Summer string serenade


Over 30 students, representing Encore and Harrogate Music School’s talented, passionate and dedicated string players from Year 3 to Year 12, will once again be featured in an end of year concert, on Tuesday, 25th June at 7 p.m, in the main hall of Harrogate Grammar school.

Ready, Steady, Bow was a vision of Sam Laverick three years ago when she recognised the local need for a primary pathway into string ensemble performing. Originally formed with just 8 students, the Harrogate Music School string tuition programme now boasts two thriving string groups, Ready, Steady, Bow and All Strung Out, and has members who audition for the National Children’s Orchestra. All Strung Out was established last year and is designed as a continuation ensemble for young string musicians who are ready to move on from Ready, Steady, Bow, encouraging and developing students’ technique and musicality. These two ensembles are available to any local student and the groups attract string players from a variety of schools across Harrogate. A further ensemble, Arco Celebris consists of only HGS students and is aimed at performing the more advanced repertoire.

This is the third year that Encore and Harrogate Music School has presented an end of year concert solely for their string players. Together we are certainly bucking the trend of declining numbers of traditional instrumentalists. How are they doing it? In several ways…

Firstly, through the string tuition that the HGS Encore instrumental programme offers, all 2000 HGS students have access to individual music and drama tuition. In addition, students in year 3 and 4 at nearby Western Primary School and Oatlands Junior School, both part of the Red Kite Learning Trust, receive Encore ‘whole class’ string instrument tuition where they benefit from a hands-on approach through direct access to Violins and Cellos. Students then also have the opportunity to join one of the two junior string ensembles run as part of Harrogate Music School. All students are highly encouraged to take part in an ensemble experience early in their musical development.

In this year’s concert we have young people performing in both group and solo settings, the youngest being in year 3, and the oldest in year 12. These students represent a wide range of schools across Harrogate and they perform with an enjoyment and passion that is second to none.

The concert will be a fantastic opportunity to witness the dedication and skills of our team of Encore and Harrogate Music School string teachers – Sam Laverick, Peta Kendall, Helen Dawson and Chris Heron – and the growth of numbers and skill of our next generation of string musicians in the Red Kite Trust and the local area.

Come and join us in the main hall of Harrogate Grammar School at 7:00pm on Tuesday 25th June for a concert celebrating the String playing.