Thousands of children to experience symphonic music at Lighthouse, Poole in sold-out ‘Explore the Orchestra’ schools’ concerts: further live-stream tickets now available (18 May).

Music welcomes in the transformation of the churchyard of St Peter’s, Bournemouth, as BSO musicians perform string music this spring (14 May).

Amateur musicians of all ages welcomed to sit alongside professionals this July, as ‘Rusties’ returns to Lighthouse, Poole (from 3 July).


Thousands will experience the power of live orchestral music this summer, as Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (BSO) returns in full to spaces in and around Bournemouth and Poole. From its ever-popular Meyrick Park ‘Proms in the Park’ performances to the return of the Orchestra’s lively Schools’ Concerts at Lighthouse, Poole there is something for all to enjoy.

This summer, the BSO — one of the UK’s best-loved orchestras, which exists to champion the role of culture in people’s lives — returns with a series of popular events, both large and small.

Alongside popular symphonic concerts in Meyrick Park, Bournemouth, and at Lighthouse, Poole, musicians from the Orchestra will bring live music to St Peter’s Church, Bournemouth as the historic venue celebrates the revitalisation of its churchyard, supported by the National Lottery Community Fund and Dorset Wildlife Trust.

The Orchestra also invites amateur musicians to sit alongside its professional players as part of a ‘Rusties’ concert this July at Lighthouse, Poole; three rehearsal sessions take place ahead of the 24 July concert.

Dougie Scarfe, the BSO’s Chief Executive said, “We’re beyond excited to return with a series of ‘BSO Proms in the Park’ concerts to celebrate summer in Bournemouth this year, and are extraordinarily grateful to our partners at BCP Council, who have helped enable its return, and to Investec, who are generously supporting the Friday night concert — prepare to celebrate in the live experience like never before! We’re also delighted to bring our live music-making to St Peter’s Church when its historic town-centre churchyard marks a new chapter for Bournemouth this May.

“With over 10,000 school children already signed up to experience live symphonic music through our ‘Explore the Orchestra’ performances — both in the hall and online — we’re thrilled to encourage their musical journey of discovery this season. If you’re a lapsed player there’s never been a better time to return to playing, and we look forward to welcoming ‘Rusties’ to play alongside the professionals this July. Whether you’re coming to the BSO’s live music-making for the first time or not, we can’t wait to share the power of the live experience with you this summer.”

‘Proms in the Park’ returns to Bournemouth’s Meyrick Park

The Orchestra returns to Meyrick Park, Bournemouth for two celebratory evenings this August in partnership with BCP Council: Queen Symphonic Spectacular (Sat 6 Aug) and Classical Extravaganza (Fri 5 Aug), which is supported by Investec as the Friday night Experience Sponsor.

‘Classical Extravaganza’ features some of the best-loved symphonic music written, from Borodin’s Polovtsian Dances and Khachaturian’s Adagio from Spartacus, to film favourites like John Williams’ Superman March and music from Hans Zimmer’s Gladiator.

A host of stars from the West End smash hit musical We Will Rock You unite forces with the BSO to present a special kind of magic on the Saturday night. The Orchestra is restaging its ‘Queen Symphonic Spectacular’ following huge success in Meyrick Park in 2007.

Visitors are welcome to bring picnics on-site to enjoy an evening of live music, and both events culminate in an impressive choreographed fireworks display.

Thousands of school children to ‘Explore the Orchestra’

The Orchestra’s free Schools’ Concerts are a firm favourite in the BSO year, and have historically provided generations of local children with their first taste of the live symphonic experience.

This spring, the concerts return to Lighthouse, Poole (Wed 18 May) in full symphonic glory as the young audience returns to the hall.

A set of music education resources are offered to teachers and pupils in advance of the concert, which is themed ‘Midnight Magic’. Children will sing and play along with presenter James Redwood, use Makaton signing, and learn body percussion. The project culminates in the world premiere of Redwood’s new orchestral work, Can’t Get To Sleep, which draws on ideas offered by pupils across the BCP region, in partnership with SoundStorm Music Education Agency and its Music Education Hub.

Over 10,000 pupils are already signed up to watch the live event in-person or online, and further tickets for the livestream are now available. The performance will also be available to view for 30 days online.

‘Explore the Orchestra: Midnight Magic’ has been supported by a group of generous individuals and charitable trusts and follows digital experiences offered during the pandemic, which last year reached over 28,300 children online.

The BSO joins celebration of St Peter’s churchyard, Bournemouth

St Peter’s Church, Bournemouth, celebrates a new chapter this spring as its town centre churchyard marks a transformation into a welcoming green space through the ‘St Peter’s Reimagined’ project, which has been supported by the National Lottery Community Fund and Dorset Wildlife Trust.

Musicians from the BSO will perform at St Peter’s Church, Bournemouth (Sat 14 May) to mark the fruition of the community project: the BSO String Ensemble performs a family-friendly concert at 5pm, and earlier in the day a quartet will perform outside as visitors experience the revitalised spaces alongside a series of family-friendly activities. Repertoire includes works by Bach, Britten, and Purcell.

The church has a long association with the BSO: both the Orchestra’s founder, Sir Dan Godfrey, and its celebrated former Principal Conductor, Constantin Silvestri, rest in the churchyard. The church has also played host to a number of significant cultural figures, including Sir Hubert Parry who was baptised in its font and Mary Shelley, the creator of Frankenstein.

Amateur musicians invited to take part in ‘Rusties’ event

Amateur performers of all ages — whether lapsed players or up and coming talent — are invited to take part in a unique coaching and performing experience this summer.

The BSO’s ‘Rusties’ will rehearse during three sessions in Dorset this July, with amateur players given the opportunity to perform alongside the BSO’s professional musicians. The series culminates with a public concert on Sunday 24 July, at Lighthouse, Poole.

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra concludes its main season of full symphonic music this May, following performances in Basingstoke, Exeter, Poole, and Portsmouth, featuring a range of guest artists from around the globe. The BSO made history as one of the first British orchestras to return to the stage in 2020, and its livestreamed broadcasts continue to reach audience in the South West and beyond.

Musicians from the Orchestra will also perform at Christchurch Priory, on Friday 6 May, when the Orchestra Benevolent Fund — an independent charity run for the musicians, by the musicians — gives its annual performance. The chamber concert includes works by Debussy and Brahms.

Join musicians from the BSO at St Peter’s, Bournemouth (Sat 14 May); ‘Explore the Orchestra: Midnight Magic’ at Lighthouse, Poole (Wed 18 May); with ‘Dorset Rusties’ at Lighthouse, Poole (Sun 24 July); and for ‘BSO Proms in the Park’ (Fri 5Sat 6 Aug). For tickets and further information see