On the afternoon of Thursday 26 April over 100 pupils between the ages of seven and 13 convened at Gresham’s Prep School for the annual Up Beat music workshop. Organised every year by Director of Music, Prep School, Mrs Lynne Roberts, the event is run for musicians from local primary and prep schools for the purpose of getting together with like-minded young people to enjoy practising and performing music together.
For the first few hours of the afternoon the musicians, who may have started learning their instrument as recently as September or may have achieved up to a grade 7, learnt to play three pieces: the Blue Danube waltz; extracts from Beethoven’s fifth symphony; and Abba’s Dancing Queen. Pupils brought their own instruments and, for the less experienced musicians, Mrs Roberts had written simpler sheet music so that everyone could be fully involved in each piece.
Mrs Roberts said: “The format works really well so that everyone can join in throughout. Our own Prep orchestra members – 30 of the pupils in attendance – enjoy having the opportunity to perform in ensembles at school but, for many state primaries, offering such an opportunity is not always feasible. So being able to invite pupils from across Norfolk to join us for an afternoon to experience the thrill of practising together and performing with their peers in our Prep School hall, is fantastic – we love organising the Up Beat workshop every year and long may it continue!”
Pupils played a broad range of instruments with plenty of violins, flutes, clarinets and trumpets in action; we even had two French horn players in attendance!
Thank you to the following schools whose pupils were able to join our own Prep pupils on the afternoon: Beeston Hall School; Town Close School; The Belfry Primary School; Sheringham Community Primary School; and All Saints Stibbard Primary School.