Youngsters delight Symphony Hall to mark 75 years of Oxfordshire County Music Service

More than 500 young musicians from Oxfordshire descended on Birmingham’s prestigious Symphony Hall to perform a special concert to celebrate 75 years of the County Music Service.

A wide range of fantastic instrumental and vocal performances wowed a packed audience on Saturday (25 March) as various bands, orchestras and choirs took to the stage having honed their skills with the music service.

At one point a massed choir made up of children from Oxfordshire primary and secondary schools performed alongside singers from established Music Service vocal groups.











“Commitment and skill”

Head of the Oxfordshire County Music Service Angela Turton said: “This was a fantastic performance and experience for all staff and students involved. Oxfordshire County Music Service has changed a great deal since the first service was set up in 1942, but one thing that has remained a constant is the commitment and skill of its tutors and other staff, and the talent that generations of the county’s children have brought to the stage.

She added: “The service has a very bright future, and this was truly evident in the high standard and wide range of performances given. By encouraging diversity and embracing technology, we hope to expand the service and ensure that quality, the hallmark of our service, is maintained.”

The concert featured performances from:

  • Oxfordshire Schools Symphony Orchestra
  • Oxfordshire County Youth Choir
  • Oxfordshire Youth Percussion Ensemble
  • Oxfordshire Youth Wind Band
  • Oxfordshire Massed Big Band
  • Oxfordshire Youth Music theatre
  • Oxfordshire County Youth Orchestra

There were pre-concert 'foyer performances' from the Dixieland, Function and Brass Bands, String Quartet, Boy’s A Cappella Singers and Harpist. A staff performance also went down well with the audience.











Massed choirs featured children from:

Caldecott Primary School; Dorchester St Birinus; Marcham Primary School; St Andrew’s, Headington; St Edmunds Catholic, Abingdon; St Mary’s,Banbury: West Oxford Community Primary School; Windmill Primary School, Headington; Wootton St Peter’s Primary School; Bartholomew school, Eynsham; Fitzharrys School, Abingdon; Matthew Arnold School, Oxford; Magdalen College School.

Joining the schools were the Oxfordshire County Youth Choir, Oxfordshire Young Singers, South Oxfordshire Young Singers and Oxfordshire Youth Music Theatre.











Comments from those present:

  • “The parents, extended families and the particularly the participating children will remember this as a very special occasion in their lives and one which, I am sure for some, will be a key factor in what they choose to do for the future.” Richard Hallam – Music Education Council
  • “The event was a tremendous success and enjoyed by everyone I've spoken to. Many thanks to everyone at the Music Service for the hard work and time they put into organising it. A great occasion for the Music Service and one which all the young musicians will all remember with pleasure.” Clare Saunders - Parent
  • “What a fantastic concert on Saturday evening! We would like to say a huge thank you for the opportunity to sing an amazing piece of music, in such a fabulous concert hall with that number of children and young people. We felt very privileged to be part of it. These experiences are very special and memories will last a lifetime. I know!” Katherine Johnson - Marcham Primary School
  • “I thought it was inspiring concert and one that everyone who took part will remember for a very long time so thank you for bringing it all together.” Lynn Knapp – Headteacher, Windmill Primary School
  • “A great night and it was a privilege to announce Apollo’s Lyre – a great piece!” Claire Toogood – Arts Council England

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