Jools Holland and Jamie Cullum back Horsham charity’s musical open day

The West Sussex Music Centre
The West Sussex Music Centre

A Horsham music charity is holding an open day to inspire new musicians.

Music for All’s eighth annual Learn to Play Day will see West Sussex Music open the doors to its Horsham Music Centre on Saturday March 23 to inspire new musicians and give children the chance to get a taste of some of the wide-ranging musical activities it has to offer.

Visitors to the centre at the Collyer’s College will be able to enjoy informal performances by West Sussex Music’s young musicians, as well as those from the County Ensembles which include West Sussex Youth Orchestra, West Sussex Youth Wind Orchestra and West Sussex Youth Big Band.

BBC Later host, Jools Holland said: “As patron of the Music for All charity, I’m delighted to lend my support to National Learn to Play Day.

“It’s a pleasure to be able to share the joy of music.”

In the afternoon, the county players will be performing solos to showcase individual instruments and there will be taster sessions, where young visitors can try their hand at orchestral instruments including brass, strings and woodwind.

Keen young vocalists will have the opportunity to take part in a choir workshop led by musical director Sarah Forbes.

Musician Jamie Cullum added: “This wonderful day introduces thousands to the magic of music making, and often reunites people with a lost passion for playing.”

West Sussex Music chief executive, James Underwood, said: “Making music can really change lives. Everyone should have the opportunity to come together to sing or play an instrument.

“This belief is shared by our friends at Music for All and we are delighted to help them by supporting this worthwhile initiative.”

Since its launch eight years ago, the Learn to Play Day initiative has helped thousands of people pick up and play a musical instrument.

The day will start with informal ensemble performances between 10 and 12.45pm. A percussion workshop runs between 11.15 and 12pm.

The choir workshop is from 12.15 to 12.45pm. There will be county performances between 12.45 and 2.15pm and the day will end with taster lessons from 1 to 3.30pm.

Every week during term time, Horsham Music Centre has much to offer young musicians. Children can enjoy a range of activities including bands, choirs and more.

The West Sussex Music Centres bring children together through a shared love of music and offer a clear progression route through the centres, on to the West Sussex Youth Orchestras and Choirs and beyond that to junior conservatoires and national ensembles.

Whatever your choice of instrument, level or age, there is a suitable ensemble or band to be found whether it’s a percussion ensemble, string orchestra and more. There are also classes in musicianship as well as beginner instrumental classes and groups for pre-school children.

For more than 50 years, West Sussex Music has supported projects that enable access to cultural opportunities for disadvantaged and disaffected young people through strategic partnerships with arts and cultural organisations. It plays a valued role as the Music Education Hub for West Sussex. West Sussex Music’s musical opportunities for children and young people are funded by income from parents, schools and the National Music Grant, administered by Arts Council England. For more see www.westsussexmusic.co.uk