Any serious British fell runner will have more than a few choice tales of taking on the Welsh peaks. Having run a few of them ourselves we can confirm that there’s definitely something special in these mountains, particularly on a clear day. Even so, it’s not often the hills are literally alive with the sound of music. Sunday the 14 May was the exception.
The Welsh Sinfonia are known and celebrated for their concert hall performances throughout Wales. But on the 14 May they skipped their usual performance environment in favour of something a little less…classical; the summit of the Welsh Three Peaks.
Carrying their instruments in tow, the musicians ascended Snowdon, Cadair Idris and Pen Y Fan (all in the one day) and still managed to have enough breath to perform a traditional Welsh melody at the top of each peak.
Clarinettist Greg Hearle, who lead the climbing team, said: “As an orchestra that operates all over Wales, we usually have to appreciate the beauty of the Welsh landscape from the confines of the tour bus, so I was really excited to get out on the trails and spread the word about Crescendo not only to fellow hikers but the wider community.”
The challenge was completed to raise awareness of ‘Crescendo’, a project that aims to engage more young people in music for their health and mental wellbeing. The project works with five secondary schools across Wales for a period of five years, building a school orchestra mentored by professional musicians and introducing children who don’t play an instrument to music.
“Crescendo is by far the most dynamic and worthwhile education project I have been involved with in 33 years,” says conductor Mark Eager.
“I feel privileged to be able to conduct so many developing musicians, some of whom have now chosen music as a career and others for whom it has been a life-changing experience in other ways.”
How you can help
Each Crescendo project costs £140,000, much of which the orchestra funds through fundraising challenges like completing the Welsh Three Peaks.
To donate to the project and the orchestra’s challenge click here