Chamber is Music to Ears of Schools Orchestra

One of the U.K.’s leading school symphony orchestras is to be supported by Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce in a first-of-its-kind initiative.

Birmingham Schools’ Symphony Orchestra – once described as ‘Birmingham’s best kept secret’ – is being sponsored by the Chamber in a unique partnership that will see young musicians from the Orchestra perform before hundreds of business leaders whilst school music ensembles will play at a number of Chamber events.

The Orchestra comprises 85 schoolchildren – all from Birmingham schools – and is recognised as one of the most accomplished school orchestras in the country. Established more than 50 years it has developed a national reputation for quality performances of standard orchestral repertoire – sometimes with professional guest soloists.

In addition to its frequent concerts in Birmingham, it has recently performed in major venues such as the Royal Festival Hall and the Royal Albert Hall in London as well as undertaking concert tours to Barcelona, Estonia, Germany and Spain. It is part of the Music Service delivered by Birmingham charity Services For Education which each year teaches music to some 38,000 Birmingham schoolchildren.

The sponsorship by Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce is designed to create greater engagement between the Chamber, its members and Birmingham schools recognising the importance that music plays in developing wider skills for business, commerce and the professions.

“This is young talent at its best – and we are delighted to partner with and support such a great group of young people,” said Paul Faulkner, chief executive of Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce.

“Several studies have shown that those who study music have a better working memory, undertake mental tasks more efficiently and work better in a team – all vital attributes in business. By supporting BSSO, we are demonstrating that the Chamber is keen to support young talent and provide opportunities for business and schools to work more closely together.

“It is also recognition of how important music and the arts are in our schools – both of which are under pressure due to financial constraints.”

Martyn Collin, chief executive of Services For Education, said he was excited by the prospects offered by the partnership.

“Each year, Birmingham Schools Symphony Orchestra performs before thousands of members of the public including, naturally, parents and friends of the players. This partnership will give the Orchestra an opportunity to perform before business people and for the young musicians to engage more widely with future employers. It is also a farsighted demonstration of how two great Birmingham organisations can come together in an initiative that, to the best of my knowledge, is not replicated anywhere else in the country.”

As part of the programme, Services For Education becomes a member of the Chambers’ exclusive 1813 Club, which already includes leading organisations such as Resorts World at the NEC, Aston Villa FC, The National College for High Speed Rail, Qatar Airways and Selfridges Retail.

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