BBC Concert Orchestra brings MusicMix to north Norfolk

Image copyright Pete Huggins
Image caption The colourful show involved students from schools around the local area

In March, the BBC Concert Orchestra played two live concerts at The Corn Exchange Theatre in King's Lynn.

Two students from Sheringham High School, 14-year-old Tilda and Sam, 15 were handpicked by BBC talent-spotters, who saw them performing at the Sheringham Little Theatre and asked them to present at both events.

A lucky group of Sheringham High School School Reporters went along on Friday 14 March to show their support and experience this incredible event for themselves.

Mozart to Angry Birds

The concert was the brainchild of BBC Musical Producer Claire Barnes, who felt that following the huge success of previous projects the BBC Concert Orchestra should return to Norfolk to perform their free, interactive MusicMix 2014 concerts, specially designed for students in Key Stage 3.

MusicMix features the full 60-piece BBC Concert Orchestra and explores a huge range of orchestral music, from classical masterpieces by the likes of Prokofiev, to film and TV soundtracks, reflecting the diverse work of this unique orchestra.

Image copyright Pete Huggins
Image caption The concert featured a variety of visual aides as well as surprising musical choices

The repertoire is chosen specifically to engage and introduce younger listeners to the exciting world of orchestral music, and is designed to incorporate live images and video footage to enthuse and engage its young audience.

It was a fantastic experience that incorporated music from Mozart, Prokofiev and John Adams, all the way through to the theme tunes to The Simpsons and the addictive Angry Birds mobile phone app.

Image copyright Pete Huggins
Image caption International flags accompanied the theme tune to this summer's football World Cup in Brazil
Image copyright Pete Huggins
Image caption The concert's Key Stage 3 audience were encouraged to behave in an unconventional way

Tour de force

The concert was a truly interactive event that brought the audience face to face with the music, experiencing a samba band from Aylsham High School and a choir from Alderman Peel High School and Thetford Academy.

The audience of over 400 primary and secondary school students may have been expecting, possibly with a sense of impending dread, a very traditional orchestral concert.

What they got was a tour de force of excitement and variety.

Arrangements included BBC wildlife documentary Wild Arabia, complete with sneak peek footage and a piece commemorating the centenary of World War One

A newly-composed piece to go with the upcoming World Cup in the summer had the audience singing, dancing and waving football scarves.

Image copyright Pete Huggins
Image caption The concert was the brainchild of Claire Barnes (c) whose talent-spotters handpicked Tilda (l) and Sam (r)

Backstage gossip

Sam and Tilda have been involved in the concert since its inception over a year ago and have spoken to various members of the orchestra, both on and off camera, in the past 12 months to get a real idea as to what has gone into the creation of the concert.

In the week leading up to the concerts, Sam and Tilda were whisked off to London and King's Lynn for intensive rehearsals and even got their own dressing rooms.

BBC School Reporters Molly and Ophena, from Sheringham High School, tagged along to get the behind the scenes gossip on the event and speak to Tilda and Sam about their experiences.

Tilda told Sheringham School Report that she had loved every second of her involvement but had particularly enjoyed meeting all the presenters, producers and others involved in the performance.

"Everyone has been brilliant and so interesting," she said.

Image copyright Pete Huggins
Image caption School Reporters are already counting the days until the BBC Concert Orchestra returns

Proud parent

Both Sam and Tilda admitted to feeling incredibly nervous at the thought of not only presenting to a packed theatre audience but also to being broadcast on the BBC.

Sam's mum said that she could tell that Sam was nervous during the first concert but that he loosened up significantly by the second one. "I'm so proud of them both," she told School Report.

The School Reporters of Sheringham High School certainly loved every second of the concert and continued to sing and hum the various tunes throughout the coach journey back to their coastal town.

The major conversation point was when the orchestra would next make an appearance in north Norfolk.

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