300 school pupils join the Chineke! Orchestra for the music experience of a lifetime

On Thursday 23 November, 300 young musicians from Bevois Town, Shirley Warren and St Johns Primary schools joined members of the Chineke Orchestra, performing together in an inspiring music workshop and concert.

Chineke! — Europe's first professional majority Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) orchestra, founded by the double bassist Chi-chi Nwanoku OBE — worked alongside Southampton Music Hub and Turner Sims to give school pupils in Southampton an extraordinary musical experience which was supported by Orchestras Live and the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation

Pupils from Bevois Town and Shirley Warren, most of whom had been learning their instrument for less than ten weeks, learnt a newly newly commissioned arrangement of Symphony No 2, L’Amant Anonyme by Joseph Boulogne (Le Chevalier de Saint Georges) which they performed alongside the Chineke! musicians to an audience of over 100 proud friends and family. Percussion pupils from St Johns Primary school performed a new piece of music they had composed, inspired by the extraordinary life of Joseph Boulogne.

This inspiring day will now be followed by discounted music lessons which will encourage BME pupils to continue learning music, whilst the resources developed for the project, including a video of the Chineke! performers, will be used in schools across the city to inspire a new generation of players with the music of world-class BME musicians and composers.

Pupils taking part on the day said:
"It's epic!"
"Music lightens your heart!"
"It's great because one day we can become experts"


Matt Brombley