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BBC Singers

BBC Concert Orchestra and the BBC Singers
Sat 26/Sun 27 May
Watford Colosseum

Did you attend a Watford event? Send us your comments and check out the photos.


Alison Andrew Thomas and Hugh from Finchley
Play it again was our first musical experience as a whole family. We attended the Sunday afternoon session and loved it. We had one on ukelele (aged 4), one on violin played as a banjo, one on Clarinet (aged 8; big thanks to the section leader for all his encouragement - great!) and one on viola. The sense of excitement being part of this big group of people making music together was marvellous. Thank you all!!

After attending the event our concert band set up our own "play it again event" we had over 40 players attend and have now arranged for new and old players to attend in BirminghamCongratulations on a fantastic event.Kaz @ Winslow Concert Band

Bernard Gerstein
Wonderful experience, especially as I was 'paired' with no less than the leader of the orchestra, Carol Fleming. She is a lovely person, highly gifted violinist and gave me lots of encouragement, even though I was scared stiff and didn't give of my best. It was overwhelming to be in such great company. Thanks a million to all concerned.

Chris Kirk
Yes a really good day, members of the orchestra were very good. Pity that there aren't more photos of the trumpets, the stars..

Helen Thomas
Hi there, I Would just like to say a MASSIVE "Thank You" for a totally fantastic day. I came to the sunday afternoon session in Watford. I joined the singers group and was so happy I did. The BBC singers were lovely and extremely encouraging. I really haven't stopped talking about that day since.Many thanks to you all and I really hope to be a part of something like this again some day. Best wishes.

Tessa, St Albans
I just wanted you to know how much I enjoyed the Play it Again event in Watford last weekend. I attended as a singer in the morning session and enjoyed it so much that I asked if I could stay as a percussionist in the afternoon. My request was granted and I had a wonderful day.To be able to spend time with the players of the BBC Concert Orchestra and the singers of the BBC Singers was a real priviledge and the occasion was such fun. Everyone appeared to be enjoying themselves, what ever their age and what ever their musical standard - I came away truly inspired to try to spend more of my time in and around music and to begin playing an instrument again after a break of nearly 50 years!Congratulations! I very much hope that there will be similar occasions in the future as I have recommended the event to several friends who are now longing to have chance to join in.

Rebecca Raw
I had a great time it was the first time I played my guitar within a group, it was a very enjoyable experience. Has anyone any more photos of the morning event, especially of the guitar group. Many Thanks.

Mr Robert Sandy
How can one not be given such inspiration and enjoyment to join in with such a famous orchestra. At 62 this was the first time I had ever held a violin and played correctly (thanks to my orchestra partner). I am taking lessons, Tim Steiner and the BBC my sincere thanks for giving me the opportunity. Please lets have more.

Ruth, Ellie & Becky (singers) and Paul (guitar)
We had such fun on the saturday AM session. Thank you to Rebecca and the BBC singers, Tim and the BBC Concert Orchestra for such a fantastic, wonderful, inspiring experience and everyone involved in organising the brillient event. We were made to feel very welcome and part of the whole experience. My daughters (8) and (10) sang their hearts out and will always remember the day they sang with the BBC singers and BBC Concert Orchestra! We have been singing ever since! It was truely inspiring and can't wait to play it again at the next time at Watford......please, please, plesae!

Sally Feehan
Thank you to Rebecca (Singers) and her colleagues for a very enjoyable morning on the 26th. When we rejoined the orchestra after our entertaining practice session and they started to play I found that I had a huge smile on my face and my heart was thumping with excitement - it was exhilarating. Well worth the two hours plus journey from Essex.I have recently joined a singing group called the 'Can't Sing Choir'. I won't be able to resist asking the choir master if he has ever sung with the BBC Singers accompanied by the BBC Concert Orchestra! I know- name dropper!!Thanks to everyone involved in this venture and that includes my fellow 'amateurs' for making it such a memorable occasion.

