This year, our annual Orchestral Open Day was delivered virtually and featured an array of guest speakers from the professional world. Pupils from both our senior and prep schools were joined by other young musicians from local schools and the impressive talents of all participants were seen in the afternoon workshop sessions and in their recordings that are being submitted to be compiled in a Virtual Orchestra performance later in the term.

The morning sessions were presented by inspiring musicians who have worked at the very highest levels in the industry. Each guest focused on a particular area of performance; the importance of free expression, how to achieve accuracy and excellent tone quality, improvisation and the benefits of scales, the role of the section leader and more. The guests included: Mr Gerry Ruddock (a Caterham School VMT) who recounted his experiences recording the original Star Wars soundtrack under the baton of John Williams with the London Symphony Orchestra. Mr Jan Ryska who spoke about his experiences with the Vienna Philharmonic and Vienna Opera House. Mr Duncan Lamont shared his experiences as a West End orchestral player and Miss Ellen Blair discussed her transition from the classical world to the pop and world music arena. Mr Tim Henty shared his experiences as firstly a conductor of Ballet then his current work as a conductor of film scores. His workshop on conducting techniques was a highlight; participants thoroughly enjoyed being able to take part and learn basic conducting patterns. The programme of talks and workshops were designed by Mr Brian Hill our Head of Instrumental Music and all of the guest speakers commented on the high standards of the participants and were impressed by the calibre of questions and insightful contributions.

In a year that has had such a devastating impact on ensemble music-making it was wonderful to see such enthusiasm for this event. For young musicians to attend such an event virtually, from home, is testament to their passion and dedication for music. The Virtual Orchestral performance will be edited and distributed later this term and we look forward to hearing the final result!

Back to all news

discover more about caterham