Over the last six years, the Philharmonia Orchestra, Orchestras Live, Rochford Extended Services and Rochford District Council have worked together to carry out a number of music projects benefitting local primary and secondary school pupils.

Based primarily at Fitzwimarc School in Rayleigh, and involving many of their pupils, activities have included the following:

  • Weekend and week-long creative projects involving Philharmonia musicians working alongside local secondary school pupils
  • Large-scale culminating performances
  • Opportunities for participants to attend Philharmonia rehearsals and concerts
  • Mentoring and training, enabling secondary school pupils to take leadership roles in creative music workshops with primary school pupils
  • Inter-generational, participatory music sessions at local sheltered accommodation facilities

Project participants are now working towards Arts Award accreditation. Musical advancement across the life of the project has been considerable, with many pupils having reached a very high standard of performance, composition and improvisation, and some choosing to go on to study music at college and university.

"Since the partnership between Orchestras Live and Rochford District Council was established in 2007 the annual projects with the Philharmonia have seen hundreds of local people engaging with musicians from one of the world’s great symphony orchestras. An increasingly important aspect has been the highly successful skill-sharing and mentoring work with young musicians, an investment in the cultural economy which will help to make creative music-making more sustainable in south east Essex." Stuart Bruce, Partnership Manager, Orchestras Live