Orchestras Live has been working with Sinfonia Viva and Inspire Music to provide music education opportunities for schools in Ollerton, North Nottinghamshire.

What we wanted to achieve

This project started with the initial aim of revitalising music provision at The Dukeries Academy in Ollerton after the departure of their previous music lead.

It has grown to encompass engagement with local primary school groups in order to enrich their first experiences of instrumental classes, and pave the way for a musical journey that could continue as they move up to secondary school at The Dukeries.

The transition element of the work aims to signpost the way to music in a new environment and also to enable younger participants to familiarise themselves with the school, work with older students, and have the experience of playing alongside professional orchestral musicians. For these reasons we decided to call the project Horizons.

What we did

The creative team, with highly experienced Music Leader, James Redwood, worked with various groups from Forest View Academy, Parkgate Academy and The Dukeries to create new music and learn repertoire. This culminated in a concert for family and friends where players and participants came together to showcase the fruits of their labour and included repertoire performed by Sinfonia Viva.

Horizons is in its second year, now under the guidance of Music Leader, Raph Clarkson. This year, Sherwood Forest Brass Band, led by Christine Lippeatt also joined the team. The creative team went back into the school last autumn to welcome a new group of Year 7s to The Dukeries. After two days of creative workshops, the final concert was ready for an audience of family and friends. The performance of co-composed work and existing repertoire from the previous year was confident.

Surrounding conversations developed around the continuation of the school ensemble and the potential for it to perform more regularly, as well as the potential of a new youth brass band with Christine which could regularly rehearse at the local church hall.

Having Sherwood Brass band on board has been an exciting development, offering opportunities for young people to feel a part of their community and to play an instrument within a band environment. Christine’s passionate approach has taken her back into Forest View Academy to work with music teacher, Hannah Bee in her quest for her fledgling musicians not only to play at school, but with the more experienced players in local community concerts.

It gave me a chance to be myself and express my feelings through something I am truly passionate about. It was a wonderful experience overall.

~ Young participant

Students making music across all year groups was a joy and magical. The bonds made with students will last a long time. I can’t wait for next year.

~ Staff member


Since its humble beginnings in 2022, the Horizons project has grown in scope and energy. Feedback from teachers, Inspire tutors and participants at the primary schools as well as with the Dukeries Academy students has revealed a sense of achievement as well as excitement for the music sessions and the opportunity for them to co-create their own music.

A solid relationship between Sherwood Forest Brass Band and the local school and church, has resulted in the possibility of regular brass band rehearsals for the village. The exhilaration of performing for parents and friends as well as in the community is a wonderful legacy outcome of this project, something we hope to build on in the future.

Seeing the collaboration between all four groups. It's an amazing experience for all students to play along with an orchestra and hear them perform. Something for them to aspire to.

~ Audience member

Future plans

Next steps are to expand the involvement of Dukeries Creative Ensemble in the community musical cultural calendar, working in partnership with the local church. We will continue to build our relationships with the schools in Ollerton and beyond in North Nottinghamshire.

Horizons is supported by the following partners: Sinfonia Viva, Inspire Youth Arts, The Dukeries Academy, Forest View Academy, Sherwood Forest Brass Band

Participants: The Dukeries Academy, Forest View Academy, Parkgate Academy, Sherwood Forest Brass Band (Acorns)

External Funders: Scops Trust

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