Grade One-a-thon, a great success!

The Grade One-a-thon, aka the Oxford and Cambridge Note Race, came to its grand finale on the evening of Sunday 10th September at West Road Concert Hall in Cambridge.


Over 120 musicians had made the huge commitment some months ago to learn a new instrument from scratch and to take part in one 1-hour group lesson on this instrument on 9th July.

They then had 9 weeks to practise in order to achieve success in their Grade One exams on the morning of 10th September, followed by an afternoon of rehearsing for the evening concert. An amazing and exhausting challenge!

Not only that – the aim of this whole process and event was to raise money for 3 children’s charities, of which Home-Start Cambridgeshire is one. So far, HSC has been the recipient of over £15,000 due to the hard work of the musicians in attracting sponsors and other donations: a fantastic achievement for which we are very grateful indeed.

Tim Lihoreau from Classic FM was the compère at the Grand Finale Concert of the Grade One-a-thon in Cambridge on Sunday 10th September.  Jo Studdert, Chair of Trustees, was invited to say a few words on behalf of Home-Start Cambridgeshire.

Jo Goat 2

 This Grade One-a-thon orchestra, who had only come together and practised for the afternoon after the individual exams, included 17 harps, for which special pieces of music had been written. Also in the orchestra were 11 clarinets, 12 flutes, 9 trombones, 11 harps, 14 cellos and a vast range of other instruments.


Not only was there the concert to enjoy at West Road on 10th September, but also various activities in the foyer before the event and during the interval. Amongst these was an amazing magician, keeping his audience spellbound watching and wondering how he could make small balls grow and shrink in size, change colour and increase and decrease in number, all while his audience was a foot or so away from him. This and the other activities contributed to the funds raised during the evening.

Very many thanks to everyone involved in making this event so successful.






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