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!


Cornwall Residency round-up: Day 6 – creative workshops, cakes and a cello concerto

Day 6 saw the BSO’s musicians and Associates visit locations as diverse as the rural hamlet of Gwinear and Truro, Cornwall’s only city, with an exciting line-up of workshops and community events including a BSO Tea Dance and a full symphonic concert with guest soloist Guy Johnston.

As the BSO’s 2017 Cornwall Residency reached its penultimate day, there was no change in the pace as the programme of music-making activities continued across the county. With 7 events planned on Day 6, it was another busy day for the BSO Participate Team and the BSO’s musicians and Associates, doing the part of their job they love best – inspiring local communities with music.

BSO Bash started the day’s activities in the north of the county with a workshop visit to Altarnun Primary School. The ensemble worked with 28 children in Years 4, 5 and 6 exploring the sounds and techniques of a variety of handheld percussion instruments including maracas, boomwackers and xylophones. Meanwhile in the rural hamlet of Marshgate, BSO Associate Matt Harrison led a creative workshop with children in Years 5 and 6 at Otterham Community Primary School, enabling all musical abilities to join in and have fun with different instruments and try out composing a new piece of music as a group.

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Otterham Community Primary School making music with BSO Associate Matt Harrison

The BSO’s residency aims to engage people of all ages and backgrounds with the joy of music-making and is delivered by three of BSO Participate’s five distinct strands of activity. Blast brings the professional orchestra to 5 – 18 year olds through a wide range of schools visits, concerts and workshops, developing new and exciting ways to bring classical music alive for schoolchildren across the region by working in partnership with schools and Music Education Hubs. In addition to the day’s primary school visits, BSO Associate Patrick Bailey visited Community School on the Cornwall/Devon border and worked with Year 10 students to compose a piece as part of their GCSE Music studies. The completed piece was titled ‘Buzz’ and the students also made a recording of their work with Patrick.

BSO Associate Patrick Bailey (with accordian) and the students at

BSO Participate’s Boost strand of work focusses on health and well-being through music, making music accessible to all in the community including older people and those in full-time care and healthcare settings. As part of this year’s residency, Boost held two BSO Tea Dances in rural communities, enabling people in more isolated areas the opportunity to engage with live music-making, meet new friends and enjoy the chance to dance with like-minded people whilst enjoying tea, coffee and cakes. Day 5 had seen a Tea Dance held in the small fishing village of St Mawes, whilst on Day 6, a Tea Dance was held in the small west Cornwall village of Gwinear, overlooking the Angarrack valley. Held in association with Carn to Cove, Cornwall’s performing arts scheme for rural communities, the Tea Dances provided a fun afternoon of dance and music in a warm, friendly environment. The BSO Teatime Band performed a selection of dance floor classics including vintage Sinatra, Gershwin and Mancini to participants at the village’s Hall for Gwinear, where the village committee had made the BSO’s musicians and Participate Team members feel very welcome with a wonderful assortment of homemade cakes and beautiful bunting.


The beautifully decorated village hall at Gwinear

Further creative workshops followed in the afternoon and the finale to the events of Day 6 was a symphonic concert with the full BSO at Hall for Cornwall in Truro, Cornwall’s only city. Classical Brit Award-winning cellist Guy Johnston joined the Orchestra and guest conductor Michael Seal in a stunning performance of Elgar’s Cello Concerto, in a programme which also featured Beethoven’s Egmont Overture and Sibelius’s Symphony No.2.

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Guy Johnston (Photo Credit: Kaupo Kikkas)

Catch up on all the events of the BSO’s 2017 Cornwall Residency by visiting the updates page

Cornwall Residency round-up: Day 5 – BSO musicians up for adoption and the Orchestra does the splits

In another packed schedule of workshops, performances and visits, Day 5 of the BSO’s Cornwall Residency saw two of the BSO’s musicians adopted by local primary schools and the Orchestra’s ensembles delight audiences in North Cornwall with three intimate performances.


The BSO arrive in Perranporth

As the BSO’s 2017 Cornwall Residency passes the halfway point, the Orchestra has already engaged over 1,500 children in local schools with its music and visited communities across the region, ranging from Bude in the north to as far south as the Isles of Scilly. Day 5 saw the BSO continue its extensive programme of music-making workshops and schools visits, which included two of its musicians being ‘adopted’ by local primary schools.


