Open orchestra launches campaign for support

Orchestras for All, the organisation set up ten years ago to give access to music-making to young people aged 11 to 19, has launched a five year strategy with a video t to raise funds and inspire more young musicians.

Orchestras for All (OFA) is the charity behind the National Orchestra for All (NOFA), the UK’s only completely inclusive national youth orchestra, whose 100 young musicians join without audition to gain the opportunity of making music, transcending social differences and other disabilities together, but 98% of whom have had to confront cultural barriers and limited access to music. Many have health barriers, with 55% of NOFA members having previously been unable to play in an orchestra because of autism, physical disability, learning difficulties, or social, emotional and behavioural difficulties.

The campaign, devised in collaboration with a newly recruited youth board, seeks to further break down barriers to access to music-making and help build life skills, and to recruit support.

Its programme Modulo equips secondary school music teachers with the vital tools they need to develop a small ensemble, giving young people the chance also to perform as part of a large-scale orchestra with other musicians from across the country. OFA recently launched a musician leadership training course to boost he skills of music teachers.

“Coming from a working-class background, classical music seemed so inaccessible” said Joe, a young clarinettist and ambassador for NOFA. “It just seemed like something for the rich and wealthy. You could learn but weren’t given the opportunity to unless you had the money”. Isaac, a young carer as well as a NOFA violinist, added: “Being a NOFA member gave me some of the most rewarding experiences of my life. You play great music, you meet amazing people – and there’s a tonne of support, so that any problems that you have can be dealt with.”

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