SCHOOLCHILDREN have written an emotional piece of music under lockdown and hope to perform it together when they all return to the classroom.

Pupils at St John the Baptist and Fairlight primary schools in Brighton came up with their piece with the help of composer James Redwood.

Their project was due to take place in March but moved online when the spread of coronavirus led to nationwide school closures.

The music explores how a magical potion can transform darkness into hope and light. It was inspired by Donizetti’s opera L’elisir d’amore, which a charity arranged for the pupils to see live at Glyndebourne last year.

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Awards For Young Musicians, which supports young musicians from low income families and promotes music education, has overseen the whole project from that first visit to what would have been a large group recital.

Coronavirus put paid to the plans for a performance but the pupils have been working together online and hope to play the piece over Zoom video link and in person when everyone returns to school in September.

The children offered their own musical ideas in response to the opera, which James helped turn into a piece of music for youngsters from a range of instrumental groups and abilities.

He said: “I was so delighted that we managed to find a way to continue this project after we had such an inspiring start at St John the Baptist School back in March.

“The music the young people created was too good to let it fall by the wayside and the fantastic new material created by the musicians at Fairlight provided the uplifting ending that the piece needed to complete its journey.

“I really hope the young musicians in both schools approve of the way I’ve joined their ideas together and I can’t wait to hear them playing it.”

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Natasha Gawlinski from Awards For Young Musicians said: “It has been so amazing seeing how the pupils at the two primary schools have grown in confidence and musically during the last year of running the Furthering Talent project.

“We were determined to keep the project and music going throughout lockdown.

“The musical ideas from the children have been fantastic and it was quite emotional for me hearing the final piece that James has put together given the current situation of lockdown and school closures.

“I look forward to seeing all the children and families in a Zoom concert of this piece as well as hopefully in person whenever circumstances allow.”