Nic, Huntingdon
Great time. Have only been playing tuba for 9 months but my 'BBC Friend', Kevin Morgan, really made me welcome. I even learnt a new note as a result of the day! Tim Steiner was very funny. The opportunity to talk to others at breaktime to share experiences of learning and the event itself was very instructive. I managed to capture an audio diary to help others thinking of taking part (search for 'HUMS Aloud') - I've managed to encourage others to sign up for the Birmingham event as a result. I note that the series has even made it onto Wikipedia. Well worth the license fee, just for the opportunity. Thanks.

This was a really marvellous event. The excerpt played by the BBC Concert Orchestra was absolutely tingling. Whilst our own efforts were not of this standard what the BBC team managed to get out of us was nonetheless pretty amazing. The creativity of the programme devised for us was truly inspirational and gave many of us a one off chance to play with an orchestra. Thanks and well done to all those who took part in the planning of the event and please let us know if there are any more.

dave turner
i just thought i would pass on my sincere thanks to you for giving my grandson ashley who is 8 years old,the chanceto play the drums with your orchestra it was great .thanks again from a very happy grandad.

Rosie Jordan
The Play it Again workshop on Sunday morning at Watford was the most exhilarating experience I've had in a long while. It was good to meet other like-minded people but the stars were the professional musicians who entered the fray with great gusto!While hugely enjoyable, I found the morning pleasurably exhausting – how these men and women did this twice daily for the whole weekend with such a wonderful sense of fun and energy I don’t know.Thanks to the BBC Concert Orchestra for their performance of West Side Story melodies and to our tutor/conductor Tim Steiner for giving us all the opportunity to put into practice in such a brilliantly funny way what we’d just learned.By the way, the percussion/timpani boys are great!

I found the experience inspiring but much too short! Thank you to Tim and all the others behind the scenes bringing these events to fruition. The fore-thought and patience of the professionals with us not-so-good instrumentalists was very encouraging… yes you can still make a valid contribution to the overall effect. I loved feeling part of a team making sweet music together! :-)

Danielle Burgess
Had a fantastic time and it was great to see so many children and adults clearly enjoying the experience of making music. Please, please can we have another event in Watford very soon.

Jonas Kitadi and Alan Sendall
Excellent, Everyones contribution was valued at whatever level of ability, a truly inclusive event. Great fun and great encouragement for a novice player. When can we play it again!

Peter Cooper
Its hard to get in to music once you have left school, specially if that was a zillion years ago as in my case. But well done BBC you are heading in the right direction, and thanks Concert Orchestra for your encouragement and genuine friendly banter. A great event ... job done.

Philip Hamilton
Despite the grey clouds, we were all smiling at registration, and grinning like Cheshire cats by the end of our wonderful four hour session with the orchestra. They were welcoming and enthusiastic for us to enjoy ourselves, and ready to guide us in our foray into making music after, in my case, a long absence (23 years!).A most memorable event for which our thanks go to ALL the people involved. Thank you - and where is the next one?

Noel Sanders
Had a terrific time at the pm session. A big thank you to Andrew ( bass trombone in the orchestra ) - it was a pleasure to play along side him and the rest of the section. I know we were noisy and raucous but what fun ! Thanks and more please BBC

Susan And Steve Marks
Hello to Pete the third member of "The Banjo Trio" What a wonderful and inspirational time we had at the AM session. Sad it was such a short session but fabulous to have the opportunity to play with the BBC Orchestra. Hope we WoWed you with our rendition of "Dueling Banjo's" on the in fill. Hope to see you again soon. Thank you to Jason, our very patient, humourous and motivational tutor.

AM Sat 26th - a great fun event. Hugely encouraging to learn I can still sight read a bit after many years of no singing lessons and even more encouraging to nail the d natural in Not Tonight. thanks to Tim, the orchestra and singers and all involved in the organsation of the event. Only downside - It would have been good to see more "young" singers and musicians taking part. Come on kids, there's more to music than pop, rock, garage or any other x-factor type genre.

