On Saturday 2 December members of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales played side-by-side workshop with members of the Bangor University Symphony Orchestra and members of the Gwasanaeth Cerdd Ysgolion Gwynedd a Môn.
Conducted by Ben Draper, this was a unique and exciting opportunity for members of the University’s own orchestra and students of the local music services to gain performing experience from playing alongside musicians from a leading international orchestra.
The student musicians worked alongside members of the BBC NOW exploring works by Tchaikovsky, Gershwin, Beethoven and Dvořák, and then gave an informal concert. The event is part of an ongoing collaboration between the School of Arts, Culture and Language and the BBC NOW.
We are hugely excited to be working again this year with BBC NOW to provide hands-on experience for more than 30 members of Bangor University’s Symphony Orchestra. Professional collaborations of this kind are a huge boost to the student experience and to ensuring that opportunities in the arts reach well beyond the capital city.
It’s so important that talented young musicians get to meet and work with professional orchestral musicians in this way, and being located where we are means that these opportunities don’t come along that often. The wonderful sound in the PJ Hall on Saturday morning will have been something completely new to our pupils and I know that they will have come away inspired and full of aspiration. The conductor managed to make the session accessible to all without ever dumbing down. I’m so grateful to the University for making this possible and as a music service, we’re thrilled to be working in this way. I truly hope that there will be many more opportunities for similar events and collaborations in the future.
A totally inspirational and memorable experience
Martha and Leah, pupils from Gwasanaeth Cerdd Ysgolion Gwynedd a Môn said,
“It was a great experience to play today, and I think we all played very well; it was a very enjoyable moment. It was very good to see how the orchestra worked with each other, and seeing the kind of music they play and how everyone comes together to make wonderful music.”
Will Bradley, a second-year BMus student at Bangor, said,
"It was a totally inspirational and memorable experience to have the opportunity to play alongside some great musicians!”