CHILDREN from eight city state schools joined forces with a North Oxford private school to amaze parents and teachers in a percussion concert.

More than 80 youngsters from primary schools across Oxford came together for the day of workshops put on by professionals, culminating in an energetic performance at the Dragon School.

Pupils from the independent school welcomed those from Pegasus, Orchard Meadow and Windmill primary schools, as well as young musicians from St Barnabas, St Ebbes, Windale, St Andrews and Wolvercote primary schools.

The Dragon pupils also took part in the workshops put on by the Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra earlier this month.

Director of music at Dragon School, Vicky Savage, said: "The workshops teach children to listen, concentrate, take instruction and work in a team with people they have never met before.

"Percussion is a particularly powerful vehicle for combining children together in music and they all played with energy and focus to create a truly outstanding sound.

"They are so proud of what they achieved."

In the morning they were split into small groups learning a variety of instruments including djembes, orchestral percussion, and drums from the Indonesian Gamelan orchestra.

After lunch James Godfrey from the Philharmonic Orchestra blended the sounds of all the groups together and within a couple of hours the 80-strong orchestra was ready.

Nate White, from Windmill Primary School in Headington, said: "We had never seen some of the instruments before - I played the xylophone in the Gamelan orchestra."

Thomas Clarkson, also from Windmill, said: "I have never done anything like it before. I have never played with so many people - it was really good."

The rousing performance enthralled parents as well as teachers from all the schools taking part.

Lisa Johnson, mother of Dragon pupil Angus, who played in the concert, said: "It was like going to a stage show.

"The energy was infectious and I wanted to get up and take part."

Over the past few years the Dragon School has run similar workshops for primary schools, focussing on Strings, Woodwind and Brass.

It is part of an outreach programme enabling children from across the city to play instruments and work together to enjoy the experience of making music.

The independent school is the lead sponsor of the Blackbird Academy Trust - which contains Orchard Meadow, Pegasus School and Windale Primary School.