15 September 2023
Warwick Schools Foundation and Warwickshire’s professional orchestra, Orchestra of the Swan, are celebrating another year of partnership. The partnership extends following a fruitful 2022-23 season, which saw 112 players performing at a series of concerts at Warwick Hall on Myton Road, whilst facilitating unique and outstanding music experiences to pupils local to the Foundation.
The partnership acts as an extension of Warwick Schools Foundation’s long-term mission to increase the scope for pupils across Warwickshire to engage with musical opportunities; providing a level of accessibility that may not otherwise be possible. The partnership also echoes the sentiments of the Foundation’s other musically-oriented partnerships such as Warwick as a Singing Town.
The backbone of this unique residency in 2022-23 saw Warwick Hall become the venue for four professional orchestral concerts, with guest conductors Michael Collins, Rebecca Miller and Gerry Cornelius, along with soloists Corey Cerovsek, Roderick Williams, Aaron Akugbo and Zeb Soanes.
Beyond the concerts, a key priority of the partnership is pupil engagement; to host a variety of valuable orchestral experiences for Foundation pupils and as many pupils throughout Warwickshire as possible, to provide Foundation pupils with the opportunity to play alongside the Swan in professional concert settings, and to encourage all pupils locally to engage with orchestral instruments whilst exposing them to orchestral repertoire, conducting, and composition.
A variety of events have been delivered on the Foundation site and in the schools of external pupils across Warwickshire since 2022. These included workshops for pupils led by Swan players; attendance of pupils at open rehearsals; mentoring sessions with Foundation pupils and scholars; and ‘Come and Play’ days for external pupils on the Foundation site. Pupil engagement remains a key priority for the partnership in 2023 and beyond.
In total, 1150 pupils, both Foundation and external, engaged with the various opportunities provided across all activity areas.
Warwick Schools Foundation and Orchestra of the Swan are delighted that schools and players alike demonstrated a willingness to engage, emphasising the continued importance of orchestral music within the scope of the curriculum…and beyond.
Richard Nicholson, Warwick Schools Foundation Principal, said of the partnership:
“We are proud to be able to offer unique opportunities for our pupils in the Foundation, pupils across the county, and residents of the local area. Warwick and the West Midlands are uniquely places to draw on extraordinary artistic and cultural talent. Working with the Orchestra of the Swan and Warwickshire Music Hub, this is a wonderful way to enable more people to access outstanding music-making.”
Both Warwick Schools Foundation and Orchestra of the Swan look forward to the continuation of this fruitful partnership for the 2023-24 season.