CHILDREN with a passion for music are being given the opportunity to shine thanks to an exciting partnership between King’s Ely and Cambridgeshire Music.

The school and Cambridgeshire Music, which is the county’s music education hub, have joined forces to launch the Ely Area Music Centre. The centre opens its doors on Saturday, September 29th and will enable children and young people from across the region to experience the fun of playing in a string orchestra, wind band and full orchestra.

The scheme is being hosted by King’s Ely Junior and run by Cambridgeshire Music. The centre will be open every Saturday morning during term time, and is open to school-age students who have reached at least Grade 2 on an orchestral instrument, and who can read music.

Each week, students will have the chance to develop their technical skills with professional musicians, rehearse and perform as part of a full orchestra, and work with young people from other schools who love making music just as much as they do. The first session is free to attend and after that, the cost is £45 a term.

Although there is already a popular Area Music Centre in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire Music says there has been a growing demand for a similar initiative for young players in Ely and the surrounding area.

Cambridgeshire Music Development Manager Helen Allen, who will be leading the centre, said: “Many children in the area have very limited opportunities to play music with others and accessing the ensembles that are run in Cambridge is often not practical. The Area Music Centre is all about getting them together and developing their ensemble skills with the support of experienced, professional musicians. By the end of the year, they will have grown as musicians, made new friends, and learned how to play some really exciting, challenging music together.”

A full programme of rehearsals and repertoire has been lined up for all three terms of the 2018/19 academic year, and Cambridgeshire Music are expecting around 30 to 40 children to join the new centre, although there is no limit on numbers.

Each of the weekly sessions will see students working in specialist groups focusing on woodwind, string, brass or percussion during the first half of the morning, before coming together to play as a full orchestra during the second half.

This term’s repertoire is built around a theme of “Magic and Mystery”. Students will learn well-known pieces from Harry Potter, Mary Poppins, P. T. Barnum biopic The Greatest Showman, and The Nutcracker, building up to an end-of-term performance for parents and friends.

Principal of King’s Ely, Sue Freestone, said: “Music is the beating heart of King’s Ely and we are so pleased to be able to host this programme so that children from our region can experience the joy of making music together.”

The Ely Area Music Centre will be running at King’s Ely Junior in Barton Road, Ely, from 10am to 12.30pm every Saturday from September 29th. Anyone is welcome to attend.

To book your child’s place or for more information, please call Cambridgeshire Music on (01480) 373500 or email More information is also available at

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