Julian Lloyd Webber, the chairman of Sistema England, praised the brilliant children of In Harmony NewcastleGateshead during a visit to Hawthorn Primary School.

“We’ve had a fantastic day,” said Julian. “It’s just been a brilliant experience, and I’m so impressed with the concentration of the children.”

Julian observed the string lessons for Year 1 and Year 2 pupils, and he joined the class with a half-size cello. Later, he watched a rehearsal of the programme’s full orchestra, and he joined a group of older children in a creative session.

During the visit, Julian met with Anthony Sargent, general director; Wendy Smith, head of strategy and enterprise; and Ed Milner, head of music learning at Sage Gateshead, the organisation that leads In Harmony NewcastleGateshead, as well as Judy Cowgill, headteacher of Hawthorn Primary.

In Harmony NewcastleGateshead is jointly funded by the Department for Education and the National Lottery through Arts Council England.