15th January 2020 — A Chichester school will be opening its doors on Saturday mornings to all keen young musicians in West Sussex and Hampshire who play an instrument and would like to learn to play in an orchestra.
The free sessions will be open to children aged 7 to 11 who play wind, string or brass instruments.
The orchestra is the brainchild of Westbourne House Director of Music Alex Dichmont and his team who teach children individually and in different choirs, orchestras, groups and bands across the year groups and who regularly see the joy and benefit that collective music making brings to the Westbourne House School pupils (of whom 75 per cent play at least one musical instrument).
Mr Dichmont said: “A lot of the pupils at Westbourne House School, of all musical standards, really benefit from playing their instruments in our orchestras and chamber groups and enjoy the social aspect of making music together. I know this is often hard to organise for parents and so I am hoping this new venture will help. We are very keen to build a group of children who can come and form a small orchestra on a Saturday morning from schools in the local area and the provisional plan is to have a session most Saturday mornings during term time. We would like to welcome children from Year 3 to Year 6 who play any orchestral string, wind or brass instrument, with a minimum standard of approximately Grade 1."
He continued: "We plan to meet from 10.00 until 11.30am, and if numbers are favourable we plan to include some choral singing in the morning’s activities too. There will be no charge for this activity and we hope that, after a taster session, children will want and be able to attend most of the term’s sessions."
The sessions will take place over seven Saturday mornings during January, February and March but not during school holidays.