On 29 January 2020, Able Orchestra made its debut appearance in the north west with a performance at the BBC Philharmonic Studio, Media City, Salford during the Association of British Orchestras (ABO) annual conference. It was a high-profile event, including the premiere of a new commission, which vividly illustrated how inclusive practice in an orchestral context can have extremely high artistic values and form a compelling case for increased diversity and inclusion in the context of the arts, culture and society as a whole.
This performance by Able Orchestra was a landmark for the sector in terms of the development of inclusive ensembles and demonstrated valuable key learnings:
- Rethinking the model of what an ‘orchestra’ is and what it could be in terms of hierarchy and control, can still produce work of high artistic integrity.
- Being more ambitious in the way they adapt and develop will enable conventional orchestras to become more relevant to our diverse society.
- The success of inclusive work relies on artistic quality as much as any other established approach to music-making.
- The music profession has not yet made it possible for disabled musicians and composers to occupy a label-free space, on their own terms.
Read more about the project's process, outcomes and learning points here
Read the report:
What has been very clear is that the participants had the most wonderful experience. [At least one] had a life -changing time. It has been a pleasure to see confidence grow and feelings of wellbeing through all participants (adults and students alike).
~ Lucy Reid, Music Services Manager, Inspire Music