Rehearsals for BBC Proms event take place at Truro High
The joint venture between BBC Proms, the BBC Concert Orchestra and Cornwall Learning Music has attracted 109 people, of all ages, from across the county. Aimed at giving every member of the family the chance to play together, the orchestra has grown significantly since its launch in 2006 when just five people turned up to a primary school in Reading for the first rehearsal.
This year, Cornish composer Graham Fitkin has written a piece especially for the project called PK, the telegraphic code for Porthcurno – the village which first linked the UK to the USA via a chain of cables.
‘I am interested in how a small village at a remote end of England became a key part of the country's communication system,' said Mr Fitkin, who was born in West Cornwall and who still lives in Penwith. ‘The new piece will work through signals, switches and flow of current.'
The Cornish families have been working with project leader Lincoln Abbotts and other professional musicians during their time in the school's classrooms.
‘It's the first time that we've all played together and it's really good fun,' said Annie Baylis Gray, from Falmouth who plays the violin, whilst mum Lucy sings in the choir and dad John and brother Frederick play acoustic guitar. ‘It's great being part of a large group and we're all looking forward to going up to the Albert Hall.'
The Hicks family from St Just in West Cornwall were similarly excited.
‘My sister Freya and I have done something with the BBC Concert Orchestra before but this is the first time that our brother Remi and mum Henrietta have taken part too,' said Indigo Hicks, 16. ‘I play the cello, Freya plays the violin, Remi plays the double bass and mum sings.'
Truro High Headmistress Caroline Pascoe said she was delighted to welcome such a large and talented group of musicians to the school.
‘Music plays an important part in school life anyway so it's wonderful to have such melodic sounds filling our classrooms and halls during the holidays too,' she said. ‘It's very inspiring for all of us.'
The orchestra and chorus will perform at the Royal Albert Hall on Monday 30 August and BBC Radio 3 will be broadcasting the event live.
For more information about hiring rooms at Truro High, please contact Sue Stevens on 01872 272830.
View press clipping from West Briton 26/08 pg 38