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National Orchestra for All returns to Leeds for ‘WordPlay’ performance

Orchestras for All returns to Leeds with its flagship programme for young people facing barriers to music-making, the National Orchestra for All.

UK charity Orchestras for All returns to Leeds this Summer with its flagship programme for young people facing barriers to music-making, the National Orchestra for All (NOFA).

The brainchild of Founder and Artistic Director, Marianna Hay, the National Orchestra for All invites music teachers to nominate pupils who have shown dedication and commitment to music in the face of challenging circumstances. 100 young people are selected from across the UK each year – many live with disabilities or chronic health conditions, have caring responsibilities for family, are newly arrived refugees or can’t afford to participate in musical activities.

National Orchestra For All partner organisations

This year’s orchestra includes players nominated by a range of partner organisations, including:

Orchestra members will spend four days rehearsing at the University of Leeds in advance of a performance, WordPlay, on 28 July 2018. The concert will feature a programme exploring the connections between music and language.

Concert highlights

Highlights include:

  • Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending (with violinist, Benjamin Baker)
  • the world première of a new work for orchestra and spoken word inspired by Benjamin Britten’s Night Mail (with spoken word artist, Tyrone Lewis, and Croydon-based Rap Club)
  • a new piece inspired by the tonal languages of Ghana

Orchestras for All’s Executive Director, Stuart Burns, said:

‘Seeing the 100 young musicians coming together for the first time in Leeds is always an incredibly exciting and moving experience. For many of these young people, this will be the first time playing in an orchestra and, for some, the first time away from home.

‘Regardless of where they’ve come from and what challenges they face, NOFA offers young people a safe space to enjoy making music with others. Over the course of the four days in Leeds and throughout the nine-month season of work, with the support of our team of professional orchestral tutors and pastoral staff, it’s amazing to see the development not only in musical ability but in the confidence of our young musicians.’

Header photo: This year’s National Orchestra for All during the NOFA Spring Course at the University of Sheffield © Orchestras for All