Whitgift Autumn Collection Concert for Primary Schools at the Fairfield Halls
The annual Autumn Collection Concert, which is held at the Fairfield Halls in Croydon, incorporates a variety of performances by Whitgift students. The concert is designed specifically for children in Key Stage 2. It provides an opportunity for students to develop their understanding and appreciation of music whilst watching a live concert in one of the UK’s finest concert halls. Approximately 1,300 children attend the Autumn Collection Concert at the Fairfield Halls every November. Invitations were sent to 50 Primary Schools in 2015. Tickets are free of charge and are allocated on a first come first served basis. The venue is always fully booked.
Whitgift aims to provide children with the rare opportunity to watch a live concert performed by children for children, in one of the UK’s great concert halls. The children experience a wide range of musical genres, whilst following along with the help of a child-friendly programme. They have to listen out for particular instruments and guess the names of the instruments pictured.
The concert was originally an annual event undertaken by the Metropolitan Police Band. In 1998, they disbanded and the Metropolitan Police approached Rosanna Whitfield, Whitgift’s Director of Music, in the hope that the concert could be carried on by Whitgift School. Since then, Whitgift School has hosted the annual concert for Primary Schools.
Whitgift hires the Fairfield Halls for the event. It organises catering, transport and staff to supervise the boys. The concert is completely funded by Whitgift School.
Feedback after each concert is positive and the children leave the venue very happy. Many children take up a musical instrument after their experience and arrange to watch further live concerts. Every year, primary schools contact Whitgift ahead of schedule, asking when the invitation letters will be sent and are eager to acquire tickets. The venue is fully booked with schools on a waiting list for tickets.
Approximately 1,300 children attend the Primary Concert every November. The ages range from Year 3 to Year 6. Schools can request enough tickets to bring a class of 30 or a whole year group. Invitations were sent to 50 Primary Schools this year.
The concert is an annual event. It is one hour and takes place on a Thursday morning in November.