The Barnet Schools Music Festivals take place in June at artsdepot, Finchley. They are for children over 9. So children from Year 5 and 6 can take part, and from Year 4 if they have had their 9th birthday on, or before, the day of their concert. This age criterion is related to performance licensing and therefore is not flexible.
There are six songs to learn, drawn from a diverse repertoire and designed to be challenging and rewarding for upper Key Stage 2. Schools are also invited to contribute their own performances. The festival itself is an evening concert in a professional theatre which families can attend, with massed choir items interspersed with individual school performances. The concerts also feature guest performances from our secondary schools.
The resource pack for teachers is comprehensive, supported with high quality learning recordings and ideas for extension work in class music lessons. Support with teaching the repertoire is also available. If needed, festival organiser and singing specialist Ros can pay you a visit. Early in the summer term we run cluster rehearsals, where participating schools get together in local clusters to rehearse the six massed songs and ensure that everyone is on track. These events are great fun in themselves and help build up the excitement. When the day of the festival comes, schools come to the theatre at lunchtime for afternoon rehearsals and then the concert takes place in the evening.
The process starts when applications open in December. In January, we run an INSET for teachers introducing the songs. This training includes a demonstration session with children. The cluster rehearsals take place in May, and the festivals are in June.
We make participation as affordable as possible. The events are heavily subsidised but there are high fixed costs involved in hiring a professional theatre, sound, lighting etc. The 2023 festivals cost £380 for a group of 30 children. This is not a “per child” rate, and larger schools can bring a bigger group for an additional charge.
Applications for the Barnet Schools Music Festivals 2024 will open in December 2023.
If you have any questions relating to BSMF please use the form below.