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At Chetham’s we believe that everyone should have the opportunity to experience music in a relevant, dynamic way. In partnership with arts organisations across the region and nationwide, we work to develop interactive learning activities for individuals, schools and other community groups.


Get Weaving! 24 April,  Bridgewater Hall

A community opera by Alison Prince & Andrew Keeling marking the anniversary of the Kinder Scout Mass Trespass, directed by Michael Betteridge.

A collaboration between Chetham's, C of E School of the Resurrection, Bridgewater Singers and Maghull Wind Orchestra, this opera exlored our right to freedom of imagination in a musical story. The music encompasses rock, tango, and more, while the storyline moves through childhood, greed, restrictive authority and a mysterious piper... With the story written by children's author Alison Prince and the music composed by Andrew Keeling, it was a great experience for all those involved that we will certainly remember for a very long time to come. Working together with this many different groups is always a pleasure, bringing people together through music and creativity. We are looking forward to doing more of these projects in the near future, hoping to give more people the chance to experience how great it is to set something up together and perform it in front of all your friends, family, and other audience members! 



We have a range of exciting projects for the coming season 2015-16, find an overview below including booking details for the events in the near future. Keep an eye on this page as it is updated regularly with new projects! In the meantime, if you would be interested in a community project or a performance visit to your organisation, please get in touch with us through This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Recent Projects 

April 2016: Peter and the Wolf at local schools

With a special ensemble version of Peter and the Wolf, we have arranged several performances at schools in and around Greater Manchester. Additionally, we were able to offer workshops to some smaller groups. All in all an amazing project to incorporate arts and music into the school days of Manchester's children. The arts workshops were brilliantly led by Cheryl Dawson from Learning Through Art (, while the music workshops were given by the always enthusiastic Sarah Atter ( With our Director of Music, Stephen Threlfall, leading the ensemble, it was not only a great day for the visited schools, but for our own musicians, too!

A Celebration of the Art of the Flute

Two days of workshops, classes, lessons and performances for flautists of all ages, with a competition for young players.

Join our team of renowned guest players and teachers from Chetham's School of Music.  Immerse yourself in the art of the flute with two days of classes, workshops and competition alongside flautists from across the country, open to players of all ages from 7 upwards. Participants aged 7-19 have the opportunity to take part in our inaugural Flute Competition alongside the festival sessions. Judged by a panel of independent experts, you will be allocated a time meaning you can attend the rest of the events and simply come through to the competition when ready.  Winners in three categories will win prizes, lessons and opportunities to perform with Chetham's ensembles in the afternoon's concerts.

Our team of renowned guest players and tutors from Chetham's School of Music
Rachel Holt
Linda Verrier
Dr Martyn Shaw
Katherine Bryan
Fiona Fulton
Belinda Gough

Special guests
MICHAEL COX, Principal Flute BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Academy of St Martin's in the Field and London Sinfonietta
GARETH DAVIES, Principal Flute London Symphony Orchestra
MIKE MOWER, Composer, Flautist, Saxophonist, Educator

Double Reed Day - November 2015

On Monday 9 November participants aged 9 to 81 years old came together to play, listen and learn about oboe and bassoon playing. This event followed on  from last year’s very successful Bassoon Day. Throughout the day, participants took part in workshops with Daniel Jemison, Principle Bassoon with the London Symphony Orchestra, Stephane Rancourt, Principle Oboe with the Hallé Orchestra, Rachael Clegg, Principle Oboe with Manchester Camerata and Graham Salvage, formerly Principle Bassoon with the Hallé Orchestra.

The morning sessions focused on ensemble playing, playing technique and getting in-depth advice on repertoire, whereas the afternoon sessions were more focused on teaching, tackling technical issues and answering questions about how to approach teaching children to play double reed instruments. Combined with a fantastic public lunchtime recital by the guest tutors, it was a day that incorporated all elements of double reed playing.
With such a mixed participant group, it was great to see everybody cooperate and play together: music connects. We hope this day has helped open students’ and professionals’ eyes about playing and teaching double reed instruments, to make them more popular in the musical field.

