3rd Dec, 2016

Young Solihull musicians join forces to play at Birmingham's Symphony Hall

Shaun Reynolds 14th Mar, 2016 Updated: 21st Oct, 2016

HUNDREDS of talented students from schools across Solihull have joined ranks to form a mass orchestra and play at the Symphony Hall in Birmingham.

Introduced by Julian Lloyd Webber, the concert was initiated by the Secondary School Music Network in response to a national decline in orchestras and classical music.

Drummers, percussionists and guitarists from Grace Academy Solihull were selected to take part in the Symphony Hall performance of BBC Music’s Ten Pieces, and got the chance to work with some outstanding musicians.

Catherine Dyke, year 10 music student from Grace Academy Solihull, said: “I was excited to be taking part in the mass orchestra project.

“I never thought I would get to do something like this when I chose GCSE Music.

“I was really excited and couldn’t wait to perform to so many people.”

Richard Jones, assistant head of service at Solihull Music Service said the event was the first time it had ever been done in Solihull, if not nationally.

He added: “We hope this project will be a catalyst in Solihull to improve the retention of instrumental players.

“We want to raise the aspirations of our most talented players, raise the profile of orchestral playing in schools and improve awareness of access to additional music making opportunities for young people.”

Students taking part in the concert included Grace Academy pupils Ben Hunt, Dominic Steen, Harley Danks, Adam Clarke, Catherine Dyke, Alex Tsitis, James Llewellyn Charlton, and Oliver Hindley.

Music Teacher Deborah Hadley said: “This is the first time the students have played as part of a mass orchestra and performed at such a large venue.

“It has really helped to build their instrumental skill, confidence and social skills.”