Under the Stars


RPO resound worked with young musicians from across Newham, who composed a piece which was performed with the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra (RPCO) at the Under the Stars festival recently. Alec Haylor, the Orchestra’s Community & Education Coordinator, caught up with three of our Under the Stars participants – Paras, Aarya and Chidera – from Newham’s Every Child a Musician (ECaM) project, ahead of this performance  to see how they had been getting on…

We’re approaching the big concert on Sunday where you’ll perform your new piece with the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra. Have you ever done a performance this big before?

Paras – Not this big. I’ve always looked up to the Orchestra, I’ve always watched them, and so to actually play with them is a big dream for me.

Aarya – I’ve been in a concert before but have only been playing for one and a half years, so when I saw the Orchestra play at the Under the Stars Taster Day, I thought they were fantastic. When I found out that we were going to be playing with them I was speechless.

Chidera – This is my first big performance opportunity, I’m looking forward to it but I’m quite nervous.

Having worked closely with three members of the RPCO throughout the workshops this week, in addition to your ECaM tutors, do you think you have learnt anything musically on this project?

Paras – I’ve learnt to slide up the strings on the double bass and have learnt how to avoid pain in my fingers by holding the double bass in a different way.

Aarya – On the viola I’m not used to playing sharps, which I never knew I could do before. Now when I’m playing on a new string it feels really weird, but in a good way. Sometimes I don’t even know where notes are but I can practice my viola and expand on what I’ve learnt here.

Chidera – I’ve learnt how to play new notes on different strings and how to play trills.

What’s been your favourite part of the project so far?

Paras – Playing and working with members of the Orchestra.

Chidera – My favourite bit has been the dream tune.

Aarya – That we’ve come across new things to learn, and now we’re going to play with the RPCO. When I started playing my viola I didn’t know what I was doing, but I moved on when I actually got given a viola of my own, and I started working at it day by day. It got easier and easier, and now I’m playing here with a little orchestra. It doesn’t matter what instrument you play, it just matters that you’ve actually done something with that instrument instead of just saying you can play it.


About Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Acknowledged as one of the UK’s most prestigious orchestras, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) enjoys an international reputation for bringing audiences worldwide first-class performances and the highest possible standards of music-making across a diverse range of musical repertoire. This was the vision of the Orchestra’s flamboyant founder Sir Thomas Beecham, whose legacy is maintained today as the Orchestra thrives under the exceptional direction of its new Artistic Director and Principal Conductor, Maestro Charles Dutoit.
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