King's St Alban's

2 February

Orchestral Workshop: Challenge, courage and collaboration

Foundation orchestral music comes alive once more!
Excitement levels were high on Tuesday morning in anticipation of the King’s Orchestral Workshop. Children from Year 4 to Year 9 (Lower Remove) from across the Foundation gathered in the theatre for a day full of musical delight. A forty strong orchestra warmed up by looking at the repertoire for the day; Vivaldi, Joplin and James Rae all proved popular choices.
Mr Graham Gunter, who co-ordinates this event for all three schools, was delighted that the young people were allowed to experience such rewarding day of music making. The pandemic has allowed musicians to continue to improve their individual instrumental skills and this talent was on fine display throughout the day. Ensemble opportunities have been more limited and, as we emerge from being kept apart, this workshop showed the benefit of making music together.
Comments from the pupils speak volumes as to how much they enjoyed the experience.
“For my first orchestral work shop, it was the right balance of hard work and fun!” Sebastian
“It is really good fun, especially as we get to meet some of the children from St Alban’s Year 6.” Eva
John, a music scholar currently in Year 9, took part in his first orchestral workshop in Year 4. He performed a fine solo, full of musical depth…and he also helped to coach many of the younger brass players throughout the day. “It was good to get back playing, especially as this will be my last opportunity to be involved”
And Mrs Kilbey commented, “It was a pleasure to conduct the wind band today, talented young musicians joining together and sharing their passion for music.”
The finale concert was a joyous occasion; the performers’ faces were full of focus and determination and the audience were treated to delicate music playing. All the music performed in the concert by the ensembles was unseen before the workshop and the musicians rose to the challenge of learning the notes, rhythms and most importantly collaborative ensemble skills. Fanfare Furio, composed by Mrs Hughes from King’s Hawford, opened the concert and warm, mellow brass tones filled the auditorium.
Congratulations go to the soloists, John, Sophie, Henry, Samantha and Olivia, who showed tremendous leadership and musicianship.
After the applause and bows subsided, Mr Gunter confessed that this, his 17th workshop, has been his favourite one so far….see you again in 2023!