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Village Music & Drama

Musicians wanted!

Posted on April 23 2012 at 1:42:00 0 comments

The People's Orchestra

March saw the launch of a brand new orchestra in the Midlands – The People’s Orchestra – and one of the driving forces behind the project was Alvechurch resident Andy Sinclair.

A West Bromwich community interest company called The Change Consortium, came up with the initial idea of The Mid-England Festival Orchestra, a group that hoped to fill the gap between local authority music provision and professional orchestras.

Many talented musicians have their instruments taken away from them when they reach school leaving age, and if they are not fortunate enough to progress to music school, very often that talent goes to waste.

Everyone loved the concept – from the local MP to the Arts Council – but in these austere times no-one was prepared to fund or even part-fund just a concept.
The Change Consortium needed help and, with a background in arts marketing, having been Head of Marketing for the Alexandra Theatre and The Swan, Worcester, Andy (pictured above, far left) was well placed to provide the direction needed. 

But even he shirked the initial challenge: “I liked the ideas and the passion of The Change Consortium, but when I asked them what the marketing budget was and heard that it was zero, I had to pass on the project.”

Andy did, however, offer some constructive comments – these were accepted and he joined the project, instantly rebranding the orchestra to The People’s Orchestra.
“There is now a two-stage process – initially a self-funded orchestra, paid for by its members and open to all players whatever their age,” explains Andy.

“And then, once there is a product rather than a concept, stage two: raising sponsorship and accessing funding, so that talented young adults can continue their training with a view to them joining the main orchestra.”

The People’s Orchestra is all about passion, excellence and enjoyment. The repertoire will be orchestral, but more accessible – think Pirates of the Caribbean, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter. And out goes the stuffy tuxedo to be replaced by vibrant coloured T-shirts.

The People’s Orchestra already has its first concert booked for November 4, at the Adrian Boult Hall in Birmingham, and initial auditions will take place at the Custard Factory on Sunday May 6.

“I have lived and worked in Alvechurch and Cofton for 20 years and know that there are many talented musicians around,” Andy adds. “This is a great platform for them to show off their talents and have some fun. So get those instruments out of loft, dust them off, tune them and get practising!” 

To register for auditions visit The People’s Orchestra website (http://www.thepeoplesorchestra.com) or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) for more information.


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