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© 2019 by The North Downs Community Orchestra and Ensembles

Registered Charity No. 1183074

Percussion Project

Please note that our initial percussion project is finished.  We are entering a new phase where more confident players are playing in our orchestra.  Less confident or less experienced players may still play in our Band - together with those who would prefer to play in the band.

We are developing our orchestral percussion section.  This was started with the kind help of a grant from the Hazelwood School Community Fund which was also being used to buy some percussion instruments.


Our plan was to run some introductory opportunities for interested local adults - in the hope of finding a few people who discover that they would love to join our orchestra and/or band's percussion sections. 

On Wednesday, 25th July 2018, a 'junk percussion' workshop was held for potential percussionists, also for some orchestra and band members and their families.  We were very fortunate that Claire Hasted was able to lead the workshop.  Claire, who is an experienced professional orchestral percussionist,  arrived suitably equipped with wide ranging but clean/safe 'junk' and drumsticks for us to play with.

During the course of the evening we progressed from 'body percussion' (our own) through plastic beaker percussion to 'junk percussion'  (broomsticks, buckets, hard hats and dustbins).  After that we also began to incorporate some real percussion instruments.

Claire currently teaches at Christ’s Hospital School, Horsham and Charterhouse.  She has examined for Trinity Guildhall and consulted for the Associated Board Royal School of Music (ABRSM). She coaches the National Children's Orchestra of Great Britain and is a member of Albert's Band, the education ensemble at the Royal Albert Hall.

We are the 'funorchestra' and Claire ensured that this workshop was great fun whilst giving us a useful experience of being percussionists for the evening. By the end of the workshop we had a short routine to perform involving an eclectic mix of our instruments and 'junk'.

We're hoping this opportunity and those to follow, will provide hands on experience with different types of percussion instruments together with the basics of rhythm and other aspects of being a percussionist.

The next step, to provide a relatively low stress experience, we invited potential percussionists to come along to some of our North Downs Band rehearsals and this approach works very well.  Band has some fairly straightforward music for well known songs - every part also has the words printed on it to hopefully help with 'reading music'.  Band rehearses on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month and currently meets at the Godstone Scout HQ, Endeavour on the Green from 7:30 - 9:30pm.  Send us a contact form if you would like to give this a try.  

3 of our amazing percussion project percussionists took part in our orchestra's 3rd Birthday Concert!  They did really well and appeared to be having a great time!