ROOTS is an innovative project that seeks to support schools in Cambridgeshire in delivering high quality and sustainable music education.  It seeks to connect professional musicians with young people, providing new opportunities for training and models for learning to be extended across primary and secondary schools in the region.

The project consists of two strands.  The vocal strand, (led by Voces8 in years 1 and 2, and now by Echo), provides training for young people in leadership in singing, introducing a comprehensive programme for promoting singing within primary and secondary schools.  The instrumental strand, led by The Brook Street Band, established in 2019 “The Roots Baroque Ensemble”, giving young people across the county of Cambridgeshire the chance to play 17th and 18th century music in an historically informed style. Young musicians have worked with The Brook Street Band intensively on various aspects of baroque music-making, including style and performance practice, dance and ornamentation. Musicians have performed in concerts in Cambridge and Norwich and during lockdown completed an online Corelli project. Specialist coaching is provided through workshops and access to period instruments through supporting partners.

A central aim of the project is to develop an interest in and passion for Early Music among young people, drawing on professional expertise and the latest research to introduce styles of music and performance practices rarely encountered by school students. 

ROOTS was set up as a collaboration between the participating professional musicians, the music education hub (Cambridgeshire Music), Cambridge Early Music, the University of Cambridge, and Anglia Ruskin University. Funding has come from the Helen Hamlyn Trust, HERA (Humanities in the European Research Area), Arts Council England and The Chapman Charitable Trust.