IOS Outreach in Schools


As part of its philosophy to develop a younger audience, a small group of Ipswich Symphony Orchestra Members visits local schools. 


The first of our ventures into local primary schools began in 2007 when we were invited into Ravenswood School; our regular rehearsal venue. We were pleased with this opportunity to give the children a taste of our music-making and perhaps encourage them to come to our Family Concert. Eight members of the orchestra playing various instruments gave short demonstrations followed by a piece. It was well received by the children, and a group from the school then took part in the Family Concert.  Photographs of the visit may be viewed on our Photographs page.


In 2008, a string quartet, clarinettist and trombonist visited Gatacre Road Primary School, demonstrating and performing to the whole school. A number of complimentary tickets to the Family Concert were offered to the school to encourage pupils to come and listen to a live performance of orchestral music aimed at their age-group.


This policy of active contact with the young community in our schools continues to be a feature of the Ipswich Symphony Orchestra's outreach work.


In 2009, ten musicians went into Cedarwood School at Kesgrave where the pupils came into the hall in two separate assembly groups with around 200 in each group. A string quintet began with a short introduction to each instrument, then a demonstration of a fragment of dance music in keeping with the dance theme of the Family Concert, which was followed by a performance of Russian Sailor Dance by Glinka. The children continued to listen attentively while the woodwind and brass instruments were shown and played, the larger instruments being particularly popular and a source of amusement. Pupils were then invited to ‘assist’ when a hosepipe was connected to a mouthpiece and funnel to produce a simple wind instrument, which resulted in more hilarity. The young audience was then treated to a short version of the trombone solo, ’The Acrobat’, which was later performed in the Family Concert.


We have been invited back to Cedarwood School in 2010 to develop our contact with the children in a classroom situation. We are committed to encourage the younger generation to enjoy live classical music and become our audiences of the future.

Christine & Graham Ranson


Whitehouse Junior School, Ipswich ~ 25 February 2010

In anticipation of the next Family Concert, a group of Ipswich Symphony Orchestra Members and Friends presented a morning assembly to over 200 children at Whitehouse Junior School in Ipswich on February 25th 2010. The children, aged between 7 and 11, listened attentively and responded enthusiastically as we spoke about our instruments, demonstrating their characteristics and playing short pieces, including excerpts from ‘Peter and the Wolf’.


Some children quickly recognised the National Anthem played on the double bass, and they all found the home-made horn (a garden hose and funnel) very amusing.


The presentation ended with a group performance of a theme from a well known animation series that the children instantly recognised. This was an instant hit and sent them back to their classrooms with a real spring in their step.


The Headteacher was very appreciative and made a telling comment: “In this computerised, virtual world it is so important for our children to see real people showing their skill in playing real instruments. Thank you for giving up your time for us”.


Altogether, it was a ‘Grand Day Out’ at Whitehouse Junior School.


Those taking part were:

Jean Hudson (violin)
Juliet Thornbery (viola)
Kirsten Sharpe (‘cello)
Cecil Irwin (double bass)
David Ferguson (trombone)
Malcolm Hudson (oboe)
Heather Ferguson (clarinet)
David Lock (Bassoon and contrabassoon)


Jean Hudson