News Story

What an opening few weeks at Shireland CBSO Academy!

It's official - Shireland CBSO Academy has opened its doors! It's been an incredible few weeks, with plenty of opportunities for us to meet the teaching staff and the new cohort of year 7s. Our Learning & Engagement team and CBSO musicians have enjoyed working in collaboration with Sandwell Music Service and our Shireland colleagues to prepare for the opening of this exciting new school.

Before the doors officially opened, CBSO staff and players had the opportunity to tour the newly built school with Principal David Green.

Photograph of Emma Stenning and Dave Green smiling outside the Shireland CBSO Academy
Photograph of Dave Green, Shireland CBSO Academy, giving a tour of the school

The first CBSO performance

New students at the school had their first taste of the orchestra in the opening week, with 20 of our wonderful musicians conducted by Jack Lovell-Huckle. The performance took place in the school's new state-of-the-art library, which sits in the centre of the building, flooded with natural light, and creating a natural gathering point.

They also got the chance to meet sections of the orchestra, with insights and fun facts shared by Cath Arlidge, who presented the session.

Instrument Fair

Photograph of CBSO musicians and staff smiling at the Shireland CBSO Academy's Instrument Fair.

In week two, the children chose their instruments!

In preparation for the free instrument lessons which each pupil will receive, the school hosted an instrument fair, featuring CBSO musicians, and teachers from the Sandwell Music Service. Staff demonstrated different instruments and supported Year 7 pupils in ‘having-a-go’ on the instruments before they chose what they would like to learn.

We're excited to see the progress of 10 budding viola players, 4 new bassoonists, and 3 young tuba players, as well as many more who will be starting their lessons with tutors from Sandwell Music Service very soon.

News Coverage

We were thrilled that we were able to share more information about the opening of the school with the BBC, and to talk to them about the importance of open and inclusive musical education in schools across the country.

The BBC's Culture and media editor, Katie Razzall, joined Emma Stenning, CBSO players and school staff to learn more - including visiting a music lesson and a workshop with Catherine Arlidge, Jane Wright, Amy Thomas and Helen Edgar.

Across BBC Radio 4, the BBC News at 6 and 10 and the BBC News website, it was great to spread the word about what's going on at Shireland CBSO Academy.

Photograph of Emma Stenning filming an interview with BBC News at the Shireland CBSO Academy.
Photograph of a BBC journalist watching filming at the Shireland CBSO Academy
Read more Listen here (from 25:00)

Study with us!

Applications for year 7 entry in September 2024 are open until 31 October 2023 and should be made through your local authority.

If your child is already exceptionally talented in music, they may be able to gain a place through the Academy’s music aptitude programme. A separate application form must be completed via the Academy’s website in addition to the local authority form. The deadline for music aptitude applications is Monday 2 October 2023.

The Academy also have a very small number of places remaining in their current year 7 – please contact the Academy directly for more information.

Find out more on Shireland CBSO Academy’s website.

Photograph of a CBSO ensemble performing at the Shireland CBSO Academy