Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

About Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

At BSO we are passionate about inspiring people of all ages and communities to take part in live music making. Making music beyond the concert hall helps to bring people together, encourage well-being, develop new skills, enrich the curriculum and help people across all parts of the South and South West to express themselves.

Reaching communities throughout the South and South West, we organise activities ranging from inspirational workshops in schools to special performances in care homes.

All of this is achieved through BSO Participate, our pioneering Community and Participation Department.


Performances for Primary Schools: Bring classical music alive with professional performances that will inspire students! BSO offers school visits from some of our chamber ensembles who can perform 1 hour concerts designed to engage children in live music, including demonstrations of instruments, opportunities to join in and moments to focus and listen. Visits can be one or two performances and/or a workshop for 30 students who then perform alongside the professionals during the concert.

BSO also holds regular schools concerts around the South West, which are designed specifically for KS2. With the full Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra on stage, these hour-long concerts involve existing music as well as brand new commissions designed for audience and orchestra to perform together. Tickets are free for all students and teachers to attend, and we deliver Teacher CPD in advance of the concert to teach songs and body percussion pieces, as well as wider ideas for building the concert into the school curriculum.

We often host these events at Portsmouth Guildhall. For more information on upcoming events please contact us.

Primary School Composition, Ensemble and Curriculum Workshops: BSO can bring in our professional Associate Musicians to work with students as part of their term’s project, devising music inspired by the theme and supporting students to play together as an ensemble.

We also have a programme of specialist curriculum workshops that teach a combined course of Humanities and Music for KS1 and/or KS2, allowing students to achieve core attainment targets in history, geography and music within a one or two day visit.

Secondary School Performances and Workshops: Whether students would benefit from a 'music through the ages' concert or an opportunity to see a bassoon up close and talk about the physics of the instrument, BSO can bring live musicians into your school to enhance and illustrate your curriculum teaching. These bespoke visits are tailored to the needs of each school but can involve a concert or demonstration on a mutually agreed theme, practical workshops or side by side ensemble playing.

Secondary School Live Events at Portsmouth Guildhall: In partnership with Portsmouth Cultural Trust, BSO are delighted to offer a programme of pre-concert events that support KS3-KS4 in understanding more about the orchestra. These include:

  • Meet the Orchestra: Come and learn about the BSO and break down the myths about the orchestra! This event is designed to encourage and excite young people to enjoy classical music through gaining a better understanding of the orchestra.
  • Come and meet some players, ask questions, and find out how an orchestra actually works. Includes a ticket to the evening concert.
  • Set Works Events: Delve into your orchestral set works with Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. We will take students through the set work being featured in the concert, looking at the context of the piece and it’s compositional components, as well as how a conductor might approach the music with an orchestra. Includes a ticket to the evening concert to hear the piece live.

For a schedule of upcoming events contact us directly.

Teacher Training: Our musicians are actively working with Music Teachers and Tutors to learn new skills and develop existing abilities. This might include training from our Associate Musicians on 'How to start an ensemble from scratch', workshops with percussionists to explore 'How to make the most of the classroom percussion trolley', or work with composers or conductors to share practical approaches to these disciplines. We are also able to design new training that responds to individual need, and can run this within a school setting or as an independent event.

2 Seldown Lane
Dorset BH15 1UF

Facebook: /BSOlive
Twitter: @BSOrchestra

Tel: 01202 670611