In July, we supported Broadstone Music Series launch their first Summer School; hosted by Poole Grammar and supported by BSO associates, over 40 children and young people took part in the 3 day introduction to chamber music, alongside a blend of small group ensemble coaching, theory and aural technique training. Joined by parents for an informal showcase on the last day, feedback from all parties has been excellent, with the hope that this sets a firm foundation in place for many more.
Thanks to Alison Kaye, David Beeby, all of the supporting tutors, musicians and everyone who took part.
We asked student Polly Barlett to share her experience of the Summer School.
This summer, I spent three wonderful days on the Broadstone Music Series Summer School. But this was no ordinary music course; we had the opportunity to study under professional musicians from the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. We took part in a wide range of educational activities including one on one tuition, orchestral rehearsals and even a bit of musical theatre! A brilliant time was had by all ages and everyone left feeling inspired to continue developing their musical skills in the future.
For me, the most valuable part of the course was the tuition we received from the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra musicians throughout the three days. Being an oboist, I was lucky enough to be personally tutored by the BSO’s Principal Oboist Edward Kay. During the course, we worked on the solo oboe parts of Telemann’s ‘Concerto for Two Oboes and Trumpet’, Charles Ives’ ‘The Unanswered Question’ and the cor anglais part in Aaron Copland’s ‘Quiet City’. These works were then performed by the whole orchestra in the concert at the end of the course. As well as this, I was involved in a chamber music session taken by Ed alongside another oboist and a cellist, where we worked on a Trio by Handel. This enabled us to become more aware of the need for communication when performing in an ensemble, as well as it being a very enjoyable experience.
Away from the performing side of music, all musicians took part in activities to develop their general musicianship. We were invited to learn about subjects such as Music theory (ranging from grade 1 all the way up to grade 8 and beyond), aural skills (developing all areas involved in the ABRSM examination syllabus) and a wide range of piano skills. Although not immediately obvious, all three of these areas are vital for musical progression in a young performer. Not only this, but these areas are now considerable parts of any musical examination. For us young musicians to have this incredible opportunity to take part in these classes with such high calibre teachers was an invaluable experience and one I will never forget!
The final part of each day was, for me, the most exciting. This was the time in the day when all us musicians came together as an orchestra to put all our learnt skills into practice. Each rehearsal was lead by the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra’s Young Conductor in Association, Frank Zielhorst. Working with Frank was a completely unique opportunity as not only were we working with a world famous conductor, but also with a genuinely lovely man who was able to bring out the best in each and every musician. In each of our rehearsals we worked on different aspects of the three pieces. With Frank’s expertise, we were able to build up an almost perfect performance which we then performed to family and friends in the final concert at the end of the course.
Taking part in this course was a choice I will never regret. Having now left the course, I realise what a worthwhile experience this really was and I feel inspired to take my musical studies to another level, as I’m sure many of the other young musicians do too.
Polly Bartlett studies at Bournemouth School. She began playing the recorder aged 6 and by the age of 11 was awarded the Trinity College London Exhibition Award after achieving the highest grade eight distinction in the UK for any instrument throughout 2009. As well as playing the recorder Polly is a very keen oboist, achieving her grade eight with distinction at the age of 12. She was principal oboe of the National Children’s Orchestra of Great Britain for 3 years and spent two years as a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain which took her to many of the UK’s most prestigious concert venues and included many broadcasts on BBC radio and television. She is also principal oboe with the local Wessex Youth Orchestra.