This unique and very exciting project brought together Jewish, Christian and Muslim children from five schools across London in a series of workshops and productions based on the life and work of Isaac Rosenberg. Through his story, the children learnt about life during World War One, including conditions in the trenches, the music of the period and his poetry.

Concordia artists led the preliminary workshops in the schools to introduce the children to all the music that Isaac Rosenberg would have been familiar with and to teach them songs, including ‘It’s a long way to Tipperary’ and ‘Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag’. The following week, art workshops took place at Whitechapel Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery, during which the children were encouraged to think about the idea of self and what in their life makes them who they are. The climax of the project was an interactive production at the Gresham Centre during which the children heard Isaac Rosenberg’s poetry and sang the songs they had learnt, including the specially composed ‘A Careless Heart’, using his poems and words written specially by the children.

           Watch the video of The Ballad of Whitechapel, debuted in June 2014


Cast List
Richard Stirling – Director
Charles MacDougall – Project Leader
Apollo5 – Vocal Ensemble
Violeta Barrena – Violinist
Yuval Havkin – Klezmer Musician
Oleg Lapidus – Klezmer Musician
Wendy Nottingham – Actress
Kimberley Moses – Actress

During the Concordia experience I really enjoyed working and learning about Isaac Rosenberg. Learning that he went to our school (St Paul’s) made not only me, but my class very proud. When our class went to the art gallery that was my favourite part when we drew Isaac Rosenberg. Also I liked it when we were singing.
— Sophie, St Paul’s
I liked working with the Concordia Musicians as they play funky, sad and good music. I also liked making music and sounds with Concordia’s musicians.
— Yuan Xuan He, St Paul’s
Taking part of the Concordia Foundation was very FUN! I enjoyed learning the World War One songs, going to the Whitechapel Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery; especially the concert.
— Hafsa, St Paul’s
The project that we did was really fun. The songs were nice to sing, but at first it was kind of hard to sing, but the singers helped us a lot. It was exciting to learn about Isaac Rosenberg and the fact that he came to our school is amazing.
— Ineya, St Paul’s
Thank you for helping us learn about Isaac Rosenberg. When we sang the song’s it made me feel sad and emotional hearing what they sang in the first world war. We had so much fun. I want to do it again. I’ve had so much fun learning about Isaac Rosenberg.
— Aisha, Shapla
Thank you for your amazing show at the National Portrait Gallery. You made my teacher cry, because the poem was beautiful. You made me happy and tearful.
— Sumya, Shapla

Bernard Wynick (Isaac Rosenberg’s Nephew): “The show was quite fantastic!  My mother would have been thrilled by today’s events.”

Charles MacDougall (Project Leader): “I have been bowled over by how the character of Isaac Rosenberg could connect with the children.  He was a local man and a figure with whom they could identify.  Writing poetry with the children about home, belonging and identity has been truly powerful to observe.”

Kate Harris (Project Administrator): “This has been an incredible project – commemorating WWI by focusing on the people behind the war and their experiences.”


With grateful thanks to all the Concordia Artists involved in this project,
the Whitechapel Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery, the Gresham Centre
and the Rosenberg Family for giving us the opportunity to bring this project to life.

This project was made possible with the generous support of
Beazley Group plc, Reed Elsevier and Dasha Shenkman