9 school concert trips you should book for 2019-20

by Aug 21, 2019Advice, News

Do you ever find yourself teaching a GCSE, A level, or Scottish Higher set work and thinking: if only they could hear this being performed live? It’s one thing listening to a Youtube video or Spotify recording, but something else completely to take students to a concert hall (for many, it may well be the first time they have ever stepped foot in one) and give them the opportunity to experience live music. And to this end, some of the most well-known professional orchestras in the UK organise concerts specifically aimed at KS3, GCSE and A level music students. They have put together programmes relating directly to set works, and on their websites even state which exam boards their concerts are relevant for.   So in this post, I have put together details of some brilliant concerts and events, by region, coming up in 2019-20. I hope there will be something here that you will be able to attend and enjoy with your students…

1. Hallé Orchestra (North West)

Set Works Concert: Orchestra through the ages

Date and time: Friday 24th January 2020 at 1:45pm

Location: Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

Price: details available during September

Website: https://www.halle.co.uk/education/setworks/ .

“The concerts take pupils from Year 9 through to sixth form on a guided tour of music from the Baroque era through to film scores from Hollywood blockbusters, and feature a number of orchestral pieces from the AQA, OCR, WJEC and Edexcel syllabi.  Pupils will be given a brief history and live musical analysis of these pieces as well as tracing the evolution of the symphony orchestra, all accompanied by the world-class Hallé. The concert also features soloists from the Royal Northern College of Music and the whole event is captured on live camera feeds which allow the audience to have a close-up view of the orchestra throughout the performance.” More details available during September – click here for website.

2. Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra (North West)

Concert: “Our Global Vision – an exploration of our planet!”

Date and time: Thursday 5 March, 2020 at 10:30am

Location: Liverpool Philharmonic Hall

Price: £4.50 per pupil plus free teacher ticket for every 10 pupils

Website: www.liverpoolphil.com/take-part/schools-concerts/concerts-secondary-schools/ .

With your booking you will receive:

  • A scheme of work specifically written for Key Stage 3 based on the concert theme.
  • Access to repertoire specially recorded by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.
  • Detailed information and a risk assessment in advance of your trip to help make the trip hassle-free for you as the organiser!

Experience: A fantastic way for young people to ‘explore the arts as an audience member’ when working towards their Arts Award. The power of orchestral music, through carefully chosen works designed to inspire and engage your students! Click here for more details

3. City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (West Midlands)

Concert: Feel the Music (for KS3 pupils)

Dates and times: Monday 3rd & Tuesday 4th February 2020; performances at 11am and 1:30pm.

Location: Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Cost: £6 per pupil

Website: https://cbso.co.uk/event/ks3-feel-the-music

Image credit: Craig Holmes

Details: “Joy, terror, deep calm and edge-of-the seat thrills – the symphony orchestra is the  greatest machine ever invented for expressing human emotion. And in this hour-long Schools’ Concert , specially devised for students in Key Stage Three, conductor Michael Seal, presenter Tim Redmond and 80 world-class musicians won’t hold back, as Berlioz, Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky and Arvo Pärt wear their hearts on their sleeves!” Please click here for more information.

4. London Symphony Orchestra (London)

Concert: LSO Discovery Secondary Schools’ Concert

Date and time: Wednesday 4 March 2020, time tbc

Location: Barbican Concert Hall, London

Website: https://lso.co.uk/lso-discovery/schools-young-people/secondary-school-events.html

Image credit: Peter Dazeley

Details: “Joy, terror, deep calm and edge-of-the seat thrills – the symphony orchestra is the  greatest machine ever invented for expressing human emotion. And in this hour-long Schools’ Concert , specially devised for students in Key Stage Three, conductor Michael Seal, presenter Tim Redmond and 80 world-class musicians won’t hold back, as Berlioz, Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky and Arvo Pärt wear their hearts on their sleeves!” Please click here for more information.

5. London Philharmonic Orchestra (London)

Concert: GCSE Bright Sparks Concert

Date and time: Tuesday 11 February 2020 at 11:30am

Cost: Tickets not yet released (at the time of writing)

Location: Royal Festival Hall. London

Website: https://www.lpo.org.uk/education/brightsparks-concerts.html

“Each year we provide 10,000 students with this opportunity, with the programming and presentation of the concerts designed in line with National Curriculum objectives. For a large proportion of pupils these events are the first time they will have visited a concert hall to hear a live orchestra, giving them an intense and inspiring experience. Concerts include free INSET sessions and resources for teachers, which cover ways to explore the repertoire with their students, both analytically and as a starting point for creative composition.” Please click here for more details. In addition to this concert, school parties receive 50% discount on concert ticket prices and many of the LPO programmes feature set works from the GCSE and A level specifications. The LPO has a fantastic resource area for teachers, including ideas for teaching set works and videos to help with composition. Well worth checking out!

