At the BSO we believe it is invaluable for young people to have the opportunity to explore the arts and to develop an understanding of the different musical career paths available. As part of this week, students had the opportunity to spend time with various departments at the Orchestra including Communications, Development, Digital, Library, Marketing and Musicians.

A Musicians Workshop was led by BSO Associate Musician Matt Harrison with the assistance of Tony Waller – freelance trumpet – and our principal bassoonist Tammy Thorn. The workshop involved helping to plan and perform a unique piece, using a Colour Circle for inspiration; you can see and hear the results below!

Lucy, who took part in the Musicians Workshop, said:

‘This workshop was a valuable experience because it gave us the creative freedom to plan and perform a unique piece. Throughout the session, but especially during the third activity where we created a piece of music using a piece of artwork, we were given the opportunity to give our opinions on how the ensemble should play. For example, during the third activity, I contributed on how one of the sections should be played, saying how the red part of the artwork could be played using glissandi as it reflects the arc of the shapes.’

Students were also given the opportunity to write concert reviews as part of their work experience with the Communications department.

‘The production quality of this digital concert is something to be proud of. As if a riveting musical performance wasn’t enough, the music is accompanied by shots of the picturesque views from St Giles House. A personal favourite of mine would have to be the swans on the lake, accompanied by Saint-Saëns’ famous masterpiece, which mirrored the regal yet graceful nature of the piece that the musicians so accurately captured.’  Heidi reviews Music from St. Giles.

To encourage the sharing of different expertise, there was an opportunity for students to take part in a skillshare where they taught others some of their own skills such as the Clarion and Calligraphy.

The Clarion presented by Phoebe

 ‘I learnt a lot about the mechanics of the clarion, and also I loved that Phoebe gave us all another opportunity to play together as a group.’  Niamh

 ‘I have learnt a lot about a completely new instrument that I hadn’t heard of before, the clarion. I think everything about it is amazing. The technology is so advanced now and I love how it’s being put to good use. Not only does the clarion sound amazing, but it genuinely is an awesome instrument!’  Fiona

Calligraphy presented by Niamh

‘As a visual learner, I found this session very therapeutic and easy to follow along. The video definitely helped me quite a lot as it was good to watch somebody properly draw out the process of calligraphy.’ Fiona

‘I really enjoyed doing calligraphy as it was very relaxing and therapeutic…I learned how to correctly write letters when doing calligraphy and how to make writing look pretty.’ Heidi

Hear more about what the students thought about the week in the video below! 


To find out more about the Bronze Arts Award click here. Applications for the 2022/23 academic year are now OPEN! Click here for information on how to apply.

Or to register your interest please contact Catherine Hoolihan (BSO Participate Coordinator) via email at or via telephone on 01202 644726.