A few weeks ago, són held its opening event – Little Swans, a concert for young string players. It was a wonderfully informal, small-scale concert, nice and low-key so as we could have some fun on stage, in a simple environment. We chose the venue and repertoire carefully so everyone was relaxed. And, of course, we checked with all the participants – parents as well as the youngsters involved – that we could use the photos you see above and below.

Because són is just starting, we need to get going and gently raise our profile. We’re also keen to get people on board as we begin our journey towards bigger, and even better, concerts for children and young adults. So Little Swans was an ideal opportunity – both for són to develop our skills, and for this group of talented children to show theirs.

One of the many lovely things about Little Swans was the live-streaming, via our website. We had an audience of over 150 people watching at some point, stretching from families in Mexico and Hong Kong, to relatives just up the road. It was great to know that we were able to connect nieces and nephews with people across the globe, doing our little bit to keep music all-inclusive and ever-accessible. Whilst we’ll never keep any of our live-streams available online for more than 24 hours, we’ll update this article with a little glimpse of some of the fun in due course.

At this time of year, as summer term nears its end, teachers and ensemble directors put on concerts all across the country for their students – the culmination of a hard year of work and preparation. As we write, the yearly Music For Youth Festival is just beginning in Birmingham. So it’s deeply gratifying to think that we’ve done our tiny bit, too: offering young players a chance to shine in public, an opportunity to dress up, show off a bit, meet and smile with their fellow musicians, and perhaps forge new links with new friends. We even held an associated art competition, based around the same theme of swans, complete with judges and prizes too. Here’s a great example:

And – yes! – són are planning more events like this one… The feedback we’ve had from those who came along to Little Swans – as well as viewing online and via social media – was extremely positive. There are now plenty of performing opportunities for young musicians – but you can NEVER have too many chances to make music with others, and another little concert, as our fabulous Little Swans showed, can only add to their musical lives.

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