MORE than 280 Southampton children were part of a ground-breaking project to bring diversity to classical music.

The pupils from Bevois Town, St John’s and Shirley Warren primary schools spent time learning a specially composed symphony with Europe’s first professional majority black and minority ethnic orchestra - and performed it to thrilled parents at Southampton’s Central Hall.

Kevin Appleby, concert hall manager at Turner Sims said: “It was fantastic. The musicians obviously got a lot out of it as well - and that’s the great thing. Everybody got something out of it - the children, the parents and the musicians. I was chatting to them backstage at the actual concert and they were still talking about it.”

The Chineke! Orchestra was founded by double bassist Chi-chi Nwanoku OBE.