In 1999, Mark Messenger set up the Essex Schools String Orchestras in
association with Essex Music Services. This was a direct result of the paucity
of quality string players coming through the system.
The response was so overwhelming it became apparent that there were many
enthusiastic musicians out there, but they were so dislocated geographically
that they rarely had the opportunity to make music with their peers.
There are now three orchestras, Essex String Orchestra (Grade VI and above),
Young Essex Strings (Grades III to V), and Strings 4 Starters. Day-long
courses take place three times a year at the Colchester Institute, and string
workshops for younger players occur every half-term throughout the county.
Now courses regularly attract over 100 violins, violas, cellos and basses, and
already this is impacting directly on the youth orchestras, the music
conservatoire at Colchester Institute, and on the quality of youth music
throughout the county of Essex.
For further details of the Essex String Orchestras contact Andrew Coles on:
01206 798788 or
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