The inspiration for the OAE’s Anthem project came from watching David Walliams complete a sponsored cycle ride, from one end of the country to the other, about five years ago. It made me think how could we pass the baton in sound? How could we unite our partner cities in a large scale project and invite new cities to join the OAE community, through baroque music? Anthem was born and over the next two years I talked to teachers, music services, venues and practitioners across the country. Anthem became a yearlong project involving thousands of people. It saw our first ever ten day education tour where every player took part in workshops and concerts with TOTS, primary school pupils, secondary school students, special needs students, teachers and adults.
Our strap line of ‘Not all Orchestras are the same’ rang true as we cycled, ran, walked and swam to raise money for the project. James Redwood wrote two wonderful pieces – ‘Twangling Instruments’ incorporating hundreds of young people with the OAE and an inspirational song ‘My Cry’ to celebrate the power of our collective voices.
Tonight is the RPS dinner to celebrate the wealth of fantastic music making in this country and also to celebrate those who have been shortlisted for an award this year. Anthem is one of four projects shortlisted in the Learning and Participation category and what an achievement for us all! James and I will be representing the OAE and we will be very proud to do so!
On another note, I’m also rather looking forward to seeing him in a suit….