Huge Ten Pieces project aims to open up the world of classical music in Sussex

The classical musicians from Ensemble Reza have teamed up with West Sussex Music and the Burgess Hill Symphony Orchestra for an educational community project.

Thursday, 8th October 2015, 2:10 pm
Ensemble Reza. Picture by Alison Willows

The initiative is based on the BBC Ten Pieces Programme, which is being widely promoted throughout the UK.

It aims to open up the world of classical music to young people.

There will be workshops in schools, as well as the creation of a community orchestra for all ages and abilities.

Part-funded by Arts Council England, Haywards Heath Town Council, Mid Sussex District Council and local sponsors, including Hurst College and BHSO, Ensemble Reza will work with seven schools, including Oathall Community College, Blackthorns, Harlands, St Giles, Bolnore Village, Northlands Wood and Holy Trinity Primary School.

The schools will create their own music based on their chosen Ten Piece, which will then be performed by the students at the Ten Pieces Festival Concert on Thursday, November 26, at King’s Church, Burgess Hill (7pm).

“The pieces are the starting point, the original source of inspiration for the children,” said Pavlos Carvalho, cellist for Ensemble Reza.

“They’ll tell us what they find interesting about the piece. It might be a rhythm. It might be a particular colour change in the music or it might be a particular feel. We take that particular rhythm and then see if the kids can create something of their own based on that.”

Organisers are currently setting up a Ten Pieces Community Orchestra. This orchestra will learn some of the Ten Pieces repertoire and perform at the concert. More than 40 people have already joined, including several families.

This is the first time that a music event of this scale has taken place at the King’s Church, Burgess Hill, and there will be more than 400 people involved.

Haywards Heath Mayor Sujan Wickremaratchi will also be attending.

Richard Light from the Burgess Hill Symphony Orchestra said: “This project is a unique opportunity for us to work with people who play orchestral instruments, but who don’t normally have the opportunity to play in a full orchestra. We feel that our experience of orchestral discipline will help us to ‘settle down’ the other participants, and so help them to get the most out of the workshops.”

Organisers are keen to recruit more wind and brass players. Visit

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