Tracy Levy
What a fantastic morning…the East Barnet Music Centre organised tickets for the Sunday morning at Watford, and what a morning! I was watching our youngsters (while playing the tambourine) and their smiles were louder than the music! My son on the flute said ‘this is the best time I have ever had!’ and his sister singing looked terrifically confident amongst all the ‘grown ups’. Our young trombone players were so enthusiastic; it was wonderful watching them, as well as all of the other children - our Music Centre Leader was chuffed to be sitting next to the principal clarinettist! We parents (with no musical talent what’s so ever) joined in with the percussion; the percussion leader(s) made us feel felt the most important part of the whole orchestra! Well done to the BBC, an inspirational morning! We wanted to stay and play again…and again …and again!

Wendy, Uxbridge
Well Done the BBC for making everyone feel involved, regardless of musical ability. I hope there will be more events like this is in the future.

Terry, Wigginton, Tring
I attended the morning session at Watford on Saturday as a trumpeter, and oh what a good time! Must have been one of the best days of my musical life. So many musicians to meet and then to sit amongst the professionals in the orchestra. My thanks to all for the splendid way it was organised and especially to John in the trumpet section who helped and encouraged me through out the morning.

Had a brilliant time at the Play it Again session in Watford yesterday. The staff were very enthusiastic and helpful, it was a great experience for all the people in my party.

I've just got back from the morning event in Watford and am full of enthusiam to continue with my trumpet playing. I started learning two years ago when I was 60. Apart from one attempt with a brass band whose approach temporarily knocked my confidence for six, I have never played with anybody else, and have never played parts. The approach you took this morning boosted my confidence and determination. Please pass on a special thank you to Miles for his quiet support and ability to somehow find something to encourage in the cacophony going on beside him!

The Steinberg family
Just thought we'd let you know we had a fab time at the Watford Colosseum on Saturday! Thanks for the opportunity.

Just to say how much I enjoyed taking part in your 'Play it Again'Extravaganza At Watford yesterday afternoon. I loved singing 'Tonight'- and met some charming people in my group.

Liz, a very rusty but enthusiastic alto sax playe
What an absolutely fabulous morning it was!I really enjoyed it and hope there will be more.Many thanks to everyone concerned.

We had a great day. It was great for Hannah and I to be able to Play it Again after having such a good time in Cambridge, and so nice to see an 8-yr-old and his dad having a blast in the violin section. What inspiration it seemed to be for them to pick it up and keep on playing!

I would like to thank you everyone involved in the Play it Again event held at Watford today. I took along my two sons and we had such a fantasitic time. The committment of the organisers and the musicians made the day so inspiring for us all. Everyone should has grasped this opportunity and enjoyed what we did today. The event was clearly very well organised from the registration the introduction and the organisation of musicians and singers. The afternoon flew by and the finale was 'out of this world'. It was a privilidge to be part of the day.

I want to thank you for a fabulous morning at the Watford Colosseum. It was fantastic fun and clearly a musical inspirationfor the participants. The event was very well organized, and was such a great opportunity for people to play together.It was a particularly nice event, as most beginners are unable to play with others. - and all for free!!!

Jean, St Albans
Just to say many thanks for a great morning. It was really great fun as well as challenging. It was well thought out with regards to individual level of knowledge so that everyone could have a go.Could I also extend my thanks to Mike the BBC Concert Orchestra's principle clarinetist for his help and tips and to everyone involved in making it happen.Plans for any more???

Ian, Welwyn
I went, I saw, I heard and I took part. I was blown away and inspired to take it further. Thank you and thanks to everyone involved in this wonderful project. I will pass on my previously unearthed dormant passion to my children and grandchildren.Thank you again (and again)

Graham, Harrow
Just a short thank you for the great afternoon at Play it again. Very enjoyable and inspiring.

Fiona and family, Watford
Please pass on my thanks to all involved for such a wonderful event. We all had a fantastic time and found it inspirational.

