Penrith Childrens Orchestra

Who We Are

What We Do

Who Leads?

What We Play

When, Where, How?

The Orchestra is a project started by BlueJam in 2014 in partnership with Cumbria Music Hub in response to a stated need in Eden for somewhere for children to play together in a creative and stimulating way.

The orchestra starts without printed music, so that everyone is watching the conductor, and listening to each other as well as concentrating on what they have to do themselves. In this way, we play simple phrases and repeat them, harmonise them, solo over them, gradually add tunes played by the more experienced players and create a piece full of fun, form and dynamic energy.
All the time we will be working with rhythms which are easy to pick up by ear and hard to read.
Beginners can join in and confident players take leading roles.

You don’t have to own or play an instrument as you can try one of ours and take your time before deciding which one you want to learn. There is then the possibility of loaning one from Cumbria Music Service or doing a hire to buy contract with Lakeland Music Shop.

We will mainly be learning music by ear, but using printed music where it is helpful.

The music will be fun and accessible to beginners and more confident players. We have two teachers and two music helpers running the session, so we will be able to support children in their playing by dividing into smaller groups.

2020: Richard Evans is the music director and is assisted by guitarist Joe Steels.
Various parents stay and join in which helps out.
We also have Izzie Mason from BlueJam Young Music Leaders helping to set up the sessions.

We play a mix of jazz, blues, folk, world music and classical.
Our repertoire expands each week. Favourites are:
Mama Don’t Allow; Russian Dance; Homecoming; Spooky Song; Hold ‘Em Joe; Aimee’s Blues; Muevete; Stone By Stone; Wind Spirals; Three Little Birds; Jungle Book; and tunes we make up on the spot.

The sessions run from 10.30 – 12.00 and are open to any young player over 6 years. Parents/helpers are welcome to stay and join in.

The music will be fun and accessible to beginners and more confident players. We have two teachers and a music helper running the session, so we will be able to support children in their playing by dividing into smaller groups.

The cost is £4 per child, payable on the door. This is supported through the Cumbria Music Hub.

Sessions take place at:
BlueJam Arts Space,
Mostyn Hall,
Friargate, Penrith
CA11 7XR

Yankuba Conteh

Virtuoso kora player and singer from the Gambia visits CHORCH

Children's Orchestra session in the Creepy Cave 2015 Penrith

Our first open session was great fun – all dressed up as witches, zombies and giant insects – anyone was free to join in – we had about 40 people in all. Then we went to make giant bubbles and listen to Trellis Arts Operatic Ghouls!