Outreach is a really important part of what we do in DUPO, and the highlight of every year is the annual free concert for local primary schools. This year it was held in the Mark Hillery Arts Centre, Collingwood, and organised by our outreach officers, Becky Taylor and Charlotte Sasse.

The main focus of the schools’ concert was to inspire the next generation to keep music going, and we wanted to pick a wide selection of styles to show how varied orchestral music can be. The schools we contacted were lovely to talk to and very keen to bring along pupils. To start the concert we played something most of them would recognise, the theme to ’20th Century Fox’. The children were introduced to all the instruments of the orchestra, most of which they probably already knew, but most likely a few were new to them. We then performed a set of contrasting pieces which took them through all the main periods of music, ranging from opera to ballet music. To show how music changes around the world, we followed this with a set of different dances ranging from a tango to the well recognised Hungarian Dance by Brahms. The exciting finale to the concert was a Disney medley, which the children really enjoyed and sang along to. This year’s Schools’ Concert was successful in showing primary school children how fun orchestral playing can be, and also showing them that they hear orchestras all the time in movies, ballets, shows etc. without realising.

This year we will be continuing our outreach work by playing alongside St Margaret’s Primary School in third term, helping them write and perform their own music. All of our concerts this year will be free of charge to under 12s and we hope that we will be able to encourage local families and young people to come along! Our upcoming concerts this term will be on Saturday 1st December for the Symphony orchestra, and Thursday 13th December for the Chamber orchestra.