Afternoon concerts for pupils from local schools and colleges are presented by ‘Music in the Castle’. These are wonderful opportunities for young people to experience live classical music in a beautiful historic location.

Afternoon Schools Concert Initiative

We want to engage with a younger audience and encourage the next generation to embrace classical music to ensure its future. Now in their fourth year, our concerts for schools now draw capacity audiences from years 5-13.

We continue to attract highly talented, young musicians from Britain's top Conservatoires and these Friday afternoon concerts, lasting one hour, are all held in the wonderful James Wyatt Music Room at the Castle by kind permission of the Earl & Countess of Devon. Continuing sponsorship allows school parties to attend completely free of charge with the aim of encouraging young people to experience a wide variety of fine music being created right in front of them - with brief descriptions from the performers and the chance to ask questions afterwards.

Contact us if your school is interested in becoming involved.

Testimonial: Phase Saxophone Quartet Concert – November 9th 2018

Lucinda – Year 7

On Friday 9th November all the St Peter’s reed players were treated to a concert at Powderham Castle by the Phase Saxophone Quartet. The Phase Saxophone Quartet is a group of four saxophonists, each playing a different type of saxophone. All the members are students at the Guildhall School of Music in London. They write different versions of famous pieces for performances on the saxophone.

They were absolutely amazing and played a wide range of pieces from pop to baroque and played the saxophone in styles that none of us had heard before. They introduced each piece and we learnt some really interesting facts about the saxophone and about the different people who composed the pieces. For example we learnt that Corelli was 17th Century Italy’s answer to Justin Bieber and that the minimalist composer Phillip Glass was thought to be crazy when he started composing and had to work as a plumber and taxi driver to earn his living and he played his music for free.

After the concert there was the opportunity to ask questions of the quartet about their music and how they got started in music. Their main message was that you won’t improve just with talent, you will only improve if you put in the hours and practise really hard. The experience was incredibly inspiring and I think that we all went away encouraged to try really hard on our own instruments so that maybe one day we can get to that standard.

A big thank you to the people who organised the concert and the performers for giving us such a great opportunity to listen to some phenomenal music.

Marcus – Year 5

The concert was fantastic. I could see the joy on each and every one of the audience. Before this I had never heard a saxophone played at a professional level and had never considered playing one. But now I am seriously considering playing it after I finish playing the clarinet. Thank you so much for sponsoring this concert.

Testimonial: Merides Piano Trio – April 20th 2018

Clyst Heath Primary

If you could have heard the children enthusing about the concert on the coach home you would have been so pleased. All the children have piano lessons at school; the lady with us is their piano teacher and was extremely impressed by the quality of the Trio and the variety of their programme. It is so important for children to hear virtuoso performances, to be inspired and to aspire. The little boy who asked two questions said it was the best day of his life!!

Testimonial: Moriarty Winds – March 9th 2018

St Peter’s Preparatory School

Firstly, congratulations on a truly wonderful concert. For my money, it was the best yet. The playing was superb but also the way the young performers talked so honestly about their lives was pitched at just the right level for the audience. It can be quite a hard thing to do, and they did it beautifully - just the right combination of information, urbanity and personal experience.

Secondly, a great programme - really varied and very engaging.

Clyst Heath Primary

What an amazing experience for us all,the children were buzzing on the journey home.From the oohs and aahs on arriving at and exploring inside the Castle it was an afternoon of discovery for them on so many levels. Some of those children have very low attention spans and to be honest I wasn't totally sure how it would play out, but they were transfixed from the first to the last note.

The musicians were so charming and probably have no idea the massive impact they had on those children. Most of the children come from families who would not provide the sort of experience they had, which is why this is so important. Many want to learn the instruments they saw and heard as a result which is marvellous.

Thank you so much!

Axe Valley School

I just wanted to say a very big thank you for all your efforts and putting together such a varied and high quality series of performances. The event on Friday was the best so far with the musicians all sharing their passions with the students and explaining their pieces and their careers so carefully and with so much enthusiasm. It was lovely to see the students so inspired.

Tiverton High School

Once again our students were amazed by the musicians. Hearing these instruments live really makes their ears prick up and take notice. Thank you again for giving all these students this wonderful opportunity and I look forward to seeing you at the next concert.