Young people playing guitars and other instruments on stage

Soft Touch Arts

PWCF supported Soft Touch Arts in 2016 and 2018 to deliver Symphonize, an urban/classical music fusion project in Leicester delivered with the Philharmonia Orchestra. Symphonize aims to engage disadvantaged young people in composing, producing, recording and performing original cross-genre music.

The Symphonize project’s innovative approach enables disadvantaged teenagers who are passionate about popular music styles to work alongside musicians from a professional classical orchestra to create and perform original compositions through: 
• Taster engagement sessions in local schools and youth projects 
• An intensive one-week project taking participants through all the steps to create their own collaborative musical compositions 
• A public performance 

Young people singing and playing instruments on stage

Feedback from young people 

“Symphonize 2019 to me is about being all together. We’re just working on it together and going through it together so we’re not all alone.” 

to a kind of groovy music, and we can also change the velocity of everything and change the sound so it’s low pitch, high pitch, frequency and stuff like that.”  

“It’s been interesting because I’ve never done it before. I think Symphonize is about people coming together, you know, to make music.” 

“Music is a thing to escape from the world with, so you put your emotion into the instrument you’re using so it’s your home, you make it your home. And it has meaning, especially to me because using a keyboard and guitar makes me feel calm and at ease.” 


“Having been involved in Symphonize for the last four years I am always amazed by the transformation of children into musicians over the course of a week. To be able to play a brass instrument takes both mental and physical ability plus lots of practice. Every year at the end of what is quite an intensive period of learning children stand up in public and perform music which in some instances might take a year to master. The initial nerves soon give way to a massive sense of achievement which is evident by the smiles they have on their faces at the end of the concert. It is a big confidence boost to children who in some cases are struggling with the most mundane everyday tasks due to shyness and self-worth. I hope this project can continue to provide inspiration to as many children as possible over the coming years.” Phil White, No. 2 trombone, Philharmonia Orchestra