A GROUP of young people are swapping chart-topping hits for something a little older.

The 11 to 18-year-olds have taken over Worcester’s Guildhall for four days, learning all about baroque music from three professional performers.

They will finish with a free concert at 7pm tomorrow to showcase all they have learnt. The concert will feature music between 1685 and 1750 from composers such as Vivaldi, Purcell, Marcello and Lully.

Tutors Kate Fawcett, Henrik Persson and Micaela Schmitz have made it their mission to introduce as many people as possible to the music of the period.

Worcestershire Arts Education receives funding from the Elmley Foundation to run the course.

The foundation was endowed by the late Countess Beauchamp of Madresfield Court, near Malvern – in memory of her husband, the eighth and last Earl Beauchamp – to encourage all forms of the arts, crafts and design.

Ms Schmitz said: “These young people are making us proud. They’ll be learning a lot, having fun and being part of a team.

“What makes the course special is that students get to really immerse themselves in an intensive period. This builds up their knowledge in a special way, which is better than if it were spaced over several weeks.

“Students have the opportunity to have a solo. They receive the solo music in advance so that the course can be spent on stylistic and teamwork issues. It’s only with the enlightened support of funders like the Elmley Foundation and a venue such as the Guildhall that we can offer this unique experience for a great group of hardworking young people.”