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On Sunday October 19, we set up shop in Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room for a mammoth day of concerts, all part of our education and outreach programme, Watercycle. Children and families were welcomed by OAE staff armed with stickers, crayons and water-themed colouring pages.
First up: OAE TOTS, for the littlest of music lovers. Things kicked off with a Hello Song before we embarked on a musical journey by singing Helly Helly Shumrae, an easy (and very catchy) sea shanty. This placed our TOTS on board a ship to a faraway land, Australia, where they were invited to hop around like kangaroos while clapping and joining in with the songs and actions. The concert concluded with a return journey back to England and, finally, a Goodbye Song.
After both of the morning’s TOTs concerts the musicians lined the foyer and played a few short pieces so that the children could see the instruments up close and touch some of the larger and sturdier ones, such as the double bass and the horns!
In the afternoon was our Family Concert, aimed at slightly older children. Presented by animateur James Redwood, this concert involved more complex actions and words as well as getting the audience to sing in rounds. It was pretty complicated, but everyone got the hang of it eventually.
Everyone left with smiles on their faces, asking when our next round of TOTS and Family Concerts would be (Saturday 21 February 2015 in case you were wondering!).