News Story

Last month we had the pleasure of being joined by Royal Patron of the CBSO, Prince Edward. During his trip, alongside the official business, we were able to fulfil one of his dreams of conducting an orchestra! As you can imagine, with Kazuki, that was a lot of fun.

Making sure he had a big Brummie welcome, he later attended our concert Symphonie Fantastique, featuring Walton's Violin Concerto, Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique and the UK Premiere of CBSO Commission; Fujikura's Wavering World.

Shireland CBSO Academy

Marking a momentous day for the Shireland CBSO Academy, we also welcomed The Duke of Edinburgh to officiate the formal opening of the school, which greeted its first cohort of year 7 students in September 2023.

There was a lot of excitement as students, flags waving in hand, eagerly lined up in reception to greet The Duke of Edinburgh upon his arrival at the Academy.

The event not only marked the school’s official opening but also its unique status as the first free, non-selective state school in Britain established in partnership with a national orchestra, serving Sandwell and the wider West Midlands.

During his visit, The Duke of Edinburgh participated in lessons and music workshops alongside students, and had the opportunity to work on his West African drumming.

He was also toured around the new Academy's state-of-the-art 300-seat performance hall, the specialist music practice rooms and an immersive virtual reality learning space.

The celebrations continued into the performance hall, where musicians from the CBSO and students from the school delivered joint live performances.

The highlight of the event was the unveiling of a commemorative plaque by The Duke of Edinburgh, followed by a special reading of a poem exclusively written by one of Shireland CBSO Academy’s students.

The poem was presented as a final parting gift to The Duke of Edinburgh, concluding the ceremony and his wonderful trip to Birmingham.

I'm especially pleased for our founding students, this was a great day that will live long in their memories. Shireland CBSO Academy’s opening ceremony marks the realisation of an ambitious vision for education, and underscores our commitment to making a real difference in the lives of our young people by providing opportunities that may have previously been out of reach for many.

Sir Mark Grundy, CEO of Shireland Collegiate Academy Trust

We’re delighted that the CBSO’s Patron, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, was able to visit the school and see first-hand some of the experiences the CBSO musicians are providing for students – from masterclasses and mentorship to performances, as well as supporting each young person’s ongoing musical endeavours.

Emma Stenning, Chief Executive at CBSO