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Associate Artists inspire school pupils in St Andrews and Dundee

Posted on 9 November 2018

Tenebrae Associate Artists perform with young singers at the V&A Dundee. Credit: EikCaffery Creative

In October the Tenebrae Associate Artists were thrilled to take the reins of a new education project in partnership with St Andrews Voices and the newly opened V&A Dundee. Our fantastic four (Beth, Lissie, Bennedict, and Owain) devised and arranged the music using the V&As inaugural exhibition Speed & Style: Ocean Liners as the inspiration behind the repertoire choices: ‘My Baby’s Boat’, ‘Essequibo River’, ‘By the Waters of Babylon’, ‘Shenandoah’, ‘O Waly Waly’ and a “Mash-up” of four Spirituals.

The project brought together nearly 50 pupils from three schools (Grove Academy, Morgan Academy and Madras College) and audiences from both sides of the River Tay. Each school had two workshops with our Associate Artists in advance of the performance day during which they worked on vital skills such as how to breathe properly as singers, interpretation of text and working together as a vocal ensemble. Our Associate Artists were able to share insights from their experiences of singing in Tenebrae, inspiring the young singers they were working with.

“I learned a lot about breathing and all their helpful tips really helped us work together as a group.” (participating pupil)

Pupils learned new repertoire during these sessions, all of which was performed off by heart at the V&A. In addition to learning to sing together as an ensemble, the pupils also composed soundscapes inspired by their own experiences of the sea which opened the final performance in the main foyer “flash-mob” style.

“The leaders were all excellent, so nice and engaging and their talent was undeniable. All in all, it was an amazing experience.” (participating pupil)

The final performance was repeated three times to incredibly supportive friends and family members and unsuspecting museum visitors alike. Many returned to hear the subsequent performances and over three thousand visitors passed through the museum that day.

As ever our Associate Artists were brilliant ambassadors for the choir:

“These young singers from Tenebrae are great models for our pupils.” (teacher)

The project was a great success and enabled the festival to develop links in the local community, work with a prestigious new venue and engage new audiences and participants.

To support the work of our Associate Artists please follow this link to our appeal page.

Associate ArtistsChoral DevelopmentEducation