Music workshops inspire local children in Penzance

1st December 2023 in Events, Grants, Penzance

Local school children from in and around Penzance took part in free music workshops today, held by Chapel Street Music at the Methodist Church on Chapel Street.

Earlier this year Chapel Street Music learnt that its grant application to the People’s Local Trust (funded by the Postcode Lottery) had been successful. As well as securing its concert series in Chapel Street for another year, it meant that they could implement their plans to stage three free musical events over 2023/24 for families and young children in the local communities in and around Penzance. Subsequently, Councillor Thalia Marrington encouraged Chapel Street Music to apply for funding from Penzance Council for some ambitious school workshops to complement each of those three concerts.

The grant application to Penzance Council was successful and, with further funding from Cavatina Chamber Music Trust, support from CMST – Cornwall Music Service Trust and the church itself, the first workshop finally took place on Friday 1st December.

Cllr Marrington said: “I am delighted that Penzance Council funding has enabled many children and young people to be able to access and experience high-quality musical experiences locally. Kodaly said, ‘often a single experience will open the young soul to music for a whole lifetime!’ This happened to me and I remember the occasion clearly, so I am so pleased to see Penzance Council supporting this.”

Over two hundred excited children from ten primary schools in the Penzance area were bussed into Chapel Street over the course of the day to be informed, engaged and entertained by a group of thirteen local professional musicians and tutors. “I’m looking forward to seeing all the string instruments play together, because I play the violin too!’…‘I’ve never really seen brass instruments up close, so I can’t wait for that!” said one pupil when they arrived at the workshop.

During the day they were introduced to a wide range of musical instruments and styles, finishing with a performance of a Cornish carol ‘I saw three ships’, especially arranged by Gareth Churcher, Head of Cornwall Music Service Trust (CMST).

Christine Judge, Penwith Area Lead, said “I’m really delighted that CMST is partnering with Chapel Street Music on this project. It’s such a fantastic opportunity for young people in Penwith to experience really high-quality music performed live by local professional musicians. It will, I’m sure, inspire some to take up instrumental tuition, as well as encouraging those who are already learning.”

There will be a free concert taking place at 3pm on Sunday 10th December – A Christmas Carnival – at the Methodist Chapel on Chapel Street which will feature the Chapel Street Ensemble and the Big Dance Company, with choreography by Shanna Dawes.

Timothy Dean, Chair of Chapel Street Music said: “The news of the funding was brilliant and transformed our ability to plan ahead securely. We had such a fantastic time working with the Big Dance company last year on ‘Three Little Pigs’, we were delighted to be able to plan for similarly exciting events going into next year’. The first of these events will be ‘A Christmas Carnival’ on Sunday December 10th, with students from the Big Dance Company, and narrated by Jak Stringer and Robert Erskine, performed at Chapel Street Methodist Church.”

Fiona Richardson from the Big Dance Company said: “We are so excited to be working alongside the amazing Chapel Street Ensemble and the opportunity for our lovely dancers to work with live music! We hope that you enjoy the show and want to say a big thank you to all the funders that have made this happen to make this inclusive for the community to enjoy dance and music as we do.”

‘A Christmas Carnival’ (Carnival of the Animals by Saint Saens): The Chapel Street Ensemble with the Big Dance Company. Sunday December 10th, 3.00pm, The Methodist Church, Chapel Street. Entrance FREE to all, seasonal refreshments afterwards, with all retiring donations going to the charity TRELYA.

Sharon Rich, Executive Director of Trelya said: “We are delighted that Trelya is the chosen charity for this event, such kindness enables us to continue giving vital support to our families and community!”

There will be further workshops and concerts next year, details at

Grant funded by Penzance Council (logo)

Chapel Street Music has received £2,400 grant funding from Penzance Council towards the costs of putting on these free workshops for children in and around the Penzance area.

Grant Funding for community groups

We provide grants to local community groups and charities who are working to benefit our residents and our Parish environment – find out more about our grants and how to apply.

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