Performing With Children

On July 4th 2022 OPA partnered once again with Water City Music to present a concert in the dramatic new setting of Berrybank Amphitheatre. Not only did OPA play a full programme to a capacity audience, but Water City Music organised three local primary schools to participate in it, singing three songs specially prepared for them, accompanied by the orchestra. Three generations were in the audience and on the platform.

Here are a couple of images from a wonderful early evening at the Amphitheatre:

OPA Side by Side

In 2008 the English Symphony Orchestra, led by Michael Bochmann, presented Fantasia at Gloucester Cathedral. It was a full-length professional concert which involved over a hundred children playing alongside the orchestra during a Vaughan Williams Concerto Grosso. The experience inspired Michael to the extent that, ever since, he has looked to involve talented young musicians in taking part of at least part of a professional orchestral concert.

The most recent example of this came at Burford School in April 2022 when local young string players rehearsed and then performed ‘side-by-side’ with the OPA.

The last such concert ‘pre-COVID’ was at Christ Church in Malvern, in association with Severn Arts, who oversee the county music service for Worcestershire.

In recent years, in association with Water City Music, the orchestra has performed alongside choirs from local primary schools.  A typical example was a concert in November 2021 in Northleach, Gloucestershire.

It included a 45 minute first half that was accessible to all: Mozart, Vivaldi, Bach. 60 children from five schools then took part after the interval, singing three songs they had been learning since the beginning of term in school. The concert finished with three short pieces from OPA.

Michael Bochmann visited each of the schools in turn in the run up to the concert to hear the songs and establish personal connection. The teaching was further enhanced by sessions with their peripatetic music teacher.

One parent received a free ticket for each family. 55 Parents attended. First class support from the local Northleach Primary School meant that the children were extremely well behaved and sang their hearts out with singing of a high standard.

OPA is always looking for further opportunities to involve young people in its concerts. Please contact to express an interest.

OPA at Berrybank