1,000 school children play along with top orchestra

1,000 school children play along with top orchestra


norman lebrecht

May 11, 2011

More grassroots goings-on, this time from the north of England:


Over 16,000 primary school children to perform alongside the Hallé at The Bridgewater Hall

Come and Play with the Hallé allows thousands of primary school children from across the North West to perform alongside the Hallé – one of Britain’s finest symphony orchestras – in eight special concerts throughout June.

The pupils have been working hard under the direction of their local music services to learn a specially devised version of Chuck Rio’s Tequila, which they will perform alongside the Hallé during these unique concerts. In each concert, over 1,000 young string, brass, woodwind and percussion players will sit in the Stalls and Circle levels of Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall – with their instruments – as they join the Hallé to fill the auditorium with an enormous massed sound.

A further 1,000 children will have the chance to sing Mark and Helen Johnson’s ‘Life is a Wonderful Thing’ from the Sing Up Songbank and join in with the other participatory elements. Each concert will be conducted by the Hallé’s Assistant Conductor, Andrew Gourlay and presented by Hallé horn player, Tom Redmond – known for presenting the Hallé’s Family and Hallé for Youth concerts.

The children have been taking part in the government’s Wider Opportunities scheme, which gives pupils in all primary schools the opportunity of learning to play a musical instrument as part of their weekly curriculum.

The Hallé’s Education Director, Steve Pickett, said: “Come and Play with the Hallé gives thousands of children not only the opportunity to watch an award-winning symphony orchestra, perhaps for the first time, but also to perform alongside one. Hopefully, with the dedication of the music services, this will encourage every young musician to continue playing their instrument for many years to come.”

During the concerts, the Hallé itself will also perform:

Grieg Peer Gynt Suite

Holst Mars from ‘The Planets’

Tchaikovsky Symphony No.4 (excerpts)

Nyman Miranda

Debussy Clair de Lune

John Williams ‘Harry’s Wondrous World’ from Harry Potter

Tchaikovsky 1812 Overture


For more information, interviews and pictures, please call the Hallé’s Marketing and Press Officer, Liz Robinson on press@halle.co.uk / 0161 237 7008

or Sabina Wagstyl at Valerie Barber PR: sabina@vbpr.co.uk / 020 7586 8560