Saffron Walden County High School students find their forte ahead of Olympic gala concert

AN internationally-acclaimed chamber orchestra has helped students from Saffron Walden County High School find their forte ahead of major gala concert in the town.

Musicians from Britten Sinfonia played and recorded compositions by 13 A-level students, marking the culmination of a series of workshops led by renowned composer Elspeth Brooke at the school.

The occasion was attended by BBC Radio Cambridge who broadcast excerpts from the performances, and interviews with both students and the school’s head of music, Alan Broadbent.

Mr Broadbent said: “I was delighted when the idea of holding the workshops was first put forward to me.

“The workshops allowed the students to have their ideas developed in conjunction with an established composer and to hear their work translated from paper to performance by professional musicians.”

The performers later commented on how talented the students were and how much they had enjoyed seeing their initial manuscript pieces develop into fully-fledged compositions.

The students showed remarkable progress during the event and made the most of their opportunity.

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Elspeth Brooke said: “The students have grasped their chance to compose for and play alongside Britten Sinfonia with both hands. In the process they have come up with some very inventive pieces of music.”

Student Ben Landor commented: “It is amazing to have these professional musicians come to perform our pieces for us. You wouldn’t get this opportunity anywhere else.”

The workshop was run in conjunction with the MazeMusic project, in itself part of Music Nation which is a collaborative music programme featured in the London 2012 Festival.

The project builds to a crescendo with its gala concert at St Mary’s Church in Saffron Walden on March 3. The concert, which will celebrate the history of the town, will include Britten Sinfonia, Saffron Walden Choral Society and youth choir SignuptoSing.

For more information on the project, or how to obtain tickets for the concert, visit