GROUND-BREAKING choral group Harmony North from North Belfast gave a wonderful performance recently at a reception hosted by Irish Ambassador to Britain Dan Mulhall and his wife Greta.
Harmony North is an inter-denominational choir comprising of 190 young people from nine Post Primary schools in North Belfast. The music project was launched last summer and offers young people a positive means of exploring shared identity, building common bonds and growing new friendships that may otherwise not be possible.
Artistically directed by classical pianist Barry Douglas OBE, the choir aims to bring young people together from across the divide to showcase their talents and attributes whilst raising their aspirations, promoting good relations, and projecting a positive image of the area in which they live.
The first and pilot year of the Harmony North project will involve several high profile performances which include the trip to London, performances in Belfast in March and April and a performance in May at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC as part of their International Festival: Celebrating a Century of Irish Arts and Culture.
A representative group of 20 students from the choir travelled to London for the trip which included the Irish Embassy reception, an evening at the musical Wicked, a visit to Imperial College with a lunch hosted by the Professor James Sterling and his wife Paula, both former pupils of Belfast Royal Academy, and a vocal masterclass at the Royal College of Music led by Professor Richard Jackson involving Sinéad O’Kelly and three other masters students. The choir also visited the Guildhall School of Music and Drama for a workshop with Professor Carlos Lopez-Real in the Milton Court Theatre and finished off their trip with a visit to the London Eye.
The project Harmony North has been seed funded by the Integrated Education Fund.