Harrowbarrow Primary School ‘adopts’ BSO Principal Tuba Andi Cresci

The Adopt a Musician project enables schools to ‘adopt’ a BSO musician for a day and get to hear them perform, learn more about their instrument and take part in workshops. BSO Principal Tuba Andy Cresci ventured into the beautiful Tamar Valley to visit Harrowbarrow Primary School where 33 children were treated to a very rare hosepipe and didgeridoo duet! The other BSO musician up for adoption was BSO Second Violin Vicky Berry, who visited Dobwalls Primary School near Liskeard. The children were entranced by her beautiful performance of Massenet’s Meditation from Thaïs and were able to ask lots of questions about her violin. Besides providing an exciting opportunity to meet an orchestral musician and see and hear their instrument up close, the project also aims to inspire creativity and interest in orchestral music and ensemble performance.


Dobwalls Primary School with their ‘adopted’ musician, BSO Second Violin, Vicky Berry

The BSO’s Blast schools visits continued to inspire local schoolchildren with creative workshops and special private performances in their own school halls from the BSO’s world-class musicians. Highlights included St Merryn School’s energetic performance of their Egyptian-themed composition ‘Tutenkhamoooooooon!’ with BSO Associate Matt Harrison; more lively sessions with BSO Bash, who visited Fourlanesend School and Menheniot Primary School; and creative workshops with experimental composer Nomura at Pennoweth Primary School and Mithian School.


BSO Associate Matt Harrison and the children of St Merryn’s School

In the evening, the BSO did the splits and divided into the three main families of the orchestra to perform as Brass, Strings and Wind ensembles, enabling the Orchestra to reach communities without a venue large enough to host a full symphony orchestra. The peaceful rural community of St. Endellion were treated to the big sound of BSO Brass who performed a programme including works by Byrd, Sondheim and Gabrieli. The ensemble was also joined by 5 young local brass players who performed side by side with the BSO musicians, in collaboration with Cornwall Music Service Trust.


BSO Brass performing in St. Endellion, joined by 5 local young brass players

The beautiful seaside town of Perranporth was treated to a concert of music reflecting the wonderful diversity of the classical string repertoire by the BSO Strings, conducted by BSO Leverhulme Young Conductor in Association, Victor Aviat, and featured works including Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings and Grieg’s Holberg Suite. Popular guest conductor Frank Zielhorst, meanwhile, was in the historic market town of Launceston with the BSO Winds, who performed a programme of Hummel, Jacobs and Dvořák to a packed hall.


Launceston Town Hall, the venue for the BSO Winds concert

The concerts were in association with Carn to Cove, Cornwall’s performing arts scheme for rural communities and form a key part of the BSO’s Cornwall Residency, ensuring the Orchestra reaches those communities who, due to their location and small size, would otherwise miss out on engaging with live orchestral music-making by professional musicians.
To keep up to date with the BSO’s activities as part of the Cornwall Residency, please visit the live updates page

Cornwall Residency round-up: Day 4 – making music from Launceston to Land’s End and beyond!

Day 4 saw another full schedule for the BSO as intrepid BSO Associate Patrick Bailey made the journey – by boat – across to the Isles of Scilly, whilst on the mainland schoolchildren found themselves ‘In at the Deep End’, and the ensembles continued their tour of Cornwall’s schools.


The BSO reaches Land’s End

As the Orchestra of the South and South West, the BSO has a unique remit covering a region of over 10,000 square miles, embracing many rural and isolated communities. The BSO’s Cornwall Residency enables the Orchestra to reach these more isolated areas and engage people of all ages and backgrounds with the thrill of live music-making.

Day 4 of the residency saw BSO Associate Patrick Bailey brave the blustery weather and choppy waters of the Celtic Sea to make the journey to the Isles of Scilly, the farthest flung corner of the BSO’s home region, to spend a day working with the children of Five Islands School. Patrick is a familiar face on the Islands, together with fellow Cornwall Associate Matt Harrison, who visit throughout the year to deliver community music-making projects including a community choir, Family Orchestra and ensemble for ‘Rusty Returners.’ Patrick’s visit as part of the residency involved creative music workshops with the children, using various hand-held percussion instruments accompanied by Patrick on guitar. There was also a special guest as PC Mat Crowe from the Islands’ Police Station dropped by to join in!


