SBSJ Musicians play Royal Academy!


A small group of SBSJ Musicians were invited to perform at the Royal Academy in London on Friday 12th July as part of Orchestras For All’s National Modulo Orchestra.

The students played in a 150 strong Symphony Orchestra with Conductors including Sian Edwards, Head of Conducting at the Academy.  Sian has an impressive CV and has worked with many of the world’s leading Orchestras including Los Angeles Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, London Sinfonietta and the Berlin Symphony.

The Royal Academy is the oldest Conservatoire in the U.K and was founded in 1822. It is currently ranked as the third best University in the World to study Music and has numerous notable Alumni including Sir Simon Rattle, Dame Evelyn Glennie and Sir Elton John.

SBSJ Musicians had been rehearsing pieces in school with Olympia Leader Mrs Ross-Shaw to ensure that they were prepared for this prestigious once in a lifetime gig. We set off in our minibus (kindly funded by Orchestras For All) at 5am from SBSJ to make our rehearsal in good time with Guitarist Ethan Varley in Y9 demonstrating huge professional commitment with a 3.30am alarm call! On arrival we attended sectional rehearsals with Orchestras for All’s Specialist Instrumental Tutors including Ollie Tumner renowned percussionist who performed internationally as part of the cast of STOMP and Ruth Molins, a trombonist who works with many professional orchestras including the LSO, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and several of the BBC Orchestras. Ruth was so impressed with the work of Cornet player Tom Fiddler in Y9 that she has recommended that he audition for the Royal North Academy of Music Junior Section.

In the afternoon we performed our pieces live in concert to an audience at the Royal Academy’s Duke’s Hall which was also streamed by Orchestras for All online.  You can watch the performance online here: Composers included Henry VIII, Bacharach, Verdi and finally a piece called nighTrain which the students composed themselves working with Composer Daniel Bickerton.

“We have thoroughly enjoyed our work with Orchestra’s For All fantastic Modulo project and it’s so exciting to see the commitment and talent of SBSJ’s musicians recognised with a gig at such a prestigious venue as the Royal Academy, one of the best places to study Music in the world.” Mrs Ross-Shaw, Olympia Leader.

“The trip to the Royal Academy of Music in London was great as it brought together a community of Musicians from many different schools around the UK to play in an Orchestra. The end performance was proof that you can play with people who you haven't played with before. Overall it was an excellent trip!” Matthew Brumfitt, Y12 BTEC Music student.