A total of 423 schools participated in our Explore the Orchestra series this year with 5,500 watching in the concert hall at Lighthouse, Poole and 26,932 tuning in online throughout the BSO’s territory in the South West and further afield across the UK from Kent to Cumbria— as well as some schools accessing the livestream from across the channel in France!

Explore the Orchestra: Midnight Magic is inspired by the night time…with a magical twist! The concert included the premiere of James Redwood’s new participatory piece Can’t Get To Sleep, which was created with schools in the BCP area and built in partnership with SoundStorm. Renowned conductor Natalie Murray-Beale led the Orchestra in a concert that also featured music from Saint-Saëns Danse Macabre to John Williams Harry Potter: Hedwig’s Theme.

But the journey doesn’t just begin in the concert hall. Learning materials are provided beforehand for students to enhance their experience, including key materials to aid in the participatory piece such as music parts, lyrics and audio tracks, and an introduction to Makaton. You can find these materials here.

The concert was also livestreamed, providing an opportunity for schools who couldn’t attend in person to stream the concert. This broadcast will be available for 30 days so students are able to catch up –or watch again.

Students enjoying music at Lighthouse, Poole (C) Corin Messer

Students enjoying the music at Lighthouse, Poole (C) Corin Messer

It was wonderful to see students faces light up in the concert hall as they took part in the participatory song; recognised parts of well-known pieces, or just absorbed the sound of full symphonic music!

We can’t wait to see you all again next year! But in the meantime you can carry on #ExploringtheOrchestra for free here (until 17 June).

As ever we love hearing what you thought, and were thrilled to receive this feedback via social media channels from schools:

“Our KS2 children had a fantastic afternoon experiencing a live concert with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. We are feeling very inspired! Thank you @BSOrchestra!”

St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, Poole

“Thank you so much to @BSOrchestra for a fab schools’ concert today #exploretheorcheestra @CastleCourtYr6 at @CastleCourtPrep really enjoyed learning about the different pieces of music and taking part in James Redwood’s musical masterpiece #CastleCourtCurious”

Castle Court School, Poole

“This week Year 4 had the amazing opportunity to attend Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra’s live concert. They were in awe of all the extremely talented musicians and even contributed to one of their performances. Thank you @BSOrchestra and @SoundStorm”

Jewell Academy, Bournemouth

“Today the school orchestra watched a concert live streamed by the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra to schools around the country. They were so excited to hear composers talk about their music and hear it played by a 100 strong orchestra. @BSOrchestra”

Trull School, Taunton

“Fantastic opportunity for our children to watch a live performance @BSOrchestra. Inspiring!”

Riviera Trust, Torbay


Watch the highlights video below!