Orchestras Live Sound Around

Orchestras Live has been awarded £490,178 from Arts Council England to deliver a new strategic touring project, Orchestras Live Sound Around. Over two years, there will be 42 concerts performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in six culturally under-served locations, reaching nearly 20,000 people.

Orchestras Live Sound Around aims to create more opportunities for children and young people with additional needs to engage with live orchestral music. It will see children with special educational needs and disabilities work alongside their peers in mainstream education to produce, programme and present concerts at venues and at special schools.

Orchestras Live Sound Around will tour to Doncaster, Northampton and Sunderland in 2016/17 and then Lowestoft, Reading and Carlisle in 2017/18. Across the two years there will be:

  • 12 large-scale schools concerts for an inclusive audience, produced & presented by local Young Producers
  • 6 family concerts that have a relaxed attitude to noise and movement, and with elements of the concert adapted to suit the setting
  • A mini-tour of 24 concerts with a small ensemble for special schools

Orchestras Live Sound Around will be delivered by a broad project partnership led by Orchestras Live, working closely with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Other key project partners include Attitude is Everything (a national charity committed to improving deaf and disabled people’s access to live music), music education hubs, music services, local authorities, venues and promoters.

Orchestras Live Sound Around builds upon two previous Orchestras Live initiatives: the highly successful First Time Live Youth tour which enabled young people to produce orchestral concerts for their peers, and a series of Relaxed concerts that provided an inclusive concert environment for young people with additional needs and their families.

Sarah Derbyshire, Chief Executive, Orchestras Live, said: “We’re thrilled to have been awarded this funding which will enable us to build on our previous experience of putting young people at the heart of orchestral experiences. Sound Around is a truly inclusive project, taking place in parts of England that are often overlooked and under-served. It will not only have a great impact on the participants but will also strengthen the infrastructure for touring and challenge our sector to work in new ways.”

Hedley Swain, Area Director, South East, Arts Council England, said: “We are really pleased to be able to support Orchestras Live’s Sound Around. It aims to bring about important change, ensuring more children and young people, particularly those with special educational needs and disabilities, have the opportunity to become involved in orchestral concerts. I am particularly excited to see that children and young people will be at the heart of delivering this work, enhancing their experience of orchestral concerts and helping to create a lasting impact.”

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