PC Mat Crowe joins BSO Associate Patrick Bailey and the children of Five Islands School for some music-making

Back on the mainland, the BSO’s ensembles continued their packed itinerary visiting schools along the length and breadth of Cornwall, together with BSO Associate Matt Harrison and guest Composer-in-Residence Makoto Nomura. The BSO Bash ensemble spent the day at Sennen Primary School, not far from Lands End, whilst BSO Strings were at the other end of the county in Bude as they met pupils at Budehaven Community College, before joining up with BSO Brass in Bodmin for an inspiring performance in front of 600 children at St Petrocs C of E Primary.


BSO Bash workshop at Sennen Primary School

Students at Humphry Davy School and Bodmin College found themselves ‘In at the Deep End’ when an ensemble comprising musicians from the BSO and Cornwall Music Service Trust performed for them. The ‘In at the Deep End’ ensemble of Tuba, Double Bass, Bassoon and Trombone aims to encourage more young musicians to take up bass clef instruments and the concert demonstrated just how versatile these instruments can be and that their roles are far from being limited to just providing a bass line, with the group performing as an ensemble and also treating the audience to solo performances.


‘In at the Deep End’

In the evening, BSO Brass visited St Dennis Community Band in St Austell, where the 26 strong brass ensemble received coaching and rehearsed side by side with the BSO musicians. The band has been performing in the town since the mid-19th century and brings together musicians of all ages from across the local community, demonstrating the capacity of music to transcend generational and social barriers.


St Dennis Community Band performs with BSO Brass

To keep up to date with the BSO’s activities as part of the Cornwall Residency, please visit the live updates page

Cornwall Residency round-up: Day 3 – on the road with the BSO’s ensembles

The BSO’s Bash, Brass, Strings and Wind ensembles have been touring the county’s primary and secondary schools to bring exciting interactive workshops and concerts to hundreds of schoolchildren, visiting 11 schools on Day 3.


BSO Bash visit Falmouth Primary School

As Day 3 of the BSO’s Cornwall Residency dawned, the BSO’s ensembles were busy preparing for a full day touring the county’s schools to bring an inspiring programme of music-making and creative workshops to schoolchildren of all ages. A core part of the Orchestra’s mission is its work beyond the concert hall through BSO Participate and its five specially tailored strands of activity; the Orchestra’s Cornwall Residency school activities are delivered by the Blast strand. Blast is designed to enrich the school curriculum and increase access to classical music, by bringing the professional orchestra to 5-18 year olds via a wide range of schools visits and concerts, workshops and coaching opportunities.


BSO Strings play to the children of Pelynt School

The first visit of the day saw the BSO Strings travel to the south-east of the county to Pelynt Primary School, near the seaside town of Looe, where the quintet played to 59 very excited children. Each of the five musicians represents one of the string sections of the BSO and the children were able to learn more about each instrument and the different sounds they can produce through a variety of techniques. Further north, BSO Brass were making some noise at St Breock School with 50 young brass players in a workshop session. The children from Years 5 and 6 were able to play alongside the BSO musicians as well as enjoy a concert which hopefully inspired them to continue their music-making and maybe one day become musicians themselves.


Young brass players enjoying a workshop with BSO Brass at St Breock School

Meanwhile, the BSO Winds travelled to Penair Secondary School in Truro where they worked with 15 talented young musicians in various ensembles. The students were coached through a selection of pieces by the BSO musicians and then were able to enjoy a performance by the quintet. In the afternoon, BSO Bash were creating musical mayhem during their visit to Falmouth Primary School. The ensemble worked with 25 children in Years 3 to 6 who enjoyed the musicians’ performance so much that a number of encores were demanded and a music stand was the worse for wear after such enthusiastic music-making!


BSO Winds working with the talented young musicians at Penair School

In total, the four ensembles visited 11 schools across Cornwall, from Newlyn in the south to Wadebridge and Liskeard, inspiring almost 500 children and young people with live music-making. For some of these children, it will have been the first time they have seen professional orchestral musicians perform and will have provided an unforgettable experience, perhaps even sparking a life-long passion for music.

To keep up to date with the BSO’s activities as part of the Cornwall Residency, please visit the live updates page

Cornwall Residency round-up: Day 2 – boomwhackers, bananas and BSO Bash

On Day 2 of the BSO’s 2017 Cornwall Residency, the musicians have been out and about visiting the region’s primary schools, inspiring the next generation of musicians with creative workshops and coaching.


