More than 500 young musicians from Oxfordshire descended on Birmingham’s prestigious Symphony Hall to perform a special concert to celebrate 75 years of the County Music Service.
A wide range of instrumental and vocal performances wowed a packed audience on Saturday March 25 as a host of bands, orchestras and choirs took to the stage having honed their skills with the Music Service.
The Oxfordshire County Council Music Service provides instrumental, vocal, performing arts and music theory tuition and activities for young people.
Children from a number of Oxfordshire primary and secondary schools made up one of the choirs performing alongside singers from established Music Service vocal groups.
Head of the Oxfordshire County Music Service Angela Turton said of the event: “This was a fantastic performance and experience for all staff and students involved.
“Oxfordshire County Music Service has changed a great deal since the first service was set up in 1942, but one thing that has remained a constant is the commitment and skill of its tutors and other staff, and the talent that generations of the county’s children have brought to the stage.”
She added: “The service has a very bright future, and this was truly evident in the high standard and wide range of performances given.
“By encouraging diversity and embracing technology, we hope to expand the service and ensure that quality, the hallmark of our service, is maintained.”
The concert featured performances from an array of Oxfordshire groups including Oxfordshire Schools Symphony Orchestra, Oxfordshire County Youth Choir and Oxfordshire Massed Big Band among others.
Children from St Andrew’s School and Windmill Primary School, Headington, along with Arnold School, Oxford and St Edmunds Catholic, Abingdon were some of the Oxfordshire schools that took part in the massed choir.
Windmill Primary School Headteacher Lynn Knapp said: “I thought it was inspiring concert and one that everyone who took part will remember for a very long time.”
Katherine Johnson at Marcham Primary School added: “What a fantastic concert on Saturday evening.
“We would like to say a huge thank you for the opportunity to sing an amazing piece of music, in such a fabulous concert hall with that number of children and young people.
“We felt very privileged to be part of it. These experiences are very special and memories will last a lifetime.”
Richard Hallam from the Music Education Council said: “The parents, extended families and the particularly the participating children will remember this as a very special occasion in their lives and one which, I am sure for some, will be a key factor in what they choose to do for the future.”
There were also pre-concert ‘foyer performances’ from the Dixieland, Function and Brass Bands, String Quartet, Boy’s A Cappella Singers and Harpist.
- The full list of schools which took part is as follows:
Caldecott Primary School; Dorchester St Birinus; Marcham Primary School; St Andrew’s, Headington; St Edmunds Catholic, Abingdon; St Mary’s,Banbury: West Oxford Community Primary School; Windmill Primary School, Headington; Wootton St Peter’s Primary School; Bartholomew school, Eynsham; Fitzharrys School, Abingdon; Matthew Arnold School, Oxford; Magdalen College School.
Joining the schools were the Oxfordshire County Youth Choir, Oxfordshire Young Singers, South Oxfordshire Young Singers and Oxfordshire Youth Music Theatre.