Orchestral performance by children living with disabilities receives standing ovation

A talented group of youngsters, all living with some form of disability, has wowed audiences with their musical prowess at Sunderland’s Tall Ships Races celebration.

The Open Up Orchestra, a scheme providing opportunities for children living with disabilities in the North East, performed as part of the celebrations and received a standing ovation afterwards.

With some of the children using instruments and electronics that had been adapted to fit their specific needs, the concert took on classical music and added something of a modern twist to the pieces played. It was the culmination of two years’ worth of hard work and practise from all those involved.

The performances were undertaken by pupils from three schools, with each showcasing their talents for around five minutes each.

The musical leader of the Open Up Orchestra, Lucie Davis, discussed the project, saying: “The orchestra gives children with additional needs access to music, which they may not have had otherwise. It’s brilliant to see the way they enjoy it and have grown in confidence since the project started.

“We work with them in their schools, and started small but have slowly built it up. This performance was part of their journey. Our hope is that they will continue to grow in confidence and then they will hopefully be able to take part in activities with children from mainstream schools.

“It’s all about their creativity and it’s fantastic to see them express themselves.”

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