Students from Withernsea High School were this week given the unique opportunity to perform music from a different culture as they took part in a Gamelan workshop at the Meridian Centre.

Gamelan is the collective term for an ensemble of percussive instruments which orchestrate the traditional music of Southeast Asia.

The workshop was organised by June Mitchell, a Community Arts Officer for East Riding of Yorkshire Council, facilitated by Gamelan owner Laurence Rugg and delivered by Gary Hammond - a professional percussionist who for 15 years was a member The Beautiful South.  

While most children are familiar with traditional Western instrumentation, few are familiar with Eastern instruments such as the Gamelan. The workshop afforded a total of 25 year 7 students the opportunity to learn about the diverse range of instruments that are played in parts of Asia.

Percussionist Gary Hammond commented: ‘I think the Withernsea High School students were superb. They were very smart, very polite and took instruction brilliantly. They improvised really well and the final result sounded fantastic. I was very impressed.’

Music Teacher Miss Rebecca Tillman added: ‘Workshops such as these are vital in opening students’ eyes to new cultural experiences and offer unique opportunities which they may otherwise not have had. The students really enjoyed the session and were an absolute credit to the school’

Next month, High School students will benefit from a composition workshop led by the Manchester Camerata Orchestra.