Arts News

The Paraorchestra to play debut concert in UK

The Paraorchestra to play debut concert in UK featured image

July 1st marks the debut of the Paraorchestra. While members of this orchestra may have disabilities, what defines them is their talent and ability to express themselves in the face of adversity. British conductor Charles Hazlewood wrote a piece in The Guardian describing his experience rearing a child with a disability and how that led to forming this unique orchestra:

“With these new eyes, I took a fresh look around my professional world. It suddenly became glaringly odd that there were virtually no disabled musicians in any of the orchestras or groups I played with anywhere in the world. Where was the talent with disability? As soon as I started looking, I encountered amazing musicians of all sorts – and the founder members of the Paraorchestra began to appear. Clarence Adoo, once Courtney Pine’s trumpeter of choice, now paralysed from the neck down but furiously making music with ground-breaking new technology. The extraordinary Lyn Levett, who composes using her iPad, which she operates with her nose. As she says: “I am not a disabled musician, I am a musician with a disability.” Then there’s recorder-player James Risdon, who plays professionally and is also the RNIB’s music officer. One by one, these wonderful musicians began to emerge, and there are now 18 members.”

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