THE Sir Robert Woodard Academy hosted a ‘phenomenal’ music event of primary and secondary schools from across the area.
More than 500 people packed into the main hall last Wednesday to watch the pupils perform material from Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds, the Adiemus Suite by Karl Jenkins and Pharrell Williams’ ever-popular Happy, from the hit film Despicable Me 2.
The academy’s musical director, James Lelean, is the creator and co-ordinator of the workshop, which is now in its second year.
He said: “It was an overwhelmingly phenomenal success.
“We are the only school in southern England to hold this kind of event.
“It gives pupils from all over the county the chance to join and share in the experience of performing with a full orchestra, as well as have a lot of fun and network with other musical students.
“We had over 500 parents and friends in the crowd, some coming from as far as Croydon and Rustington. The crowd loved it. At the end we had two standing ovations and Mexican waves. It was incredible. I was receiving messages all of last night about how great it was, and emails from other schools in the area wanting to take part. We’ll certainly be continuing the tradition next year, hopefully getting bigger and bigger so even more schools can join in.”
Pupils aged eight to 18 spent the day rehearsing, learning techniques and instruments at the workshop before performing alongside the academy’s 100-strong Symphony Orchestra in the evening.
More than ten schools took part in the event, including St Andrews CE High School for Boys, Chatsmore Catholic High School and the hosts.