing in Red House will inspire and enthuse anyone who heard them.”