Sirius Academy West Students' Review

Posted on 12th Dec 2022 15:16:09 by Admin

For the November concert, we were thrilled to welcome a group of GCSE music students from Sirius Academy West, the majority of whom had never attended a classical music concert before. What a privilege for the Hull Philharmonic to provide their induction!


We were, therefore, keen to understand their experience of the concert and, thanks to the help of the wonderful Sirius Academy West music teachers, were given the chance to put a series of questions to the young people after the concert. And we’re delighted to be able to share their answers with you!

What was your favourite piece and why?

“My favourite piece was Fantasia on a theme by Thomas Tallis because I liked the build up of dynamics through the piece. The piece felt calm and relaxed.” (Brandon)

“My favourite piece was Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4 because it gave me the feeling of a mystery/action video game such as Zelda. The mood was quite dramatic and mysterious!” (Isaac)

How does watching an orchestra (as opposed to listening only) change your experience of the music?

“Watching an orchestra, we can see how the musicians are actually playing: the connection of all instrumental sections, how they create different ornamentations, and just how many instruments are needed to create a sound like this! When we are listening only, sometimes it’s hard to really understand how the musicians are playing.” (Maria)

“Watching an orchestra as opposed to listening changes the experience of the music because of the atmosphere it creates and how the orchestra expresses itself, as you can actually feel the music through your soul! Listening doesn’t provide the same view of the music. It made me feel ecstatic to watch that live performance!”


“Seeing an orchestra live was so different to hearing it because you could see how difficult it really was to play pieces like that!” (Scarlett)

What surprised you about the Hull Philharmonic’s performance?

“I was most surprised by the bloke sniffing his bassoon! (It’s not soap, it’s an instrument!)” (Isaac)

“Seeing younger musicians in the orchestra and the audience was a pleasant surprise because I thought only older people were interested in classical music!”


“I loved watching Adam MacKenzie play the bassoon solo. He played the whole solo part without messing up. I liked how, when he played his part, the other instruments copied the same thing that he did!” (Charlie)

Overall, how would you describe your first live classical music experience?

“I would say that my first time seeing an orchestra was very good, as it showed me what the top of the top musicians are like! The experience was fantastic because it showed me how much hard work people put into music.” (Tom)

“The experience was heart stopping because of how lively the performance was! I couldn’t believe how quickly the musicians were moving their hands!” (David)

“Coming to the concert really strengthened my knowledge about the music and styles we have been learning about on paper.” (Libby)