A year in the life of the BSO Participate department

From April 2013-March 2014 the Participate team engaged 27,707 people in projects across the south west – ranging from parents bringing their children to our family concerts, through to our monthly tea dances at the Lighthouse, Poole, and our Rusty and not so Rusty musicians programme across the south west and venturing into Exeter for the first time! 178 events were recorded in the last financial year – that’s almost one every other day, they are currently enjoying their well deserved summer break.

Scene from a BSO Teadance

 To give you an example of a busy Participate day last term – Tuesday 10th June:

·         Andy Baker, our roving community musician, was out and about in delivering a cultural hub project at Canford Heath first school ‘Teach on the Heath’

·         Mini BSO, one of the orchestra’s ensembles, were performing at Montacute school in Poole on behalf of SoundStorm music education hub and then performing at Dorset Music Service’s Mash-Up festival to 1,500 school children from across the county

·         The BSO dance band were running a tea dance in Newton Conservative club to elderly residents in Parkstone

Saturday 14th June saw the culmination of our BUDI (Bournemouth University Dementia Institute) orchestra – with BSO musicians working with residents in Bournemouth with early stages of dementia at the Life Centre in Bournemouth. A terrific project with a member of the public saying that they are ‘rarely speechless but the performance of the BUDI Orchestra really moved me to silence.  Congratulations!  I have followed the development of BUDI since its inception and am amazed at all that has been accomplished in the very short time’. At the same time Mini BSO were performing our first family concert to young pirates in Southampton!

A huge Rusties orchestra plays Rachmaninov's Isle of the Dead and Shostakovich Symphony No.5
A monstrous Rusties orchestra plays Rachmaninov’s Isle of the Dead and Shostakovich Symphony No.5

In June our Rusty and not so Rusty musicians’ project where 153 members of the community came and performed a full concert with the BSO on Sunday evening at the Lighthouse, Poole!

The next project of the summer term was our sold out schools concerts, presented by composer James Redwood on 15-17 July 2014 where over 6,000 primary school children attended concerts over 3 days in Poole and Salisbury.  The orchestra played classics including Short Ride in a Fast Machine by John Adams and Mambo and Cha Cha from West Side Story. The highlight of the concert was the children performing with the BSO ‘Motion and Commotion’ a piece specially composed by James Redwood for the concerts.SchoolsConcert6

It’s hard to keep up with ourselves with the output of the orchestra’s Participation work at the moment! But we will be sure to keep you all updated on Facebook and Twitter and do keep an eye on the website too for further projects throughout the year www.bsolive.com/bsoparticipate

Nick Thorne
BSO Participation Programme Manager


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