BSO Associate Matt Harrison with the children of Jacobstow Primary

With an itinerary taking in 60 locations across Cornwall and visiting over 50 schools, this year’s Cornwall Residency is the BSO’s most extensive yet, enabling the Orchestra to reach even more communities with its live music-making. Monday 27 March saw the first day of schools visits where the BSO musicians, Associates and guest Composer-in-Residence Makoto Nomura provided creative workshops and coaching to schoolchildren in all four corners of the county. Delivered by BSO Participate’s Blast strand, which works closely with Music Education Hubs and schools to bring music alive for schoolchildren across the South West, the BSO musicians lead music-making sessions which are tailored to fit the school curriculum.

Beginning at Wendron C of E Primary School in Helston, on the northern Lizard Peninsula, 34 schoolchildren were treated to the unique musical style of Makoto Nomura, the world-renowned Japanese experimental and contemporary composer. Together in a creative workshop, the children worked with Nomura to compose a piece for telescope boomwackers, resulting in some inventive sounds and lots of original ideas. Meanwhile in North Cornwall, BSO Associate Matt Harrison was busy working with the children at Jacobstow Primary School to compose a brand new piece, called ‘Feelings.’

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BSO Guest Composer-in-Residence Makoto Nomura and 34 boomwacker-wielding children

Things turned decidedly noisier in the afternoon when the BSO Bash percussion ensemble arrived at Indian Queens School in the heart of Cornwall to lead an afternoon of workshops and a concert to 60 pupils. The BSO Bash musicians demonstrated the range of techniques used by percussionists on a variety of instruments including djembe drums, snare drums, xylophone and a variety of handheld percussion – even the music stands were played!


BSO Bash in action at Indian Queens School

BSO Associate Hugh Nankivell also visited St Minver Primary School in Wadebridge where he led the Year 6 class in a creative composition session, resulting in the performance of their new piece, ‘Bananas of the World.’ The school visits will continue throughout the week as the BSO’s ensembles and musicians bring workshops, coaching and concert performances to primary and secondary schools across the county from Launceston to Sennen.


BSO Associate Hugh Nankivell with the Year 6 class at St Minver Primary School

To keep up to date with the BSO’s activities in Cornwall, visit the live updates page

Cornwall Residency round-up: Day 1 – musical Mothers’ Day fun

The BSO’s 2017 Cornwall Residency got underway on Sunday with a Family Orchestra Day in Penryn which saw people of all ages collaborate to create a special piece of music to celebrate Mothers’ Day, with BSO Guest Composer-in-Residence Makoto Nomura.


Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra began its week-long Cornwall Residency with an exciting community creative music-making workshop in the historic market town of Penryn. The Family Orchestra Day, appropriately held on Mothering Sunday, invited the whole family to come along and take part in 3 hours of creative composition led by BSO Associates Matt Harrison and Hugh Nankivell, together with the BSO Bash percussion ensemble and world-renowned experimental composer Makoto Nomura.

Open to anyone regardless of musical ability, the workshop enabled people from across Cornwall to experience orchestral music-making in a friendly and relaxed environment as part of a mixed ensemble. With no need to read music or to audition, musicians of all ages enjoyed any form of music-making to suit them, from having a go on handheld percussion instruments to using their everyday voice. 24 participants worked with Nomura and the BSO’s musicians to compose a special Mothers’ Day Symphony in a workshop session which then culminated with the premiere performance of the piece in the afternoon in front of an audience of family and friends.

The day provided participants with the opportunity to try out new instruments as well as learning about how ideas can come together to create a new piece, in a supportive and fun setting where there was no such thing as a ‘wrong’ note. It was enjoyed by all who attended with some very positive feedback from participants:

“What better way to spend Mothers’ Day than writing and playing a Mothers’ Day Symphony”

“Wonderful experience for the family”

“It was really fun and highly enjoyable”

The residency will continue throughout the week with the Orchestra visiting some 60 locations across the county and bringing creative workshops and concerts to schoolchildren at over 50 schools. Other community events that will be taking place during the week include the BSO’s Tea Dances at St Mawes and Gwinear, and the culmination of the residency on Saturday 1 April with the BSO Rusties ‘Symphony in a Day’, which will see over 100 local musicians rehearse and play alongside BSO musicians as they take on the challenge of learning Dvorak’s Symphony No.8 in a day.

To keep up to date with the BSO’s activities as part of the Cornwall Residency, please visit the live updates page