Children from two Ipswich-based schools; Gusford Primary and Sidegate Primary, recently had the inspiring opportunity to perform in a choir alongside Ipswich Symphony Orchestra at the town’s historic Corn Exchange.

The event formed part of Ipswich Symphony Orchestra’s annual family concert and was attended by members of the general public, followers of the orchestra, and the friends and families of the pupils involved.

Sixty children from the two Primary Schools (both part of The Active Learning Trust) performed renditions of ‘We are the Young’, ‘Save our Planet’ and sang in the chorus during the orchestra's performance of Tchaikovsky's ‘Waltz of the Snowflakes’, from the Nutcracker. 

Wendy James, Executive Headteacher of Sidegate Primary School said: “This was an excellent opportunity for our young musicians to watch a full symphony orchestra rehearse and to be able to rehearse with the orchestra. Understanding that even adults get things wrong and have to practice is really important. At Sidegate Primary School, we seize as many opportunities for our pupils as we can, so they have the incentive to attend rehearsals and build confidence by performing to live audiences.”

The theme for the concert was "Our Wonderful World" so each musical piece linked to aspects of nature. For example, ‘Storm’ from Britten's Sea Interludes, ‘Theme from Jurassic Park’, ‘Waltz of the Snowflakes’, and ‘Tales of the Vienna Woods’ (Strauss). 

The children did a wonderful job, singing about protecting the future of our planet. Ipswich Symphony Orchestra has performed concerts in Ipswich since 1902 and is one of the oldest amateur orchestras in the UK. The Conductor of the Orchestra is critically acclaimed musician, Adam Gatehouse.
Sarah Ingram, choir and music lead at Gusford Primary School said "This was such a wonderful opportunity for our children to work with, perform alongside and hear a live Symphony Orchestra. At Gusford, our choir takes every opportunity to perform to new and varied audiences – experiencing the benefits and enjoyment of sharing their music with others, while developing their confidence to do so". 

Co-Head of Gusford Primary School, Isobel Garner concluded: “It was a wonderful opportunity for the children to be part of the Ipswich Symphony Orchestra’s family concert and to sing alongside the orchestra. To have something so special to rehearse for was an excellent experience for the pupils. It was a fantastic event and very much enjoyed by all, however, we were especially proud of the children for their superb performance.”  

Lynsey Holzer, CEO of The Active Learning Trust said “I’m delighted to see our schools collaborating and sharing opportunities to link up with the local community. This has been an enriching experience for the children, so a huge ‘thank you’ to the organisers and everyone at Ipswich Symphony Orchestra.”