Well last week was rather manic!
Over the past couple of years I have set up concerts in partnership with local schools featuring the wind band I conduct: SESAW (South East Surrey Area Wind band) and last week we put together 2 huge days of music for the local area. 4 bands, 8 schools and about 450 children were involved in the events!
When I took over the band it was really struggling with numbers of players, so I started working with the local schools, setting up joint concerts, trying to get more children to know about the band and hopefully inspire others to start taking up instruments too. Through doing this I set up some larger scale concerts at the Harlequin Theatre in Redhill. The first year we managed to join up three primary schools with a very musical secondary school and my bands. In the second year we aimed higher, putting the event on over 2 nights and doubled the numbers involved. This year we moved to an even bigger theatre, trying to include even more children over two nights.
It took a lot of organising but these events are really worth while. The highlight of each evening is the joint item where we get all the children on stage performing and singing together. Choosing the right material for this is the key, previous years we’ve gone with Abba and Stevie Wonder Medleys, and this year a combo of some (surprisingly?) almost current pop with Moves Like Jagger, Party Rock Anthem and Have a Good Time.
The show this year was great in lots of ways, but particularly because we got a few schools involved who are normally really hard to get to join in with events such as these. One of the highlights was seeing other music teachers taking the lead and taking groups of schools off to work together during rehearsals.
Overall a fantastic event that has left me feeling more motivated than ever to get young children involved in music from as early an age as possible.