Sunday 16 June will see the culmination of a months-long collaborative project between Durham University Palatinate Orchestra and St Margaret’s Primary School.

Since January, pupils at St Margaret’s have been creating their own works of art, inclding statues, collages, paintings, and bunting. Working together with PhD student and DUPO executive committee member Rob King, the pupils have used this artwork as inspiration to compose their very own pieces of music, much in the same way Mussorgsky was inspired by the works of artist Viktor Hartmann to compose his famous Pictures at an Exhibition.

Starting from Monday 10 June, DUPO Symphony orchestra will rehearse these original pieces as part of their annual “DUPO week”, a week-long schedule of intense rehearsals and exciting social events. As part of the project, pupils from St Margaret’s will join in with a number of these rehearsals, for what will most likely be their first experience of playing in a full symphony orchestra of over 100 people!

The whole week will be leading up to Sunday 16 June, the grand premiere of the pupils’ compositions. DUPO Symphony orchestra, joined on stage by pupils from St Margaret’s School, will perform this music in place of the usual “promenades”, the pieces of music that connect the various movements of Mussorgksy’s Pictures at an Exhibition.

Throughout this project, DUPO’s aim has been to bring classical music to a young audience in a vibrant and exciting way and provide young musicians with a unique performing opportunity, in line with the orchestra’s wider objectives of making classical music accessible and giving back to the local community of Durham. This year, for the first time, the DUPO executive committee has included the role of Outreach Coordinators, Becky Taylor and Charlotte Sasse, who organised the annual free concert for local primary school children in November. On top of this, the orchestra has been offering free tickets for Under 12s to all of their concerts.

This project has been made possible thanks to the generosity of the Durham AAP’s ‘It’s Up to You’ Grant, and the Durham Univeristy Arts Management Grant.

Concert Programme

DUPO Symphony Orchestra

Mussorgsky, Pictures at an Exhibition

with pupils from St Margaret’s Primary School

DUPO Chamber Orchestra

Reinhold Gliere, Concerto for Coloratura Soprano

with soloist Hannah Ambrose

Stravinsky, The Firebird


Tickets for Sunday’s concert are available at