Mid Sussex Schools’ Orchestra Day brings Young Musicians Together

TUE 22 JAN 2019

On Friday 11thJanuary, over 100 pupils from five secondary schools across the area convened at Oathall Community College in Haywards Heath for the inaugural Mid Sussex Schools’ Orchestra Day. The event, which was facilitated by West Sussex Music, provided an opportunity for young musicians of all abilities to experience the thrill of playing alongside peers, as part of a large ensemble.

West Sussex Music’s Leader for School Engagement for Secondary Schools, Lizzie Holmes worked closely with the Heads of Music to coordinate the event which saw pupils from Downlands Community School, Oathall Community College, St Paul’s Catholic College, The Burgess Hill Academy and Warden Park Secondary Academy, enjoy a full day of music-making, alongsideinstrumental teachers from West Sussex Music, professional musicians from Ensemble Reza, as well as their own school music leaders.“The Orchestra Day was a real success, the pupils involved were a credit to their instrumental teachers, and school music departments. It was a pleasure to work together with music teachers across the locality to bring this event together.” Said Lizzie Holmes.

Providing enriching, high quality musical experiences for young people across the county is at the heart of what West Sussex Music do. “Through our curriculum support, professional development opportunities and facilitating role, we work hard to keep music within the very fabric of secondary school life.”Explains James Underwood, West Sussex Music Chief Executive. “It’s wonderful to see our collective efforts coming together, as they did at Oathall last Friday. Seeing over 100 young musicians perform as an ensemble was incredibly powerful and I’m sure it’s an experience that none of the pupils will forget.”  

The Secondary Schools’ Orchestra day is just one of the large-scale, high quality musical experiences that West Sussex Music offers children locally. We also provide a broad range of progressive ensemble opportunities at our Haywards Heath Music Centre, also based at Oathall Community College on a Saturday morning. Every week during term time, children can enjoy a whole range of musical activities including bands, choirs, orchestras as well as lessons and aural and theory classes. The West Sussex Music Centres not only bring children together through a shared love of music but also offer a clear progression route on to the county level West Sussex Youth Orchestras and Choirs and beyond that to Junior Conservatoires and national ensembles. So, whatever the choice of instrument, level of competence or age, there is a suitable activity to be found.