Our Music, Our Way

Our orchestral programme in Redcar and Cleveland bringing communities and generations together to create and share inspirational and accessible orchestral experiences.

What we wanted to achieve

Our Music, Our Way aims to increase cultural provision and opportunity in Redcar and Cleveland, an area that mixes the legacy of post-industrialisation with rural communities. The programme brings high-quality music-making into local community venues, providing opportunities for people to experience professional orchestral performances in their locality.

Co-creation of new music by local people is at the heart of the programme, alongside providing opportunities for young children to experience live music. The project provides different participant groups with the opportunity to engage in creative work and perform new music with a professional orchestra at celebratory events they contribute to shaping.

The project seeks to reach new audiences for orchestral performances and build a repertoire of new music with and about life in Redcar and Cleveland, bringing the community together to celebrate the joys of music-making in their hometown.

What we did

Beginning in Autumn 2021, we ran a series of consultation events to gauge general interest and develop a sense of what the community desired.

Key themes that emerged informed the development of a pilot programme in 2022-23 that was primarily delivered by Manchester Camerata. This included:

  • Together in Music with residents in Care Homes and Guisborough Choral Society
  • Our Music, Our Way creative project with schools in the Brotton area, local youth groups, and Tees Valley Youth Orchestra
  • Early Years workshop performances for schools delivered by The Hall√©

In 2024 we delivered our first creative project with Royal Northern Sinfonia and composer Michael Betteridge, working with schools in the Grangetown area.

The partnerships established as part of this project are evolving into a long-term programme to support the growth of musical learning and cultural capital for young people

Outcomes

Since the beginning of the partnership in 2021, our activity has produced:

  • Four new pieces of music created by the people of Redcar and Cleveland
  • New audiences engaged in Redcar and Cleveland with 591 people attending orchestral performances
  • 506 participants engaged in workshops
  • Three professional performances and four early years performances.

Future plans

Our Music, Our Way will continue to evolve in response to the community's need, with the programme including:

  • Creative projects with communities and schools
  • Engaging first-time orchestral experiences for children
  • Health & wellbeing projects and relaxed concerts for those in care settings or with health needs
  • A series of culmination events and concerts in the community.

Our Music, Our Way is co-produced by Redcar and Cleveland Council, Tees Valley Music Service and Orchestras Live.

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