Ely St Mary's string orchestra put on 'remarkable' show for parents

PUBLISHED: 08:00 22 June 2016

Ely St Marys C of E Junior School Yr3 String Project. Picture: Rob Morris.

Ely St Marys C of E Junior School Yr3 String Project. Picture: Rob Morris.

Archant

More than 100 string orchestra members - made up of seven and eight-year-olds - put on a "quite remarkable" concert at Ely Cathedral on Monday.

The concert, which was delivered by all of the children in Year 3 of Ely St Mary’s Church of England Junior School, featured violins, violas, cellos and double bass.

It was the culmination of the children’s participation in the Cambridgeshire Music Service’s First Access instrumental learning programme.

John Finney, Ely St Mary’s governor, said of the concert: “Occupying the cathedral octagon the children presented an hour long programme showing how the varied repertoire had provided the basis for mastering fundamental string playing techniques,

Ely St Marys C of E Junior School Yr3 String Project. Picture: Rob Morris.Ely St Marys C of E Junior School Yr3 String Project. Picture: Rob Morris.

“From pizzicato to col lengo, from open strings to first finger positions, from sustained bowing to dramatic tremelandos, the children made music in disciplined fashion.

“There was a stillness and composure in this string orchestra as each musician listened to the recorded music that provided the ground for their playing, while watching attentively the hand gestures of their conductor.”

Since the beginning of the school year the children had been taught together in class groups on Monday mornings before coming together as a whole year orchestra on Friday afternoons.

Ely St Marys C of E Junior School Yr3 String Project. Picture: Rob Morris.Ely St Marys C of E Junior School Yr3 String Project. Picture: Rob Morris.

“The audience of some 200 parents and supporters relished the children’s achievements as they witnessed the foundations of a strong musical education being laid and celebrated,” added Mr Finney.

“Included in the audience were the children from Spring Meadow Infant and Nursery School who will be following the programme next year as they become Year 3 at St Mary’s.

“I wonder what they were thinking.”

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