Running through The Stoller Hall’s work will be the ethos of learning, collaboration and exchange which have come to epitomise Chetham’s unique identity as a School, a body of performers and now as a world-class performance venue. A dynamic Outreach programme already includes community productions uniting hundreds of performers onstage, professional masterclasses by leading national and international artists, as well as talks and workshops designed to enhance the performance programme. All of this and more will contribute to an even wider Outreach programme in The Stoller Hall, which will enable us to produce larger, more participatory and varied events for schools, families, communities and young musicians at every stage of their development.
This vital strand of work, celebrating new audiences and new artists, will take centre stage at The Stoller Hall’s Opening Weekend with the culmination of two major Outreach projects. Manchester-based composer, Michael Betteridge, has been commissioned to write a brand new piece featuring young musicians from across Greater Manchester. In collaboration with the Greater Manchester Music Education Hub and MyHub, each Greater Manchester borough will nominate young instrumentalists to play a part in performing this bespoke composition onstage in The Stoller Hall on Saturday 22 April. The players will rehearse the piece in their local area centres before coming together as one ensemble for final rehearsals ahead of the performance.
Michael is a very successful young composer who is passionate about music education and participant-led work. As well as a composer, he is a very experienced workshop leader, animateur and conductor who has previously worked with Chetham’s, The Bridgewater Hall and HOME, among many others, on a diverse range of music outreach projects.
In parallel, artist and author James Mayhew – best known for his Ella Bella Ballerina series of children’s books – will visit four primary schools around Greater Manchester to produce large murals combining students’ responses to pieces of classical music through visual media. This artwork will be exhibited around The Stoller Hall throughout the Opening Weekend, and we very much hope that young artists will come to see their work on display and engage with the many events on offer throughout the weekend.
James Mayhew is an illustrator, author, concert presenter and storyteller. His Ella Bella Ballerina books introduce children to great pieces of music and his Katie books introduce children to great works of art. James has an extraordinary knack for bringing music to life through painting, and it is this skill which he’ll be using to work with primary schools during this project.
Outreach Programme Manager at Chetham’s, Emma Cunliffe, expressed her excitement about these projects, and the potential of The Stoller Hall to present a much wider range of performance and participatory activities for schools, families and new audiences.
“Chetham’s doesn’t stand alone – we are part of a much bigger arts education landscape and we really wanted to celebrate that at the opening weekend of The Stoller Hall. These projects will bring many different learners in different fields together from all over Manchester – just one of the things the new hall is all about.”
There are many family and learning events planned for the opening seasons of The Stoller Hall.”
The Stoller Hall’s Opening Season will be announced on Monday 9 January. Join our mailing list to ensure you’re one of the first to know what’s on offer for schools, families, adult learning and new audiences, or visit our Outreach pages to find out more about upcoming projects.