Trinity Music Academy was delighted to once again host the annual collaborative Orchestra Project with Croydon Youth Orchestra (CYO) for the Peter Stark and Chineke! Inspire Concert. 

Trinity Music Academy is a Saturday conservatoire experience for ambitious young musicians from Trinity School and the wider South London community. Talented students enjoy individual teaching, composition classes, chamber music, orchestral and solo performing opportunities, masterclasses and an opportunity to connect with and learn from like-minded young musicians. Trinity students account for almost 50 per cent of Academy members.  

The annual Orchestra Project has developed in breadth and scope each year, and the 2024 event was the most ambitious yet.  

The repertoire was Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, with Fourth Year Trinity student Ben Abraham as soloist, Ballade in A minor by Coleridge-Taylor, and the 4th movement of Sibelius’s Symphony No. 2 in D major. The combined orchestra was larger than ever.  

As before in the lead up to full rehearsals, students had practised their individual parts, worked with their tutors, and attended sectional rehearsals in preparation. For the project weekend it was a delight to welcome back conductor and educator, Peter Stark, to lead the programme, with his renowned ability to inspire and guide young musicians.  

For the first time, the collaboration also involved members of the Chineke! Orchestra to mentor their respective orchestral sections. The Chineke! Orchestra was founded in 2015 to provide career opportunities for Black and ethnically diverse classical musicians in the UK and Europe. 

The combined input of Peter Stark and Chineke! players helped to produce an extraordinarily special final concert. The students were tremendous and played with verve and energy, while soloist Ben gave an outstanding performance of the Rhapsody, combining the jazz style with pianistic virtuosity. Trinity Third Year Josh Lai also made a notable contribution with the iconic Rhapsody opening on clarinet. 

Reflecting after the event our Head of Piano, and Trinity Music Academy Director, Richard Evans said, “This project is important on so many levels: new friends are made, some experience an orchestra environment for the first time, and some confidently lead sections and support others. Ultimately, it’s about performance and achievement and I was delighted by the outcome of yesterday’s concert.”  


The Academy and CYO are very grateful to Chineke4Change, the London Music Fund and the Karlsson Jativa Foundation for their generous sponsorship of the event. Finally, a project such as this is not possible without the help of staff and parents. Many thanks to all involved. 

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