Percussion School is an evening of music-making that takes place every Tuesday evening in the recently built music studio at Chatham House School, to which everybody in the Thanet community is welcome, and no previous musical experience is necessary.
In 1998 the school received a lottery grant to purchase instruments to establish a community percussion group and Percussion School was born. It has been running ever since and going from strength to strength.
There are currently two classes which take place as follows:
The Advanced Group has four times reached the finals of the National Festival of Music for Youth and in 2003, 2007 and 2009 went on to win and perform at the Royal Albert Hall – we performed there last November!
Percussion School as a whole has taken part in many events locally and across Kent over the years such as carnivals and public performances (The Theatre Royal and Winter Gardens Margate amongst others). Three years ago they were invited to provide the music for the opening of the new Bullring Shopping Centre in Birmingham. They have had much press coverage and are recognised nationally as well as locally.
Performing at the National Finals in Birmingham 2010:
With our prize certificates!
If you would like to join...
What instruments will I play?
Everything! We have about £40,000 worth of percussion here, ranging from Timpani and Xylophones to Drum Kits and Congas. You will have ‘hands on’ experience on all the instruments.
Do I have to be able to read music?
Not really. If you are in the intermediate you will be taught to read percussion music as the classes progress, although reading skills are required for the advanced class. About half of our playing is taught by ear – i.e. no music at all is required.
How much does it cost?
We like members to pay by term for which there is a generous discount, but it is possible to pay weekly. The cost is £40 per term for ten 40 minute sessions.
These rates are comparable with something like an exercise class, and much, much cheaper than an individual music lesson of the same length.
What pieces do we play?
A large variety. Recent pieces have included Peter Gunn, The Football Theme, Heart and Soul, The Cricket Theme and Livin’ La Vida Loca. Many more have been written especially for and by the classes and involve junk or everyday objects such as chairs and tables...
How do I apply to come along?
Please fill in the slip below and return it to the music department at Chatham House. Places will be given on a first come first served basis and if you are successful I will give you a form detailing the five sessions happening after half term up until Christmas and payment options. If you have any queries, please come and talk to me in the music department.
Taking a bow - Nationals 2010