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Author Archives: lilyc

  1. Christmas is in the air

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    Despite the pandemic the year is flying by and the festive season is here again!  We have to admit our snowflake decorations haven’t made it down from the windows all year but now it means the office is looking cheerful.  There was a hive of activity last week in the Stoller Hall as we recorded items for our filmed concert “A Chetham’s Christmas”.  Over 200 balloons were blown up to add festive cheer to the stage and we got rather good at measuring 2m to ensure everyone was safe and socially distanced when singing.  We were delighted to welcome conductor Ellie Slorach to lead the orchestra and choir.  The week before we haa number of virtual Christmas samba sessions with schools around Greater Manchester and we’re hoping to incorporate their films into our final production.  Our talented musicians at Chetham’s performed White Christmas, Waltz of the Flowers from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker and three traditional carols.  The film will be released before the end of term and we can’t wait to share it with you!  Keep an eye on @ChetsOutreach and our website to be one of the first to view it. 

  2. Back On Site!

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    We’ve had a really exciting week here in the Outreach Department.  After 200 days apart we have finally been able to be back on site!  It has been great to share ideas in person (socially distanced of course!) rather than through a screen.  We know that many people are still working remotely and so we feel very grateful for this opportunity to see colleagues, even if at a distance.  Our discussions have included plans for a Top Tips series from Chetham’s tutors, a Relaxed Concert recording to be streamed in November and plans for musical projects involving Chetham’s and Salford students in the New Year.  We are also looking at what we can do to support music professionals to maximise their digital confidence and efficiency.  We are keen to make our projects as relevant and useful as possible so please do get in touch if there is anything you’d like to see us doing! Email us at or Tweet @ChetsOutreach

  3. Glad to be back! September 2020

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    Well here we are at the start of another academic year.  The last 6 months have been unlike anything we have known before!  It came as no surprise that Chetham’s Outreach still had a fantastic online musical output; with Daily Demos, Tongue Twister Teasers and Practice Time.  We are excited to be releasing our “Sounds and Scenes of Hope” project, a collaboration between Violetta and four North West schools, in the next few days. Make sure you follow us on Twitter @ChetsOutreach.

    We have loads of projects in the pipeline, some online, as well as some face to face (socially distanced of course!) and hopefully some COVID-safe performances. There are lots of plans to make sure our own students here at Chetham’s are really involved in the activities, too. There are probably a few more tough months ahead yet music is more important than ever, not least it because it makes life – quite simply – better. It may look a little different to previous years, but we can’t wait to start and embrace the challenge that the world is currently throwing our way!

    Wherever you are, keep making your music, keep listening, keep playing and keep music alive!

    With every good wish from the Outreach Team at Chetham’s.

  4. End of Summer Term!

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    And just like that, the summer term has come to an end! It really has been a rollercoaster ride, we sang a tongue twister for every letter of the alphabet, learnt about almost every instrument in the orchestra and even did a little bit of practice! This term has been all about creating, adapting and adjusting, we’ve learnt a lot and had a great time along the way.

    Tomorrow (Friday 3rd July) we will be watching Chetham’s Symphony Orchestra and Chetham’s ensembles including Violletta and Saxophone Choir in their evening live stream. This is a wonderful opportunity to immerse yourself in amazing music, from the comfort of your own front room! You can book your free streaming link and find all the programme information here. Weekly lunchtime concerts are still running too, right through till the end of July. They are released every Friday at 1.30pm over on Chetham’s YouTube channel and are made up of new performances, created at home by our talented young musicians.

    Thanks to Chetham’s Academic Music we’ve shared Dr King’s Harmony Helpline. These tutorials are aimed at Year 11, 12 and 13 music students who are looking for some extra support in their harmony and theory work. Taking you through step-by-step with clear visual illustrations, Dr King explains the methodology behind part writing, chord progressions, chromatic harmony and much more. Although these tutorials are directly linked to A-Level Music, these videos will be beneficial for anyone who studies advanced music or who want to expand their existing music theory knowledge.

