Creative music workshops where children produce a composition based on a day in the life of a rainforest as part of the Chipping Sodbury Festival.
2004 – 2007
Members of the Bristol Ensemble work together with Magdala Opera members to facilitate the composition of an opera in a week at schools in Nottingham.
The Bristol Ensemble provides the musical inspiration whilst the Opera tutors structure and direct.
Family Concerts, Colston Hall
(2007 & 2008)
In September 2008, the concert was called A Pirate's Life For Me. The Bristol Ensemble led the swashbuckling fun-packed morning of workshops
(including "sing like a pirate" and "make your own pirate instrument") followed by a fantastic concert presented by Alasdair Malloy.
City Academy/Bristol Brunel - Creative Orchestra
(Sept 08 – March 09)
As part of a collaboration with the Bristol Music Manifesto Partnership, members of the Bristol Ensemble worked alongside tutors from Remix
(Bristol's Youth Music Action Zone) and the teaching staff to deliver weekly sessions entitled "Creative Orchestra" – a cross-genre project mixing
classical styles with rock, pop and electronic music, MC's and DJ's..
Children's Concerts, St Georges Bristol
The Bristol Ensemble presented 2 concerts aimed at primary school aged children. The first, based around the string section of the orchestra,
included an wonderful performance of Vivaldi's 4 seasons accompanying a short film by Aardman Animations. The concert was an introduction to the
string family of instruments and afterwards there was a hands-on session where children could have a go at playing the violin.
The second concert was rhythm based with full orchestra. The audience were taken on a whirlwind ride with pulsating rhythms and plenty of audience
participation – the most notable being the actions to Ravel's Bolero.
A string quintet visited 12 schools over 4 days to give lively and informative concerts to primary schools in the South Bristol area.
South Bristol Concerts
During Autumn 2008, the Bristol Ensemble gave two very different concerts. One in the Bridge Learning Campus to yr6 & 7 children and the
other in Withywood Community Centre to a wide range of people. Both were very well received, particularly the one at Withywood Community
Centre as people remarked that it was a real treat to hear a live orchestra outside the concert hall and have music bought to them.
St Bede's College
In March 2009, two Bristol Ensemble animateurs spent the day with 21 GCSE students at St Bede's college creating their own composition
based on elements of Western Classical music. Having studied "orchestral landmarks" as part of their course, the students then created a
group composition based on Mozart's 40th Symphony, Beethoven's 5th & 6th Symphonies, Tchaikovsky's 2nd Piano Concerto and various 12-tone
serialist techniques. When asked about their experiences of the day, one student said "I didn't know classical music could be so interesting!"
Monday After School Club
(Nov 08 – present)
Members of the Bristol Ensemble and tutors from Remix run an after school club for yr 4 children in the Hartcliffe area of Bristol.
The weekly sessions include singing, musical games and music technology but the main focus is on learning the violin. The performances
at the end of each term are very popular with parents. The 08/09 sessions were funded by the Bristol Music Manifesto Partnership but
from Oct 09, the project will be a collaboration with St Georges and the South Bristol Extended Schools Partnership.
From Oct 09, the club moved to Merchants Academy and participants have been recruited from the Academy's 6 feeder primary schools.
There are also be peer mentors from the Academy taking part alongside the year 4/5 children.
Bristol Ensemble Youth Orchestra
This is probably the highlight of the Bristol Ensemble's education calendar. In Oct 2008, the first youth orchestra course was
held to the delight of both participants and tutors. After 2 ½ days of intensive rehearsal and tutoring, the 28 young people came
together with the Bristol Ensemble to perform Pirates of the Caribbean, Bruch's Violin Concert (with young artist Emil Huckle as
soloist) and Beethoven's 7th Symphony. The concert in St Georges was exceptional and it was a great opportunity for such talented
young musicians to work and perform alongside professional musicians.
The 2009 BE Youth Orchestra course was another great success and the programme was Bernstein's West Side Story Suite, Gershwin's
Rhapsody in Blue (with young soloist Will Drackett) and Tchaikovsky's 5th Symphony. All involved had a great time and are looking
forward to 2010…
St Georges Christmas Carnival
An annual event, and one which Bristol Ensemble has been part of since 2000. A Christmas themed concert,
there is always something to entertain everyone. In 2008, they performed Peter and the Wolf to an animation so the audience were enthralled
by the pictures whilst listening to the live music. The 2009 concert was a performance of The Nutcracker.
These are very popular as part of the BE concert series at Henleaze URC and St Albans churches. Given by Jon James,
they give the audience an insight into the pieces to be performed in the concert
High Sheriff's Gala
An annual event in Bristol Cathedral where there is a different education project attached each year. In 2007, a percussion group
from the City Academy opened the concert, 2008 was the turn of the Cabot Cantata. Sefton Park Junior School performed their own
composition based on Elgar's Enigma Variations in 2009. The children worked with two Bristol Ensemble animateurs for a week
creating and structuring their ideas into a performance that opened the concert.
South Bristol Tour 2009
A small ensemble of musicians visited 7 schools over 4 days to give a short concert and then work with gifted and talented
children on creative music making. The subject was Remembrance (the tour was during remembrance week) and all the music was in
some way linked to Remembrance. All the schools involved are keen to have more like it!