Western Power Distribution (WPD) is working with the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama to enable a new generation of young people across South Wales to access the performing arts and experience a live classical performance in the world-class facilities of the Royal Welsh College. They are also supporting a competition for a local school to win a beginners musical instrument.
WPD’S sponsorship of the College’s production of Santa’s Stressful Day will subsidise the costs of tickets for primary schools from Community First areas in Wales, offering them access to music and theatre and introducing them to classical music and brass instruments.
Participating schools will also have the chance to enter a music–themed drawing competition to win a beginner’s musical instrument, provided by WPD, for their school. The intention is to extend the project into 2016, providing follow-up outreach musical workshops with the schools to stimulate their continued interest in the arts.
RWCMD head of brass, Kevin Price, explains the importance of experiencing live music:
“Everyone who goes to the movies or watches TV experiences an orchestra or ensemble providing a soundtrack which makes the action come to life. But often the “invisible” musicians remain unnoticed. When we go to concerts, the musicians are in the spotlight, but it is easy to become distracted and to miss the story behind the music. Santa’s Stressful Day puts a live brass and percussion ensemble onstage, with narrator and puppetry illuminating the story in a stunning, live audio-visual feast which tells an amusing and educational original story.
This work has been created by a local poet and a local composer and really demonstrates the power of imagination, all brought to life by the music and drama students of RWCMD. Forget 3D cinema…this is REAL and will leave a lasting impression on everyone who sees it; children will be inspired to follow their creative ideas and adults will be reminded of the importance of laughter, family and Christmas!”
WPD’s Corporate Communications Manager, Paul Bishop adds, “We believe it is the responsibility of large organisations like ours to play a full and active role in the communities they serve.
“We are delighted to be working in partnership with the Royal Welsh College. Events such as these are an important part of helping to introduce the world of music and drama to young lives. We hope the experience of visiting the College is one they’ll never forget.
“The competition will give pupils the opportunity to show off their skills and we’re looking forward to seeing the artwork they produce. Good Luck to everyone who enters.”
Royal Welsh College design student Rachel Brown is creating puppets who will appear alongside the musicians, helping to tell the story and engage the children in the performance. Rachel is also providing the schools with activity sheets so they can make their own puppets when they return to school.
“The brass and percussion music is accompanied by a descriptive narration, which makes it very suitable for designing puppets,” says Rachel. “Santa has to travel around the world to find animals to pull the sleigh, so there are a variety of characterful creatures which I’m bringing to life in puppet form, from a ferocious lion to a family of excitable guinea pigs!
Of course the music is fantastic on its own, but we hope the using the puppets will enhance the performance as a visual aid, making it more engaging and interesting for the children, some of whom will be hearing classical music for the first time. “
For more information contact: Helen Dunning, firstname.lastname@example.org/02920 391422
All photography Patrick Olner
• Western Power Distribution (WPD) is the distribution network operator for the Midlands, South West England and South Wales, and is responsible for delivering electricity to approximately 7.8 million customers in the UK. WPD is not an electricity supply company and does not bill customers in the UK. Its responsibility is to distribute electricity from the point of generation to homes and businesses.
• The Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, the National Conservatoire of Wales, and part of the University of South Wales Group, operates within its international peer group of conservatoires and specialist arts colleges. It trains young artists drawn from around 30 countries to provide a constant flow of emerging talent into the music and theatre industries and related professions. In June 2011, the College opened new £22.5 million performance and rehearsal spaces. The world-class facilities include the Richard Burton Theatre, the Linbury Gallery, a café bar, rehearsal studios and the Dora Stoutzker Hall.
The College was recently ranked in the Guardian University League tables as the top Drama training programme in the UK for the second time in three years. The College’s music training was also recognised in the music subject category for graduate employment, scoring higher than any other university or conservatoire for the percentage of graduates who find graduate-level jobs, or are pursuing further studies, within six months of graduation.