On a very chilly Friday in late January, just over 100 music service students descended upon the Pioneer Centre in Cleobury Mortimer! Accompanied by a team of SMS teaching staff, they spent the following 48 hours making music, enjoying the outdoor activities and meeting new friends. This was the first time in two years we had been able to run this course, so it was a delight to welcome old faces back to the centre and meet some new ones too.
Led by Mike Turner, the main orchestra consisted of students learning a wide range of instruments at grade 3 standard and above. Just down the corridor you could find the junior orchestra led by Karen Kirkland, perfect for those students at beginner to grade 2 standard. Percussion, brass, woodwind, strings, keyboards and guitars all featured in both.
For those who study at grade 6 standard and above, there was the option to join the Chamber Music course. This usually comprises our senior students playing challenging music in small groups, led by Alan Atkin and our course leader Bev Beynon. This course gives the participants chance to develop their own leadership skills too, and many rehearsals are conducted by students.
Our young musicians from the two larger orchestras also had the chance to work in smaller groups for section rehearsals, or 'sectionals'. This gives each 'team' within the orchestra time to develop the detail in their parts and work on more specific elements of the music. These small rehearsals were followed by the much anticipated outdoor adventure activities! Pioneer Centre staff guided students through the high ropes course, abseiling wall, archery range, zip line, and the 'big bounce' inflatable course.
Those with any energy left were invited to join the Ceilidh dance on Saturday evening, a long running tradition at Cleobury! With their teachers making up the live band, students were taught a series of traditional group dances.
On Sunday afternoon we welcomed friends and family to the centre, to listen to the performances everyone had worked so hard to prepare. The chamber course performed in small ensembles but also treated us to a large group performance. Both the junior and main orchestras performed a varied programme of pieces, ranging from classical to TV themes!
For our bands, orchestras and choirs (CSM): Ensembles | Shropshire Music Service
For current music workshop opportunities: Workshops | Shropshire Music Service