Rochdale Literature and Ideas Festival - October 2015

Throughout October, Chetham’s School of Music has collaborated with Rochdale Literature & Ideas Festival, working with community groups to explore poetry from Rochdale Library’s unique Maskew Collection of classic literature & philosophy, and respond to it creatively using music. The final night of the festival, a musical response, is the culmination of this project, and all material has been devised, written, rehearsed and performed by the group.

Over the course of three sessions, the group looked at poems by Imtiaz Dharker. A variety of themes emerged from the discussions around these poems, and the group felt that the collection of poems themselves was a metaphor for life – from birth and early promise, to dancing, celebration and burgeoning life, before finally looking back over life’s journey. There were also strong references to nature, the changing seasons and the passing of time.

The piece written by the group was in three sections, each section representative of a separate poem, Taal, Women Bathing and Tow-Path, but together reflecting the cycle of life. The music aimed to evoke the sound world, emotions and atmosphere of the poetry. All workshops were led by our Programme Workshop Manager, Sarah Atter.

A Level Music Study Day - October 2015
Following last year's succes, ten schools from several different regions came to Chetham's to enjoy an educational visit about Haydn's 104, standard material for the AS Level Musix AQA Exam. During the afternoon, they dug deeper into the first and third movement than they had ever done before. Three presentations were given by staff of Chetham's, while the orchestra played excerpts of those movements as well as a complete run through. The students involved in this event enjoyed the music as well as the presentations, and knew almost all there is to know about Haydn when they left.

"thank you and your team for organising a fantastic study day yesterday. We all thoroughly enjoyed it and found it most useful!" - Participating School

String CPD with Stephan Barratt-Due - October 2015
All the way from Norway, Stephan Barratt-Due brought his expertise in teaching string instruments to Chetham's and gave a great workshop for violin and viola teachers from all around Greater Manchester. The teachers got to know more about :

· tips for teaching vibrato
· preparation for and teaching of shifting
· using the bow to phrase
· identifying talent and what to do next

Silver Donkey - March 2015
The heroic and heart warming story of Silver Donkey is based on the novel by Sonya Hartnett, with music composed by Dean Bryant and Matthew Frank. Our very own Chetham’s student Toby Hession orchestrated all the music for Chetham’s band and singers. This project, set up by the Outreach department, was a joint effort of the Bridgewater Hall and Chetham’s, resulting in an amazingly diverse cast consisting of Chetham’s students and choristers, royal Northern College of Music students, primary school children from St. Augustine’s,  Manchester College students and Audenshaw School pupils. We hope to be able to do more Outreach projects like Silver Donkey in the future, to give as many people as possible the chance of experiencing music and performing on stage.

Generations of conflict exhibition - Feb 2015
This exhibition was the culmination of our WW1 Outreach Programme, Generations of Conflict: Reflections of the Great War in the North West, in which Chetham's staff and students have worked with other schools, colleges and community groups in Greater Manchester to pay tribute to the First World War. From the first-hand oral histories we have recorded from the older generation, to the imagined soundscapes designed by our youngest contributors, the project endeavoured to facilitate some communion with the people affected by the War.

Supporting Outreach

Any support you can give to our Outreach programme will help us to give everyone in our community the chance to actively engage with music. With your support, we can continue to increase the scale of our activities, benefitting hundreds of people every year.  

We are very grateful to The Arts Council for matching every pound that we receive before the end of May 2014, and continuing to give £1 for every £1.50 we raise after May. Please help us to increase the impact we have beyond Chetham’s - working with schools, community groups and charities to provide creative learning opportunities and share musical skills with others. 

For more information about supporting our Outreach programme, please send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will make sure it gets to the right person.

Thank you

We would like to thank everyone who has helped our Outreach programme to go from strength to strength. Bill Ainscough’s invaluable support for our new School Building project means that we now have a dedicated space for Outreach work at home: The Ainscough Centre for Outreach. The Arts Council have offered us critical support, both for the new School Building project and through their Catalyst scheme to benefit our Outreach programme. In addition, there are a number of other supporters who would prefer to remain anonymous to whom we are also extremely grateful.

Contact the Outreach Department

Outreach Programme Contact: Emma Cunliffe
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  0161 834 9644