July 2019

Manchester Camerata bring a fiesta of fun to town

On Wednesday 17th July, Withernsea High School were privileged to host a performance by the world-famous Manchester Camerata Orchestra.

The evening’s concert, entitled ‘Fiesta Orchestra’, aimed to bring members of the community together to celebrate the start of summer carnival season with a selection of music designed to get people on their feet. 

The performance was the latest event in a two year association between the orchestra and the school which began in early 2017 as part of the wider-outreach of activities for Hull’s year as City of Culture.

Throughout this continuing association, members of the Camerata have visited the school on numerous occasions to work with students in creating their own compositions which, in the past, have been performed by the students themselves alongside the orchestra at venues such as Bridlington Spa and Withernsea’s Meridian Centre. 

In the most recent series of workshops, which have spanned the past academic year, students from the high school, as well as younger pupils from several local primary schools, joined forces with Camerata composer Kate Pearson and musicians from the orchestra to create a community performance piece entitled ‘Let’s Dance’.

Taking inspiration from different eras in history and places around the world, the piece explored the universal appeal of dancing – from self-expression and communication, through to exercise and fun.

Nestled amongst orchestral dance classics from the likes of Brahms, Chopin, Ravel and Prokofiev, Let’s Dance was undoubtedly a highlight of the evening’s programme and once again gave young people in our community an exciting opportunity to perform alongside world-class musicians.

Richard Mabbott, Teacher of Music and Assistant Headteacher at Withernsea High School, commented: ‘The concert night itself was spectacular and it was a real treat to see our students get the experience of working with professional musicians. Many members of the orchestra had been playing the Albert Hall only the previous week, so to attract this calibre of musicianship to Withernsea was breathtaking.’

Student Ellie-May Lythe said: ‘I enjoyed getting to meet all of the musicians and playing alongside them was spectacular.’

Fellow student William Waudby added: ‘I really enjoyed playing my guitar with the orchestra and it was brilliant how fast some of them could play their instruments!’

Let’s Dance was created by pupils from Burton Pidsea, Keyingham, Withernsea and Patrington Primary schools as well as eight students from Withernsea High School. 

Following the success of this most recent collaboration, plans are already in place for the project to evolve next year with high school students acting as mentors for primary pupils - helping to share their musical knowledge and giving them an insight into what life as a musician is like in high school.