Musicians visit Dales primary schools

The award-winning percussionist Delia Stevens and cellist Abel Selaocoe visited Askrigg, West Burton and Bainbridge primary schools to deliver spell-binding performance and workshop sessions as part of the Swaledale Festival.

The professional musicians had the children utterly gripped from the first moment as they performed a thrilling series of pieces, demonstrated their instruments and engaged the children in a series of rhythm-based games.

Delia Stevens, who featured on the front cover of this year’s Festival brochure, moved seamlessly from a giant xylophone to a marching snare to a box drum, using her hands and feet in ingenious ways.

This story continues after the adverts:


Abel Selaocoe used the cello as a both a classical and a contemporary instrument, using beatbox and vocals to enhance his sound.

Heather Hodgson, from the Swaledale Festival, said: “Delia and Abel’s mesmerising music inspired much spontaneous jigging about and hand percussion from Bainbridge KS1 children.

“All the children, some as young as three, were thoroughly absorbed; what an amazing experience for all concerned.” 

Natasha Johnston, Bainbridge class teacher, said: “It was wonderful to watch the children engage with Delia and Abel’s fascinating music, we’ll be chatting about this for a long time to come”. 

Every year the festival finishes with a series of school visits, giving local children the opportunity to hear professional musicians from all over the world in their very own assembly hall.

This year thirteen schools across the area, both primary and secondary, were treated to world-class performances from a variety of musicians, ranging from world to classical.

The festival is looking forward to welcoming Delia Stevens and Abel Selaocoe back in 2019 with quintet group Kabantu.