More than 1,000 local school children will get to see and experience a full orchestra live – many for the very first time – at Bath Abbey on Tuesday 24 February.
Bath Abbey’s Schools’ Singing Programme and Bath Primary Schools’ Arts Festival are linking up with professional orchestra, Kidenza, for a day of workshops and an evening concert aimed at dispelling the belief that classical music is “boring” or “just for old people”. This is part of the BBC’s nation-wide initiative “Ten Pieces”, which is designed to inspire creativity through music, art and dance and to open up the world of classical music to children.
Specialist-children’s orchestra, Kidenza, is one of 200 ‘Champions’ chosen by the BBC to help deliver its “Ten Pieces” project and will be leading the workshops at Bath Abbey on 24 February, as well as giving a concert in the evening. The children attending Kidenza’s workshops at the Abbey will enjoy activities tailored to provide a more thorough experience of the “Ten Pieces” chosen by the BBC comprising well-known classics including Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 and John Adams’ Short Ride in a Fast Machine. The youngsters will also get to see and hear a variety of instruments played individually before the orchestra comes together to perform the “Ten Pieces”.
Shean Bowers, Choral Director for Schools at Bath Abbey, said: “It is very hard to forget the first time you see a full orchestra live! My first experience of a live orchestra was when I was seven years old, and it was such an exciting adventure. We’re so pleased to be able to offer hundreds of young people in Bath this opportunity. They’ll get to find out more about all the different instruments which form an orchestra, as well as experience the thrill of a live classical concert – all in the Abbey’s beautiful surroundings. Due to such high demand from schools, there will be an additional concert in the evening suitable for all ages, to which everyone is welcome.”
Anne Bull, Head teacher of Weston All Saints Primary, said: “Not everyone is born into a musical family, nor do many children get to experience orchestral music. Hopefully, events like this will help people realise that classical music is for everyone, not just for a select few. Our goal is to inspire the next generation of musicians and concert goers in Bath, and to encourage them to enjoy a life-long love for classical music. We really hope those who aren’t able to attend the workshops during the day will be able to join us at the Abbey for a fun and lively evening of classical music with Kidenza.”
The workshops, led by Kidenza, will be attended by pupils from 20 different schools from around the city as part of the Abbey’s Schools’ Singing Programme annual workshop week, while the concert for children and families at 6.30pm is open to all. It promises to be a fun and interactive evening of orchestral music ideal for families and children with an exciting yet familiar programme featuring well-known classics including most of “The BBC Ten Pieces”. Selected pieces will be accompanied by a unique blend of digital animation presenting a multi-sensory experience with activities for the audience to participate in throughout. Tickets priced at £10 Adult, £6 Child (under 16) are available from the Bath Box Office www.bathboxoffice.org.uk