The spectacular schools programme Webster's WaterWorks, had an Olympic twist on May 25th when hundreds of schoolchildren had the chance to play two iconic pieces with Olympian themes alongside the Ulster Orchestra. The special concert, developed by the Ulster Orchestra's Education Department for Belfast Harbour, saw 550 Key Stage 2 pupils from 12 Belfast schools pack the Ulster Hall to play along with the Orchestra on instruments they had created themselves from recycled materials during workshops at their schools. The concert programme for the day included the Grammy award-winning Olympic Fanfare and Theme written by John Williams and the Oscar-winning Chariots of Fire score composed by Vangelis.
Supported by Belfast Harbour, Webster's WaterWorks enables pupils to take a voyage of discovery through some wonderful music centred on a theme of water â€“ including the themes from Titanic, Pirates of the Caribbean and John Williams' haunting theme from Jaws. Other pieces included Benjamin Britten's atmospheric piece -Storm. The preparatory workshops with the Ulster Orchestra encouraged the children to explore their creativity by composing and performing their own musical pieces as well as learning specific rhythms that were performed at the concert.
Ken Perry acted as MC for the special concert and was ably assisted by Webster â€“ Belfast Harbour's Environmental Guardian. Ken invited one lucky pupil on stage to help Conductor Stephen Bell conduct the Orchestra for one of the pieces.
The Ulster Orchestra's Head of Development, Tracy Marshall, said: '2012 is a significant year with the celebrations for the Olympic games in London. As a consequence, we have decided to include two stirring Olympian pieces which we hope will whet the appetite for that great celebration of sport and culture.'
Roy Adair, Chief Executive, Belfast Harbour, said, 'Raising environmental awareness amongst young people is a vital element of Belfast Harbour's extensive engagement with schools. Webster's WaterWorks is an excellent initiative, providing schoolchildren with the opportunity to learn more about green issues through the medium of music â€“ as well, of course, as getting to meet the Harbour's very own Environmental Guardian, Webster. 2012 is a significant year for Titanic and the Olympics; it is exciting for the pupils to have these themes incorporated within the concert'