PlayFest with Merton Music Presents
PlayFest with Merton Music Presents

Educational Projects, in association with Merton Music Foundation

The Festival sets great store on music in education and the importance of building audiences for the future. Over the past ten years, our partnership with Merton Music Foundation has enabled thousands of Merton children to both participate in and attend workshops and concerts. In our tenth anniversary year we have raised the bar again and as well as our established lunchtime and family concerts, we have introduced Schools PlayFest and are also supporting ‘Merton Music Presents...’ a new partnership between Merton Music Foundation and New Wimbledon Theatre.

Merton Music Foundation

In a recent Merton Music Foundation (MMF) survey involving 400 children from schools in the east of the borough, over 80% of the children questioned had never been to the theatre or a live music event. Of those who had, most had been taken by their schools. So, in January 2019 MMF are staging 2 special concerts at the theatre for Merton Primary-aged children.

Merton Music Presents...

We provide an opportunity for all Merton Primary schools to bring large groups to a specially prepared performance by the eclectic and inspiring electric string group ‘Stringfever’. Part of the 75min programme will involve the young audience singing a set of pre-prepared song arrangements with Stringfever. MMF will also provide a range of preparatory and extension activities for all Merton schools to access. We aim to fill the theatre with 1,000 young audience members over the day. We intend this concert to become a yearly event, as part of our core offer to Merton schools.

A donation of £2 will sponsor a seat for a child who may never have been to a live concert before and help build the audiences of the future. You can donate when purchasing your tickets to support Merton Music Presents. There will also be collections at selected concerts during the festival, including the family concerts.


Schools PlayFest

New for our tenth anniversary Schools PlayFest is a mix of in-school workshops and performances. To coincide with St. Cecilia's day (Patron Saint of Musicians) Schools PlayFest includes a range of informal musical activity in schools during the week culminating in workshops and performances in schools on 22 and 23 November delivered by the fantastic jazz group Blues and Roots Ensemble.

Previous Educational Projects with MMF include:

Recorder Workshop With Piers Adams, enjoyed by 140 young recorder players.

Merton on the March (2017)
Merton Music Foundation Choir of 50 young voices opened the Festival with Songs from the First World War, and formed the Children's Chorus for the performance of the Robert Graves Oratorio, ‘The Cool Web’. Schools programmes and workshops explored the social life of the Merton Community at a time of war, and the history of Wimbledon Common.

Soldier's Tale (2014)
The WIMF original production, 180 children took part in a cross-curricular arts project on the theme ‘A Soldier in Life’, leading to a workshop performance.

The Journey (2013)
Nearly 200 singers and jazz musicians from Merton schools performed an innovative ‘groove’ cantata specially composed by Peter Churchill, which explored the history of immigration to the UK. The project was developed to the scale of 1,500 Merton school children performing at London's Royal Albert Hall.

Petrushka (2012)
The WIMF original production, primary schools in Merton enjoyed workshops in storytelling, puppet making, and dance, leading to a workshop performance.

Noye's Fludde (2011)
Noye's Fludde production - with local Merton schools, and Wimbledon College of Art providing costumes, masks and puppets, with more than 200 local school children and amateurs playing and singing alongside world-class musicians.