Britain’s BBC Philharmonic was teaming up with the Orchestras For All to engage with young classical musicians facing challenging circumstances.
BBC Philharmonic musicians joined in the events for the National Orchestra For All (NOFA) in York and London in December 2016h. They worked on music inspired by Stravinsky’s Firebird.
Teachers from across the UK nominated students aged between 11 and 18 to participate in NOFA. As well as helping young people to improve their skills, NOFA aims to make ensemble music-making available to children who would otherwise lack access to it. The organization declared its vision to be “music without boundaries.”
NOFA saw access to ensembles as being a major problem in the UK. According to the 2014 research it cites, 92 percent of British youth orchestras set minimum standards for entry into the ensemble, while 80 percent charge a membership fee. NOFA pointed out that this excludes many children from playing music in an ensemble, meaning they fail to experience the associated benefits related to social, intellectual, and emotional development this brings.
Orchestras For All also runs a program to support under-resourced schools to provide music-making opportunities and another aimed at helping early career teachers to improve conducting skills and techniques to encourage young music students.
You can find out more on its website.