    Our Relaxed Concerts, which were originally planned for the 15th and 18th of May, are now being developed into digital adaptations. These will replicate our usual concerts as closely as possible and will include guides for friend, family and carers to use to create multisensory experiences whilst watching our musicians perform. The concert will be easily accessible through our website so keep an eye on our Twitter page for further announcements! Another exciting project has been undertaken by our very own Violetta, working with Gemma from our fab team. The ensemble has been working with local schools to create an artwork featuring improvised music and creative visual responses, all centred around the theme of Hope. We cannot wait to share their fantastic work with you once it is ready to view.

    It’s hard to know exactly what we’ll have planned for September, but we know for certain that our team will be making new, engaging projects to help you create and having fun with music! Stay safe and take care. ??

  5. We’re on a roll!

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    What a busy month we’ve had! A lot is going on in the world and it can be a real challenge to adjust to it all but we have found music invaluable in helping us cope during this time. The Outreach team have been working hard to collate and produce digital resources that can help you stay creative and musical. 

    Weekday mornings, we start our day off with Sing with Sarah! This series brings you tutorials, broken down into manageable chunks, so you can learn new songs little bits at a time. Sarah also challenges you to try Tongue Twister Teasers for every letter of the alphabet. The perfect way to wake up your mind in the morning, how fast can you go?

    Our Daily Demo series introduces a new instrument every day through videos made by students from Chetham’s School of Music. They play and discuss their chosen instrument, including the best bits and most challenging parts! We also provide a source sheet which links you to external online resources where you can find out more about the history of each instrument and how you might begin to learn it yourself. Inspired by the Daily Demo series, our very own Sarah Atter has taken up the Cello!

    Home-schooling has been a big learning curve for everyone, us included, which is why we decided to create Practice Time: Level Up with Lily. This series brings you tips and tricks that can make your practice more effective and fun! From setting up your practice space to warming up on your instrument, the weekly episodes bring clarity on how to tackle many common challenges of instrumental practice. 

    With all the busyness of working and learning from home, we think it is now more important than ever to take a step back and be calm;
    Take 10 is exactly that. Each Friday we enjoy a guided exploration into musical elements and details of pieces we love, aiming to provide you with some time to listen and be present with music. We share a link to a recording so you can then enjoy the extract for yourself and listen out for key features we’ve discussed. 

    These projects are just some of the ways you can continue to be creative and musical, we’d love to see your ideas too! Get in touch with us on Twitter or through our Get Involved page to share your own tips and tricks for keeping busy during these unprecedented times. Check out some of the teams’ musical hacks below!

  6. ‘A Dinosaur Adventure’ – Schools and Family Concerts 6th and 7th March 2020

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    On 6th and 7th March, something unusual was afoot in the Stoller Hall!  The hall went dark and an egg appeared on the big screen.  The egg hatched and a dinosaur appeared.  This was Dollop the Dinosaur who had lost his mum but luckily there were plenty of people in the hall to help him look for her.  They met the Dinosaur Orchestra who introduced them to different orchestral instruments like the violin, bassoon and trombone.  Along the way, they met a variety of dinosaurs, including a triceratops, stegosaurus, pterodactyl, Argentinosaurus, T-rex and a velociraptor.  Every time a new dinosaur appeared the audience were encouraged to give a ‘Dinosaur hello’ by flapping their wings, showing their claws, stomping their feet and ROAR-ing like a dinosaur.

    The concert used music from a range of periods, including Romantic, 20th Century and contemporary.  The Dinosaur Orchestra members were both professional musicians and students from Chetham’s School of Music.  The ‘Flight of the Bumblebee’ by Rimsky-Korsakov showcased the violin, while the flute soared over the orchestra in ‘Morning’ from Greig’s Peer Gynt Suite and in ‘Fossils’ from Saint-Saens’ Carnival of the Animals the audience heard the xylophone.  Lenny Sayers’ ‘Stomp Like A Dinosaur’ got the entire audience on their feet and singing along.  There were actions to join in with and the lyrics were projected on the big screen. One lucky audience member even found a dinosaur under their seat, but unfortunately, it still wasn’t Dollop’s mum.

    Dollop went on a quest to find his mum, running around the auditorium and up into the balcony before disappearing.  When he re-emerged, a voice boomed on the stage saying there were strange lights in the sky and Dollop had to go straight away.  Re-united with his mum Dollop ran off and the Dinosaur Orchestra played music from ‘Jurassic Park’ as the concert ended.  It was a great hour of music, movement and learning.