“We had such a great time at the concert we can’t wait to come again next year!” Class 2B (aged 6-7)
2018 was the twenty-fourth anniversary of our very first Children’s Concert. Each year, the orchestra, Southern Pro Musica, under their conductor Jonathan Willcocks, has amazed, entertained, enthralled, inspired and educated children across the South of England, providing them with what we hope will be the beginning of a lifetime of discovery and involvement in music.
The wide variety of styles, instruments and characterful pieces in the concerts conclude with a wonderful song, arranged by Jonathan, which the audience sing accompanied by the orchestra – quite an experience for the children and always very exciting. Sometimes there is the opportunity for children to conduct the orchestra, play some extra percussion and even dance the Can-Can on stage! A colourful narrator leads the children through a wonderful hour of music ensuring everyone has a highly memorable time.
“It was great fun singing ‘It’s An Ark’ and we were on your side of G Live and we were definitely the best side at singing! We liked hearing you sing along with us. We practised singing it at school and really enjoyed singing with an orchestra and you. We shouted ‘It’s An Ark’ as loud as we could at the end of the song.” Class 3R (aged 7-8)
Jonathan Willcocks gained his earliest musical experience singing as a chorister in King’s College Choir, Cambridge. He learned the ‘cello and piano, but while he was at school he was really much keener on playing sport than practising musical instruments! Since leaving university where he studied music and became very interested in composing and conducting, he has been Director of Music in two schools and, for twenty years, led the course at the Royal Academy of Music for very talented young musicians. Jonathan has written music of many kinds for choirs, orchestras and smaller groups of instruments, and even background music for television programmes. His conducting work has taken him all around the world to far-off places such as Australia, New Zealand, China, America and Canada, as well as nearer to home.