The Kent Sinfonia is the professional orchestra for the County of Kent, and as one of the foremost orchestras in the South East, it aims to take music to all. Central to this is its extended education programme devoted to the next generation of concert goers. Kent Sinfonia also works with top international soloists and offers a platform for outstanding young artists.

The orchestra performs education music outreach projects, including concerts and workshops. As well as providing the excitement of seeing and hearing a real orchestra in action, Kent Sinfonia musicians aim to encourage young children’s experience of live music, developing knowledge and appreciation of music as an invaluable part of learning.

Kent Sinfonia’s music projects contribute in a positive way towards music education in general and the future of classical music in Kent and the South East. The orchestra is committed to extending outreach work with schools, and has devised a new concert programme, ‘Birds and Beasts!’, for young children aged 4-7 years (KS 1), following feedback from teachers highlighting the need for outreach activities for this age group - although the programme is also suitable for KS 2 children.

 

The ’Birds and Beasts!’ concert programme involves 28 players, a conductor and a presenter. The audience (including teddies and other toy animals who are also invited!) is introduced to birds and animals depicted in music through instrumental sounds and descriptive orchestral ‘pictures’ (with several short excerpts), and to individual orchestral instruments. An appealing song, ‘Spring Chicken’, also involves all the children. The presenter interacts with the audience, inventing a variety of amusing story lines linking the orchestral extracts together, which delight the children and generally keep their attention throughout! The performance, lasting one hour, is usually fitted into the school day for minimum disruption.

Kent Sinfonia is also working on further education programmes to continue their aim of taking live music to children. When possible, the orchestra’s wind quintet, the Kent Wind Soloists (see below), plan visits to schools beforehand to help create a link to a performance. Kent Sinfonia orchestral performances are suitable for several schools participating together in a larger venue.

The Kent Wind Soloists, principal wind players from Kent Sinfonia (flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn), also run separate very successful workshop days for primary schools, including 1) a lively demonstration session 2) a 'hands on' session in which children can try out wind and brass instruments (very popular - and noisy!) and 3) a short concert performance in full concert dress. Kent Wind Soloists workshops are suitable for visits to individual schools.

 
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