Nine local Music Services (Bolton, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan) have teamed up with 15 regional music organisations to ensure that Greater Manchester children have access to high quality music programmes both in and out of school.

Secret Music is a new commission by the Greater Manchester Music Hub, a large and dynamic partnership committed to bringing the very best in music education to children in their region.

Composer, Ed Puddick, was invited to write a ground-breaking piece that combined a massed primary school choir with one of the Hub's flagship ensembles, the Greater Manchester Jazz Orchestra. His brief was to write a piece that the children could perform and enjoy, but which was not a 'kids piece', and that it took as its point of inspiration the theme of the First World War.

Ed chose to work with Siegfried Sassoon's poem Secret Music, written whilst the poet was serving on the front line. Sassoon was an accomplished pianist and his poems describe how he used his musical memories and imagination to escape the brutal reality of war.

Dave Little, Head of Wigan Music Service, said 'This music and the scale of the project has really put our musical and teaching skills to the test. Working in an unfamiliar genre and with historic text is not an easy sell to primary age pupils, but we knew that as the rehearsal process developed, the choirs would fall in love with this piece. This is exactly what has happened.... The project has once again brought together the nine music services of the Greater Manchester Music Hub and we are learning from each other's expertise and being inspired by the children who are at the heart of the project. Not one of our nine music services could have done this alone, and it is symbolic in proving the values of the Greater Manchester Music Hub.'

The piece finishes with the final line of Sassoon's poem which tells us that even amidst the hell of the First World War, 'music dawned above despair', a message that still rings true 100 years on.

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February 2017
Sat 25 February
Truro RPU Festival
Sun 26 February
Norwich RPU Festival
Mon 27 February
London RPU Festival
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