Orchestra afternoon

Bristol Plays Music workshop at Bristol University

On Tuesday 18th June, Mr Barber took a group of 24 musicians from our school orchestra to Bristol University to join 200 other primary school children from across Bristol in an afternoon of music making.

Hanqi and Jamie write:

"14 schools went to the workshop. It was the biggest workshop Bristol Plays Music has ever seen!. We did three pieces of music: Symphonie Fantastique, The Nutcracker and The Avengers Theme. We did one hour and twenty minutes of tiring practice, then we went into 40 minutes of sectional practices which ended at 2:55. After that we took a refreshing break, then started again and after that we played to the parents at 4:15. It finished at 4:30. Everybody liked The Avengers because of the deafening ending."

Bristol Plays Music organised the event in partnership with the university's music department. Music students assisted, along with BPM's music teachers, and the orchestra was conducted by Phil Dixon, who is head of music at St mary Redcliffe and Temple secondary school. The pieces of music were especially arranged by Claire Alsop, who cooompanied on the piano.

Our HJS players had received the music before half term and had one rehearsal on each piece in school before attending the workshop. They worked incredibly hard all afternoon, starting at 1pm to rehearse for the first time with the full orchestra, then splitting into sectional groups to work on the tricky bits, before coming back together for a final rehearsal before their performance to parents at 4:15. They played "Marche au Supplice" from Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique; a medley of themes from famous ballets, including the Nutcracker; and the theme music from The Avengers.

The children's concentration throughout the afternoon was impressive, and the quality of the performance was absolutely amazing.

We've put some photographs on the Orchestra page.

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