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Heacham Junior School

Young musicians join to create a 100-strong orchestra

Our talented musicians joined forces with those from 12 other primary schools across the region to play together as one large orchestra.

Around 100 pupils aged eight to 11 took part in the performance, which was held at Gaywood Primary School in front of an audience that included the Deputy Mayor of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk, Margaret Wilkinson.

Staged by the West Norfolk Academies Trust, of which we are a member, the event united children from 13 of the 19 schools involved in the Trust’s Musical Instrument Teaching Initiative (MITI), enabling them to play their orchestral instruments together.

Robert Galliard, who oversaw the West Norfolk Primaries MITI Workshop, explained: “The children who have been part of the MITI scheme were invited to a joint session at Gaywood Primary School.

“They rehearsed both as a large orchestra and also as separate wind band and string ensemble, before showcasing their work to parents.

“They played music that is aimed at beginner ensembles – the important thing was that they were playing together and meeting children with a similar interest from across West Norfolk.”

Besides us, participating schools included Clenchwarton, West Lynn, Walpole Cross Keys, Snettisham, and host Gaywood – all of which are fellow members of WNAT – along with St Martha’s (Gaywood), Docking, Flitcham, Holly Meadows (Pott Row), Gayton, Fairstead, and Tilney All Saints.

“As a retired music teacher, I would say music is of prime importance as part of a growing child’s development,” continued Mr Galliard.

“Many friendships have been formed through shared musical participation in choirs and orchestras.

“Many of these children come from small schools, so it is important that they get to see that they are part of a bigger movement.”

Andy Johnson, Executive Headteacher at WNAT added: “The Trust believes that playing a musical instrument is an important life skill which provides numerous benefits to each student.

“We invest heavily in music to ensure as many students as possible are involved across all of our schools.”