Ulster Orchestra ‘Education Initiative’

On the evenings of Friday 25th September and Friday 2nd October Grosvenor’s enthusiastic Music students made two highly worthwhile and thoroughly enjoyable visits to the Ulster Hall, where they attended concerts relating to the Ulster Orchestra’s ‘Education Initiative’.

On Friday 25th September, Chief Conductor Rafael Payare served up a cordon bleu menu of fine French classics, including Ravel’s ‘Suite: Mother Goose’, ‘Concerto for Organ’, ‘Timpani and Strings’ by Poulenc, celebrating the ‘King’ of instruments the Mulholland Grand Organ at the Ulster Hall. Colm Carey, a soloist in demand around the world and locally, in his role as Belfast City Organist, also joined the Orchestra for what was a truly sparkling programme which reached its climax with the glorious, spine-tingling final movement of Saint-Saëns’ mighty Organ Symphony.

The following Friday, 2nd October, Grosvenor students were again back to enjoy cinema’s biggest hits in an evening of spectacular themes from the most popular film composer of all time, John Williams. The programme included a selection of the most popular and recognizable film scores in cinematic history, including ‘Indiana Jones’, ‘Jurassic Park’, ‘E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial’, ‘Superman’, ‘Hook’, ‘Schindler’s List’, ‘Saving Private Ryan’, ‘Harry Potter’, ‘Catch Me If You Can’, ‘War Horse’, and ‘Lincoln’, with the main theme from Star Wars forming the event’s finale. Joe Lindsay, a broadcaster, film writer and critic for BBC Northern Ireland presented the concert while special guest Ernest Van Tiel conducted the Ulster Orchestra.

On both occasions it was amazing to experience the Ulster Orchestra playing to a full auditorium, complete with standing ovation. Speaking briefly to Ulster Orchestra players afterwards, the players were delighted with the reception provided by the youthful audience while Grosvenor students, accompanied by Mr Arnold and Miss Foster, were positively acknowledged.

Many thanks to the Ulster Orchestra and the Ulster Hall for staging these two highly worthwhile evenings – all in attendance from Grosvenor got plenty out of the experience and will now be, no doubt, inspired in their own musical endeavours over the remainder of the year.

Grosvenor's AS and A2 Music students at the Ulster Hall as part of the Ulster Orchestra's 'Education Initiative' on the evening of Friday 2nd October.