King's Hawford

4 February

Orchestral Workshop

Popular Orchestral Workshop event returns!
King’s Hawford musicians were delighted to see the return of the King’s Orchestral Workshop to the school calendar this term. This event brings together musicians from across the King’s Foundation for a day of musical collaboration. On Tuesday morning, children above Grade 2 standard from Year 4 upwards headed to “Big King’s” to join up with their contemporaries from King’s St Alban’s and King’s Senior School. The John Moore Theatre quickly came to life with a forty strong orchestra warming up by looking at the repertoire for the day; Vivaldi, Joplin and James Rae all proved popular choices.
The workshop, lead by Mr Graham Gunter, was a resounding success and the staff involved were delighted that pupils from across The Foundation were able to take part in such a rewarding day of music making. Whilst the pandemic has allowed musicians time to improve their individual skills, the workshop proved the importance of making music together.
All of the King’s Hawford children benefitted greatly from the experience. Henry, a Year 6 Harpist, commented, “It was really good getting to play with so many different types of instruments – my favourite piece was Marching Through Mud because it is very low”. Cameron, a Year 6 Trumpeter, added,  “I’ve enjoyed playing some of the music all together but the Highland Parade was quite challenging!”.
Many of the children relished the challenges that the Workshop presented. Clarinet player Edward (Y6) admitted, “I love playing some of the challenging pieces and I’m really enjoying playing with everybody. I’ve never played in a group this big and it’s really amazing.”.

Aside from the opportunity to play in a large orchestra, many of the children relished the chance to meet children from King’s St Alban’s and the Senior School, with Eva (Y6) saying, “It’s really good fun, especially as we got to meet some of the children from King’s St Alban’s who are in our year group.”.

As well as meeting children from their age group, our musicians were able to catch up with a few former King’s Hawford pupils who were able to offer some sage advice. Alex (U4) encouraged the children to be “really determined” to keep going with their instrument as “it will pay off in the end”. Merri (U4) highlighted how important the workshop was for the younger pupils, saying, “It’s a great day because you can learn from the older children, which helps your skills and inspires you”.

Mrs Hughes, who accompanied the children, was full of praise for the day, adding, “It was such a wonderful experience for everyone involved. The children up-skilled their sight-reading, and did more playing in a day than many would in a week. Exhausting and exhilarating, it was a most memorable and special day after such a long period of being unable to rehearse in ensembles. Everyone’s joy at performing together was evident”.

The day concluded with a wonderful finale concert. It was a brilliant culmination of hard work and determination. All of 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 our very own Mrs Hughes, opened the concert and warm, mellow brass tones filled the auditorium.

The rapturous applause from the audience at the end of the concert was an indicator of how warmly received the concert had been. Well done to all those involved. We can’t wait to do it all again next year!