Cornwall Residency round-up: Day 7 – 120 musicians take on Dvořák in a day

As the culmination of the BSO’s most extensive Cornwall Residency to date, the Truro Rusties saw local amateur musicians of all ages come together to learn, rehearse and perform Dvořák’s Symphony No.8 alongside the BSO, in just one day!

The BSO’s 2017 Cornwall Residency has seen the Orchestra visit 60 different locations across the county to deliver 7 days of musical activities including over 50 school visits, 3 ensemble concerts, 2 Tea Dances, a full symphonic concert and, on the final day, the BSO Rusties ‘Symphony in a Day’ project. As part of BSO Participate’s Resonate strand of work promoting social inclusion and cohesion within communities, the BSO Rusties enable amateur musicians of all ages and abilities to benefit from specialist coaching from BSO musicians, professional instruction from a BSO conductor and the opportunity to perform alongside the full Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra in concert, all in a friendly and relaxed environment.

Taking place at Truro School, the Truro Rusties project invited local amateur musicians from across Cornwall and beyond to take on the musical challenge of performing Dvořák’s Symphony No.8 alongside the BSO’s musicians, with just a day to learn this challenging but lyrical work. 120 musicians took part in the event, making it the largest Rusties held in Cornwall to date, with participants coming from as far away as North Somerset and Dorset.

The 120-strong BSO Truro Rusties

The day began with sectional rehearsals led by BSO musicians, with the whole orchestra coming together in the afternoon for a tutti rehearsal led by Victor Aviat, BSO Leverhulme Young Conductor in Association. Dvořák’s Symphony No.8 was composed in 1889 and is a bright and lively piece filled with the joy the composer felt at being alive in a world full of natural wonders, making it the perfect piece to perform in the midst of springtime. The finale to the day was the concert performance alongside BSO musicians to an audience of family and friends, showcasing the hard work of everyone involved and providing an unforgettable end to the event. Feedback from the day showed how much the Truro Rusties was enjoyed by those who attended and it was a pleasure for the BSO’s musicians to work with such enthusiastic participants:

“A fantastic opportunity – this is the third time I have taken part in a ‘Rusties’ day and hope to do so again. An incredible experience!”

“It was incredible and I learnt so much and played much better than I had ever played before. So thank you so much for the amazing experience. I will never forget it, thank you!”

“It was so thrilling!! I learnt more in five hours than I have in five years!”

BSO Leverhulme Young Conductor in Association, Victor Aviat (Photo Credit: Harald Hoffmann)

As the Orchestra for the South and South West, the BSO has a unique remit covering 10,000 square miles including the Isles of Scilly and this year’s Cornwall Residency enabled the Orchestra to engage with even the most remote communities in the region, delivered by BSO Participate. A core part of the BSO’s mission is its work beyond the concert hall and BSO Participate works to offer people of all ages and backgrounds the opportunity to experience the power of music through five specially tailored strands of work.

The Residency would not have been possible without the backing of partners and funders and the BSO would like to thank the following organisations for their substantial support:

Coral Samuel Trust

D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust

Norman Family Charitable Trust


Cornwall Music Education Hub

Cornwall Music Service trust

Carn to Cove

Arts Council England

A special thank you also goes to Classic FM, for their support of the BSO’s Cornwall Residency by providing excellent coverage of the week’s events on-air and via their social media channels. As Classic FM’s Orchestra in the South of England, the BSO’s partnership with the broadcaster enables the Orchestra’s world-class music-making to reach even wider audiences, through outstanding coverage on digital and FM radio as well as online. Finally, of course, a very big thank you to all the participants, musicians, schools and guests who made the residency the resounding success it was.

The BSO is already looking forward to its next Cornwall Residency and in the meantime, schools in the county will be able to engage with the thrill of live orchestral performance with the next of the BSO’s Schools Concerts on Wednesday 24 May, which will be live-streamed from Lighthouse, Poole, enabling schoolchildren unable to attend to participate virtually instead. This year’s theme is ‘Secrets and Codes’ with pieces specially composed for the children to learn by award-winning composer James Redwood.

Look out for a short film being produced about the residency on the BSO Participate page, coming soon!


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