Sounds Inspiring Festival

Celebrating young people's music making

Bristol Plays Music and St George’s Bristol present the first ever Sounds Inspiring Festival, over two weeks of events involving thousands of Bristol’s young people. Taking place in venues across the city, the festival celebrates everything about young people’s music-making: their energy, talent, and imagination.

Coinciding with Green Capital Week, this inaugural year has a ‘green’ theme.


More information

Sounds Inspiring Festival

Celebrating young people's music making

Calendar of events

Official launch of festival and south Bristol singing day
Tue 16 Jun, 5 – 6pm, Merchants’ Academy Secondary School
Free admission

The festival launches at Merchants’ Academy secondary school in south Bristol. Join us for an afternoon of singing with the choirs of Merchants’ Academy and Cosmos choir, who will be raising the roof To begin the festival with a bang!

KS1 singing day
Wed 17 Jun, Redgrave Theatre, supported by Clifton College,
Open to participating schools only

Over 500 KS1 pupils from schools across Bristol will gather for a morning and afternoon of singing ‘Green’ themed songs to celebrate Bristol’s European Capital Green Week.

The Malago Musical Extravaganza
Wed 17 Jun, 1.30pm, St Mary Redcliffe Church
Open to participating schools only

A water themed concert of song and instrumental pieces from schools linked by the river Malago, featuring performances from the massed choir, individual school choirs, and Ilminster School Orchestra.

Bristol Schools’ Music Society Concerts
Thu 18 & Fri 19 Jun (also Mon 6 Jul), 7.30pm, Colston Hall
Tickets: £6/£3, available from participating schools or from Sylvia O’Driscoll, tel: 0117 968 7604

1,600 children from 40 primary schools across the city will be raising the roof to celebrate Bristol’s status as European Green Capital in 2015. They will perform songs arranged by Jonathan Taylor and specifically commissioned green songs written with lyricist Claire Williamson.

Lilliput Concerts
Sat 20 Jun, 10.30am, Redland Park United Reformed Church
Tickets: various prices, with family tickets available, available from

Grown-up live classical music in a relaxed, baby-friendly setting. Hear music from the Ystavaa Piano Trio then enjoy refreshments and cake from the Nick Holder Bakery.

City of Bristol Choir Summer Gala Concert with John Rutter
Sat 20 Jun, 7.30pm, Colston Hall
Tickets: available online here

City of Bristol Choir and David Ogden are joined by Exultate Singers, Bristol Youth Choir, Westbury-on-Trym parish choir and the Bristol Ensemble for an evening of music celebrating youth. In addition, composer and conductor John Rutter will conduct his own piece, Mass of the Children. In aid of Wallace and Gromit’s Grand Appeal.

BPM Summer Concerts
Sun 21 Jun, 3.30pm, 5pm, 6.30pm, Victoria Rooms
Tickets: £6/£3 (conc.), available on the door

Talented young musicians from across Bristol perform an eclectic mix of music in the annual summer concerts. The Senior Centre and Junior
Strings join forces to give the parents and children an opportunity to see the progression through the various groups. For full details of each concert please visit

Hope Creative Session
Sun 21 Jun – 10am-12.30pm
A music and singing session for Children in Care and their community. For more information please email Laurie Stewart

All the King’s Men Music Theatre Workshops
Mon 22, Tue 23, Wed 24 Jun, 4.30 – 6.30pm, Colston Hall
Free to participate. To register please email Laurie Stewart

Richard Rodney Bennett’s opera for young people tells the ‘true’ story of Humpty Dumpty, Gloucester’s very own version of the Trojan Horse. Set in the Civil War in 1643, it’s a dramatic piece brimming with great jazzy tunes, drama and humour. Music director Mark Lawrence and drama
director Rhian Hutchings (Operasonic) will workshop songs from the opera, including the building of the horse. Three afterschool sessions will culminate in a short showcase in the Colston Hall Foyer. Aimed at school years 5 upwards.

Organ recital
Tue 23 Jun, 1.15pm, Bristol Cathedral
Free admission

Given by Paul Walton and Josh Griffith, a Sixth form organ student at Bristol Cathedral Choir School.

Cabot Learning Federation Concert
Tue 23 Jun, 7pm, Colston Hall
Tickets: Available from participating schools. For further information please contact Tim Warren at King’s Oak Academy

The Cabot Learning Federation, an organisation that consists of 12 schools in Bristol, Bath and Weston super Mare, will be putting on a spectacular night of high calibre musical variety, dance and drama. The seven secondary schools within the federation will be represented, with over 300 students taking part.



Green Poems for a Blue Planet
Wed 24 Jun, St George’s Bristol
Open to participating schools only

Martin Kiszko, Poet in Residence for Bristol 2015 European Green Capital, performs his humorous and challenging stand-up poetry show accompanied by Wallace and Gromit creator Nick Park’s projected illustrations. This event includes a ‘junk percussion’ workshop led by Laura
Tanner, making for a truly Green experience for schools!

Bristol Youth Choir Seniors with Dorian Chamber Orchestra
Wed 24 Jun, 7.30pm, St George’s Bristol
Tickets: £8/£2 (under 18s) plus fees, available from St George’s Bristol Box Office

This accomplished choir of young people perform Vivaldi’s Gloria, a wonderful sparkling and uplifting choral work accompanied by the Dorian Chamber Orchestra conducted by David Ogden. Solos and duets by Purcell and Mozart along with folk songs and a few blues numbers complete the programme.

A World of Singing!
Thu 25 Jun, 7pm, St George’s Bristol

The 60 strong Junior Bristol Youth Choir is joined by the City of Bristol Choir and the Royal Mail Choir for this singing extravaganza celebrating
our ‘wonderful world’. Enjoy a wide range of music for all ages including Bob Chilcott’s Green Songs, choral masterpieces and arrangements of songs from the shows and pop classics, including some audience participation, all in aid of the Stroke Association.

Tickets: £8/£2 (under 18s) plus fees, available from St George’s Bristol Box Office

Thank You for the Music
Fri 26 Jun, 7.15pm, Colston Hall
Tickets: Available from participating schools, and South Gloucestershire Music Hub

As part of South Gloucestershire Schools Primary Festival, singers and instrumentalists from 21 schools across South Gloucestershire come together for one sensational concert.

BBC Young Musicians 2014
Sat 27 Jun, 4pm, St George’s Bristol
Tickets: £10/£6 (under 18s) plus fees, available from St George’s Bristol Box Office

Sounds Inspiring Festival comes to a close with an inspirational concert featuring three of the most promising young talents in music today. The finalists of BBC Young Musician 2014 – Sophie Westbrook (recorders), Elliot Gaston-Ross (percussion) and winner Martin James Bartlett
(piano) – reunite for an afternoon showcase of their thrilling competition repertoire.

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Presented by

  • Arts Council England’s Music Education Hub for the city of Bristol.

  • World class music just off Park Street.

  • Sounds Inspiring Festival – Celebrating young people’s music making

Welcome to
Bristol Beacon

On Wednesday 23 September 2020 Colston Hall changed its name to Bristol Beacon.

Our new name is just the first step, it is about more than the sign above our door. Click below to find out more about how we’re changing, watch our name announcement, and discover how we want everyone to share in the joy of live music.

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