On 14th November, Mr Barber took the school orchestra to BPM in Southmead to take part in an exciting afternoon of music making with children from other Bristol schools, including Westbury Park, Elmlea, Ashley Down and Horfield. Some of our players have taken part in similar workshops before, but this was the first some some have played in such a large group. It was certainly the first time all of them have had the privilege of being led by a professional conductor, the wonderful Jonathan Lo.
The pieces chosen for the afternoon were all by American composers. First they played a traditional Shaker song of praise, Simple Gifts, from Aaron Copland's Appalachian Spring. Then they upped the pace with two songs from Leonard Bernstein's West Side Story, and finally they played the theme tune from Mission Impossible. They rehearsed hard from 1 o'clock to 4 o'clock, at which point parents arrived for a short concert performance of all three pieces. It is fair to say that not only the audience, but also the conductor was hugely impressed by the quality of the performance, which was entirley due to the focus and enthusiasm of the children throughout the afternoon.
There are more pictures of the event on the Orchestra page.