Denis (vocals), Woking, Surrey
Wow .......What a great event to be part of......the whole Play it Again Team where brilliantThe orchestra was outstanding, the venue and acoustics superb and the rain on Sunday at Watford did not damper the enthusiasm of the professional musicians and players neither the amateurs, participants and guests.Please make this an annual event........."BBC keeping music live"

Nick, Wokingham, Berks
Just a quick note to let you know I thoroughly enjoyed the Play it Again event. Thanks very much!!I’ve bought a saxophone now as a direct result of seeing the Robert Winston programme and am really looking forward to learning how to play it!!! (I’m not allowed to have it until my birthday at the end of June!!)

Delphine Houlton
A fun-filled, very well organised event. I loved every minute and, as a result, I have booked up lessons ro revive a long-abandoned clarinet!

Chris Cox
A great morning. I enjoyed playing the sax with the orchestra. Would like to thank all of those involved and hope this is just the begining of events like this. Would love to have the chance of a longer workshop with the orchestra. Again many thanks to all.

The AM session was much more than expected! Worth the one hour trip just for the first 5 minutes! I was delighted by the BBC Concert Orchestra, what a wonderful mini-concert, the acoustics were great. I loved playing the caw bell for the first time! (I probably destroyed the acoustics though). Congratulations for such a wonderful event!.

Alan How
Very worthwhile event I learnt a great deal about percusion. It was great to see all the various percusion instruments I thougth the instructors were very good and patient and when we actualy played with concert orchestra was the icing on the cake many thanks for making my intrest in music even greater

Krys Baker
Had a really fun morning. I found Tim and the singers enthusiastic and encouraging. The Orchestra were fab. I left feeling downside is that we did not seem to have much time. I would have paid a little for a longer session.

Karen Clarke
A fantastic event, great fun and very well organised. A big thank you to all concerned for a great experience!

Judy Newton-Davies
Thank you so much for such a brilliant event - I'm sure everyone enjoyed themselves hugely. It was great to perform with so many people and Tim held everything together wonderfully well. I enjoyed his humour - and his shirt! I signed up as a singer and although I'm already a member of a choir, I'm certain that even a complete beginner would have been inspired by the wonderful Rebecca and her colleagues - we had such fun learning ' Not Tonight' . I'm sure the whole event will have inspired many to seek further opportunities for making music or going to concerts etc. Again, my warmest thanks to all concerned.

A wonderful experience lead with such verve and sparkle by the BBC players!

zoe leigh
i had a great time but the chairs are ugly and uncomfortable

wendy makin
Just want to say how wonderful it was on sat 26th may am. Haven't sung PROPERLY since I was 15 and at school. I', now 60!! Marvellous introduction, the short coaching was brilliant and so were the bbc singers who made you feel so relaxed, wellcome and that you could actually do it!! It was great to be singing along with the bbc conert orchestra, and the "have a gi" instrumentalists & singers. As you can tell, I'm still buzzing with it all and would definately do it again. So uplifting and good for the soul!!. I love Westside Story even more now.

Absolutely terrific, I'm a newcomer to singing struggling with lessons, inspiring, friendly, challenging with superb organisation and musicians, BBC singers et al.

Sue Deane
What a fantastic morning! I haven't enjoyed myself so much in ages. I had forgotten how wonderful it was to make music with others. Thank you BBC for staging this event - truly inspirational! I hope this will be the start of many more and those who didn't manage to attend will get the opportunity to find out what they missed!

kev flowerdew

Liz May
Fantastic! So much fun! Please put on some more events like this in the future.

Sue Weller
what a fantastic experience! It was truly amazing sitting next to Daniel, a BBC Concert Orchestra violinist & being guided by him as I learnt to play Tim Steiners tune. Please thank him - he made me feel so welcome from the very start. I cannot describe the feeling I had being there. I didn't want to end!. Please, please can we have some more events like this.

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