6. Royal Scottish National Orchestra (Scotland)

Concert: Symphony, Soup and a Sandwich / RSNO Season / Young Ambassadors / RSNO Takeover

Date and time: See details below

Location: See below

Website: www.rsno.org.uk

The RSNO offers a number of great opportunities for school groups detailed below:

1.Symphony, Soup and a Sandwich

I love this title and the RSNO invite you to come and have some food and enjoy a symphony during your lunch break (concert starts at 1pm).  Coming up this autumn are symphonies by Dvorak, Brahms and Franck. Cost: Under 16s FREE; Under 26s £6. Please click here for more details.

2. RSNO Season

Introduce your secondary school class to the magic of live symphonic sound by attending an RSNO Season concert in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee or Aberdeen. Cost: Tickets for school pupils are £6 each for Season concerts*, with accompanying adults going free (1 adult free per 10 pupils). Please click here for more details.

3. Young Ambassadors

This year the Young Ambassadors programme is open to young people aged between 16–21 years old. Ambassadors attend RSNO concerts for free, meet the musicians and conductors and operate as a youth advisory board for the RSNO, feeding into the main RSNO Board. Our Young Ambassadors will be expected to highlight opportunities for young people in their local area through their school, college or university and within their community. Please click here for more details.

4. RSNO Takeover

RSNO Takeover is a two-day intensive work experience, open to anyone aged 16–18 years at the time of the event and living in Scotland. Applications are invited from any young person interested in a career in the arts or creative industries, regardless of whether you play a musical instrument or not. We select 50 young people to work in various departments of the organisation to produce a public concert at the end of the two-day event.  Opportunities exist in arts marketing, press and PR, development (fundraising), learning and engagement, conducting and performing as a musician. Takeover 2020 will take place on Monday 15 and Tuesday 16 June 2020. Applications for Takeover 2020 will open on Monday 7 October 2019. Please click here for more details

7. Orchestra of Opera North (West Yorkshire)

Concert: Kirklees Concert Season

Date and time: ongoing from September – see website

Cost: Details below

Location: Huddersfield Town Hall and Dewsbury Town Hall

Website: https://www.operanorth.co.uk/about-us/education/schools/resource-packs-for-teachers/

There’s a fantastic offering from the Orchestra of Opera North in West Yorkshire.  From The Firebird to Bluebeard’s Castle to The Nutcracker and The Snowman, there’s bound to be something suitable at Huddersfield Town Hall.  The prices are fantastic too: Cost: £1 per pupil under age of 16 £4 for Sixth Form students For groups of 10 or more students, 2 free teacher tickets available. Teachers pay the student price for additional tickets. Click here for booking form. Opera North also provide teacher resource packs – available to download here.

8. Welsh National Opera (Wales, South East, South West & East Anglia)

Concert: Schools Concert

Cost: Free

Location: Llandudno, Southampton, Plymouth and Norwich

Website: https://wno.org.uk/take-part/schools/schools-concerts

WNO Schools Concerts provide the opportunity for children to experience a live orchestral concert, free of charge. These events feature broad and accessible repertoire, engaging pupils with interactive performances, introducing them to the orchestral and operatic canon. Click here for details.

9. Ulster Orchestra (Northern Ireland)

Event: Come and Play

Date and time: ongoing from September – see website

Cost: Free

Location: Ulster Hall, Belfast

Website: https://www.ulsterorchestra.org.uk

The Ulster Orchestra invites musicians from grade 4 and above to join the orchestra in a day of rehearsal and performance. Participants will get a hands-on experience of being part of a professional orchestra as well as picking up some tips and inspiration from our Ulster Orchestra players. Applications will open in Autumn 2019 for the events in Belfast and Derry~Londonderry, so do check the website for updates.

Other opportunities
The Ulster Orchestra also offer Inspiration workshops. These are performances by small ensembles of Ulster Orchestra musicians which are delivered directly in schools – particularly those schools where there is limited music provision or take-up in Music at GCSE level. Performances are designed to engage pupils at Key Stages 2, 3 and 4 and to make you think again about what classical music is! For more details click here.
(website https://www.ulsterorchestra.org.uk/learning-community-engagement/learning/inspiration-workshops-for-schools/)