Camerata’s Surprise Concert

Posted on June 22, 2012

1700 Children from across Greater Manchester, Cheshire West & Chester and Blackburn came together on Wednesday 23 May 2012 at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester to learn about the instruments of the orchestra, rhythm, lyrics and Haydn in this specially written interactive performance of Haydn’s Symphony no. 94, Surprise!

Manchester Camerata's Songbook of the Earth Project As Manchester Camerata’s 11/12 season drew to a close, the Orchestra threw a massive musical ‘surprise party’.  1700 Children from across the North West of England gathered on 23 May 2012 to learn about the instruments of the orchestra, rhythm, lyrics and the composer Haydn in this specially written interactive performance based on his Symphony no. 94, nicknamed Surprise!

The concert, in partnership with the Bridgewater Hall and supported by UKFast was conducted by Camerata’s world class Hungarian Music Director Gábor Takács-Nagy, and presented by composer Andy Smith. The exploration of Haydn’s symphony included an introduction to the orchestra and its instruments, singing new lyrics and creating new rhythms for Haydn’s melodies and bringing the magnificent Bridgewater Hall to life with dazzling colour!

All schools attending the concert received an interactive pack inviting them to write and send in their own lyrics to sections of Haydn’s music. Andy then built them into complete songs and set Gábor Takács-Nagy the challenge of conducting a 2500-piece orchestra, as the entire audience performed in song and rhythm.

The pack also included classroom resources for exploring Haydn’s life and music, and the history and instruments of the classical orchestra, to extend children’s learning beyond their visit.

Manchester Camerata’s website hosts UKFast was one of the sponsors of the event, MD and Manchester Camerata Director Lawrence Jones said: “I am a firm believer in classical music being for the masses, not just for the privileged few and this initiative led by Manchester Camerata encourages just that so I am very happy that UKFast is involved as a sponsor.”  

Read a selection of comments from those who took part in this exciting event:

“The concert was Entertaining, a chance to experience a live orchestra. Children were actively involved.”

“It was a great way for the children to learn about classical music . Fun and interactive!”

“A good mixture of listening to the music and interacting with the orchestra.”

“I felt it was suitable for all ages. I learnt a lot as well.”

“Children were able to hear each instrument and understand the role of the conductor. Children felt as though they were part of the concert as they were so included.”

“The strengths of the concert were the quality of the music and musicians, which were a revelation to the children! They were awestruck by the venue as well”

“Gábor and Andy were both were engaging and brought humour into the concert. Very informative and explained each movement at the correct level for the children. Wonderful , a real pleasure to watch”

“The teacher’s pack contained some really useful and interesting activities to do with the children back in class”

“We all really enjoyed it thank you for the experience. We will look out for future performances.”

“A great event, we look forward to future events.”