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: London Myriad Ensemble - November 11th 2022

Woodwater Primary School

I just wanted to say how excellent this afternoon’s concert was. The group were engaging and interacted with the children on exactly the right level, using it as an effective teaching opportunity. Their choice of music, the audience participation and the way they showcased their instruments made it all come across as very accessible- there was a very relaxed atmosphere and several of the children came out saying that they would be very interested in learning those instruments, especially the oboe.

Please let me know if there is another concert we would be able to attend- it genuinely is inspiring for the children at our school.

Testimonial: Meraki Duo – October 15th 2021

Teacher Comments

'We have brought instrumentalists to have the experience of witnessing 'their' instruments being played with such passion and finesse literally feet away! My students also really appreciate being able to question the musicians afterwards'.

'For students preparing for GCSE Music examinations, access to live music at this very high standard is absolutely invaluable'.

'Pupils talked about nothing else all the way home and could NOT believe how much practising is needed! I now have several quite determined to become flautists!'

Clyst Heath Primary

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.

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.

Lilly-May - Year 5

I really enjoyed the flautist because she was moving along with the piece of music.

Amelia - Year 5

My favourite part was the solo of the flautist because it relaxed my mind and almost made me fall asleep because it was so amazing and I was moving my head side to side.

Grace - Year 5

I liked the tango music they played together because it was heart-warming to listen to new music.

Reggie - Year 5

My favourite part was when they did solos because it was impressive.

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!!