West Side Story among works chosen by BBC's Ten Pieces initiative to inspire a love of classical music in school children

The Ten Pieces initiative will be extended from primary to secondary schools this year

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The Independent Online

West Side Story and Ride of the Valkyries have been included in ten works chosen by the BBC designed to inspire a love of classical music in secondary school children.

The Ten Pieces initiative, led by “ambassadors” including Nicola Benedetti and trumpeter Alison Balsom, will be extended from primary to secondary schools this year.

The BBC Philharmonic will star in a new film, directed by Nick Wickham, who has shot music videos for Rihanna and Beyonce.

In October, students across the UK will be invited to special cinema screenings of the film, which features the orchestra performing the ten works, to a backdrop of animation and live action.

The pieces, which include includes Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto, Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries and Leonard Bernstein’s Mambo, were chosen to  represent a “wide range of styles and eras relevant to the secondary music curriculum for ages 11 and above,” the  BBC said.

More than 10,000 primary schools have already participated in the first stage of the project. The initiative aims to “inspire a generation of children to get creative with classical music by using a selection of ten pieces of music as a spring-board for creativity.”

The children’s creative responses to the music, through compositions, dance, poetry, digital art or animation, will be showcased at two special Proms concerts at the Royal Albert Hall in June.

Schools will also be able to attend live performances of the Ten Pieces across the country throughout the year.

The Ten Pieces project was driven by Katy Jones, executive producer, who died suddenly of a brain haemorrhage at the age of 51 last month.

Bob Shennan, Director, BBC Music, said:  “The glowing success of Ten Pieces is a testament to the dedication and passion of Katy Jones who sadly passed away earlier this year. It’s a fitting tribute to her that we now launch Ten Pieces Secondary featuring a diverse and entertaining range of pieces which Katy herself loved.”

Tony Hall, Director-General, BBC, said: “I’m so proud of this campaign, the biggest commitment the BBC has ever made to music education in our country.”

Nitin Sawhney, the musicians and Ambassdor for the project, said: “Children need to challenge their imaginations and a formal education in the arts instils children with confidence and an ability to learn through intuition as well as intellect. It empowers children to understand their own identity and emotions. I hope that through my participation in this wonderful project I could somehow contribute to that journey and process.”

The Ten Pieces for Secondary Schools are:

* J. S. Bach, orch. Stokowski - Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565

* Bernstein - 'Mambo' from 'West Side Story'

* Bizet - 'Habanera' and 'Toreador Song' from 'Carmen'

* Anna Clyne - Night Ferry

* Haydn - Trumpet Concerto (3rd movement), Soloist: Alison Balsom

* Gabriel Prokofiev - Concerto for Turntables and Orchestra (5th movement) Soloist: DJ Mr Switch

* Shostakovich - Symphony No. 10 (2nd movement)

* Vaughan Williams - The Lark Ascending, Soloist: Nicola Benedetti

* Verdi - 'Dies Irae' and ‘Tuba Mirum’ from 'Requiem'

* Wagner - 'Ride of the Valkyries' from 'Die Walküre'

Schools can book free tickets for these screenings via the Ten Pieces website – bbc.co.uk/tenpieces