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One of the joys of working in OAE Education is the variety of projects you get to work on. We are two weeks into the academic summer term and already we have started up our weekly string club in local London schools, had a teacher training session for Key Stage 1 teachers, held Vivaldi Gloria workshops in Kings Lynn primary schools (in preparation for a big performance with the OAE in June) and held a 3 day creative music making course at Plymouth Music Zone for disabled young adults. Next week, we have players in Chippenham running a music and science project where primary school children will learn about the evolution of music and instruments alongside studying the evolution of animals. Not bad for two weeks.
And with variety of projects comes variety of work. I’m used to doing all sorts in this job, from booking musicians and venues to pastoral care at string club, anything goes. But recently I completed one of the more unusual tasks for our last TOTS concert of the season, a concert based on Telemann’s Don Quichotte Suite. I was asked if I could produce a Donkey picture or puppet for the concert and perhaps I took the request a bit more literally than expected when I decided to transform a pizza box into a donkey head. I then found myself controlling the donkey and acting like a donkey for the two concerts, taking the ‘Not all Orchestras are the same’ slogan to the extreme. I even had a tail. Donkey was very popular in the TOTS concert and he now sits by my desk waiting for his next outing.