TALENTED musicians at a West Oxfordshire school shut themselves off from the outside world last week before wowing spectators at their annual summer gala.

Students at Burford School, near Witney, spent a week in North Wales creating and composing music before performing their work to parents, teachers and peers.

The trip, called the Music Residential, has run for 21 years and is one of many opportunities offered as part of the school’s Burford Institute of Music.

Sean Frankcom has been director of music at the school since 1995 and explains how the residential helps musicians flourish without outside influences.

He said: “Because we’ve had a whole week of rehearsals the standard is really amazing.

“What we wanted them to give them is musical experiences they would never be able to get normally.”

Almost 100 students carted 7.5 tonnes of equipment to North Wales on Friday July 13 to immerse themselves in music.

The travelling party included the school’s training orchestra, for years 7 to 9, and the symphony orchestra of years 10 to 13.

Hours of rehearsals helped students fine-tune pieces for Friday’s summer gala, which regularly sells out.

The concert featured a jazz band and choir alongside the two orchestras, with an eclectic mix of music from Leonard Bernstein’s Overture to Candide to 2017 pop hit Despacito.

A bar and barbecue was run by the music department, while parents were invited to brave the weather and bring a picnic.

The gala is just one aspect of the Burford Institute of Music, with students also invited to perform at the Tower of London and attend masterclasses with professional musicians.

Mr Frankcom is proud of the opportunities the school gives students but admits it can lead to false expectations.

He said: “It’s a bit of a bubble here so they expect this is the norm when they leave here.

“We want Burford School to be a hub of musical excellence in West Oxfordshire and beyond.”