UK's only disabled-led, regional youth orchestra teams up with UWE Bristol

Issue date: 11 April 2016


Youth Orchestra

The South West Open Youth Orchestra are teaming up with UWE Bristol's Centre for Performing Arts, to perform a newly arranged version of 'Silver Rose', composed by UWE Bristol Lecturer, Dr Liz Lane, and featuring poems by Bristol-born war poet, Isaac Rosenberg.

The work will be performed as part of the Centre for Performing Arts' (CPA) 'Sun, Moon and Stars'concert, a celebration of choral singing and brass, that will include performances by the 120-strong UWE Bristol Singers, the Royal Forest of Dean's Lydbrook Band and organist Alison Howell, all conducted by UWE Bristol's, Director of the CPA, Ian Holmes.

The South West Open Youth Orchestra - the UK's only disabled-led, regional youth orchestra - works in partnership with musicians from the internationally renowned British Paraorchestra, and will be joined on stage by the UWE Singers, Lydbrook Band and narrator Barry Farrimond (who plays Ed Grundy in BBC Radio 4 The Archers), for the performance of 'Silver Rose'.

Many of the instruments the Youth Orchestra will be using, have been specially developed and adapted for use by each individual musician by OpenUp Music. These instruments are able to transform any physical movement, including movements of the head or even the eyes into distinct notes. OpenUp Music is the UK's only organisation that specialises in facilitating access to youth orchestras, musical instruments and musical repertoire for young disabled musicians.

The new version of 'Silver Rose' has been made possible by funding from UWE's Faculty of Environment and Technology Public Engagement and Outreach programme, enabling collaboration and research into new music and repertoire for the South West Open Youth Orchestra.

Dr Liz Lane, Senior Lecturer in Music Technology – Composition and Performance at UWE Bristol, says, “There are some incredible innovations out there which translate minute physical actions into different notes. OpenUp Music have harnessed these to replace traditional orchestra instruments and produce bespoke sounds specifically for the performance; we will effectively be creating a new soundscape, in the vast spaces of Bristol Cathedral.”

The event will be sound mixed live and recorded by UWE Bristol Music Technology Students.

For more information on the concert, or to book tickets, please visit the CPA webpages.

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