AS PART of The Anvil’s 25th birthday celebrations, Anvil Arts has been working with schools and colleges from within Basingstoke to create a one-off performance that looks at the connections we make within our communities, our friendship groups and families, and how creativity can connect us all.

Led by local musician Neil Valentine, a team of artists from around Hampshire are visiting Marnel Junior School, Rucstall Primary School, Dove House Post-16 and Queen Mary’s College Gateway to create original work with a focus on music. They will then share their work at The Anvil on Wednesday, 3 July at 7pm. Tickets are available from the box office.

Anvil Arts is also repeating its pop-up project Musication Station in Festival Place during the summer holidays, on June 29 and 30, and July 6, 7, 13 and 14.

Anyone under the age of 25 can have a go at playing guitar, bass, electric drums, ukuleles and keyboards, no matter what their level of experience. Slots are one-hour-long per instrument and free, and professional musicians will be on hand to answer any questions.

The project is always very popular so make sure you don’t miss out.

Workshops for schools and community groups during the week are also available, so please contact Anvil Arts on 01256 819797 to talk about arranging a visit for your class or group.

Also part of The Anvil’s 25th birthday programme, the Philharmonia Orchestra returns to Basingstoke this July and August with The Virtual Orchestra, a free event for all the family that gives everyone the opportunity to experience a symphony orchestra from the inside. The project, open in the upper level of Festival Place, houses an ambitious 10-room digital installation that showcases the internal workings of the Philharmonia as the orchestra performs Holst’s The Planets.

A few units along, virtual reality headsets transport you to a concert hall stage where you can see and hear the orchestra up close in 360-degree virtual reality.

The five-week installation will be in open from July 6 to August 11 and culminates with two free, live orchestral concerts in Porchester Square in the heart of Festival Place on Sunday, 4 August.

The project is run in addition to the Philharmonia’s long-standing regular concerts at The Anvil, where it is Orchestra in Partnership

For details of all the shows now on sale visit or call the Anvil Arts box office on 01256 844244.