Lullaby Concerts wins Family Arts Festival award

Orchestras Live is an Award Winner for its outstanding contribution to the national Get Creative Family Arts Festival

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Orchestras Live has won Best Family Event for its contribution to the 2016 Get Creative Family Arts Festival, with its tour of Lullaby Concerts.

Stuart Bruce receiving the award, along with Gillian-Hunter Gibbs, Zoey Banthorpe, Lizzi Cocker and Philip Shaw. (c) Rachel Cherry

The annual Get Creative Family Arts Festival is a national festival offering families an extraordinary range of arts activities to enjoy right across the UK.

Voted for by a panel of expert judges from the arts sector, the Commendations recognise the outstanding events that took place within the 2016 Festival and the exemplary family-friendly organisations and venues that participated.

Orchestras Live joined 736 other organisations in delivering events as part of the festival, which took place between throughout October 2016. Around 500,000 family members attended one of the 4,000 festival events held across the UK.

The latest tour of Lullaby Concerts, in autumn 2016, saw a highly successful series of activities reach many young children, parents and carers, and Early Years practitioners. Produced by Orchestras Live, City of London Sinfonia and East Anglian Traditional Music Trust in partnership with 7 local authorities and 2 Music Education Hubs, a programme of 19 creative workshops, 3 music training days and 11 orchestral concerts was held across Suffolk, Essex and Gloucestershire. The essence of the project was about bringing inspirational first experiences of live orchestral music to young children and families, particularly in culturally under-served rural and coastal areas, whilst developing the skills of Early Years practitioners and parents to encourage the sustained use of music as a means of learning and play.

Presented by renowned music leader Claire Henry, City of London Sinfonia were joined in the concerts by young instrumentalists from the local areas, acting a positive role models for the young children in the audiences. Young people were also involved as promoters of the concerts at Lowestoft, gaining music industry skills through working alongside professional arts managers. Some 1,808 people engaged with the Lullaby project as participants or audiences, and the response at all events was extremely positive.

The Get Creative Family Arts Festival celebrated at an awards ceremony on Tuesday 14 March at Circomedia in Bristol, recognising the Festival’s most engaging family events as well as highlighting the outstanding organisers amongst the huge variety of particiapting organisations.

Stuart Bruce was proud to represent Orchestras Live at the ceremony, accompanied by Gillian Hunter-Gibbs from City of London Sinfonia, Zoey Banthorpe from Mid Suffolk & Babergh Councils, Lizzi Cocker from Forest Heath & St Edmundsbury Councils, and Philip Shaw from Suffolk County Music Service.

Stuart Bruce, Partnership Manager at Orchestras Live, said:

“It is wonderful to receive this award on behalf of Orchestras Live and the numerous partners who make the Lullaby tours possible. We have been developing this model for many years and have learned a huge amount about how professional orchestras can engage with, and be entirely relevant to, families especially in culturally underserved areas. Orchestras Live is most grateful for this national recognition of our work, which has given us a real boost as we work towards a brand new tour in 2017.”

The Festival is run by the Family Arts Campaign, whose evaluation report found that 61% of participating organisations reported an increase in work shown for families at their organisation. Since its beginnings in 2013 the Festival has reached approximately 2.2 million family members and included over 750 pieces of newly commissioned work specifically for families.

Phil Cave, Director of Engagement and Audiences at Arts Council England said:

“Encouraging arts organisations to develop their family offer, and to consider the diverse needs of families in Britain today is really important. We are very pleased to continue to support the Family Arts Campaign, it has been a huge success to date and has reached a wide range of people. The Campaign continues to inspire artists, arts organisations and families to engage in a vast range of arts activities across the country. It provides time for families to get together and create shared memories, and to experience the power of engaging with the arts.”

To discover other family-friendly arts organisations near you visit

Lullaby Concerts, October 2016 - evaluation report

Click here to download

Read more about the project here.

View the Storify for the Lullaby Concerts here.

Keep up to date with the latest Lullaby Concerts activity in 2017 by liking the Lullaby Concerts Facebook page.