Or­ches­tra can make con­cert plans

The Wokingham Paper - - LESIURE - PHIL CREIGHTON

HUN­DREDS of peo­ple have bought tick­ets to a con­cert with­out know­ing what’s on the pro­gramme, or when it will be per­formed. And they’ve done it to help lo­cal pro­fes­sional mu­si­cians who are strug­gling after see­ing their liveli­hoods af­fected by the coro­n­avirus pan­demic.

Ear­lier this year, the Ald­worth Phil­har­monic Or­ches­tra launched a crowd­fund­ing cam­paign to raise £12,000, al­low­ing them to con­tract the per­form­ers and pay them in ad­vance of the con­cert date.

A num­ber of re­wards were on of­fer, in­clud­ing be­ing able to choose pieces for the per­for­mance, when­ever it might be.

And peo­ple gave gen­er­ously, so much so that more than £15,000 was raised.

This means that the APO has been able to con­tract a larger num­ber of mu­si­cians than would be pos­si­ble. It has also turned to the Chineke! Foun­da­tion so that it can en­gage Black and Mi­nor­ity Eth­nic (BAME) mu­si­cians who live nearby.

Andrew Tay­lor, who is the APO’s mu­sic di­rec­tor, is de­lighted with the re­sponse. “We’ve not only hit the tar­get, but thanks to a very gen­er­ous do­na­tion, over £15,000 was raised and we have been able to hire more mu­si­cians,” he says.

“We’ve been try­ing to work out the lo­gis­tics, in­volv­ing the Mu­si­cian’s Union to en­sure that we do the right things. “It’s a great thing to be able to do.” The sum that the APO asked for was quite a tar­get. Did Andrew feel daunted when he launched it?

“I was hope­ful,” he says, ad­ding that it was im­por­tant to launch as many mu­si­cians didn’t qual­ify for any of the sup­port schemes launched by the gov­ern­ment.

“I didn’t know how in­ter­ested peo­ple would be in sup­port­ing mu­si­cians.”

They were and they gave. It’s just an­other way in which the APO has been try­ing to shed the myth that clas­si­cal mu­sic con­certs are elit­ist. “They’re not – this is for ev­ery­body”.

“We’re an or­gan­i­sa­tion that is en­tirely run by vol­un­teers, and we have a great team be­hind the scenes, a tremen­dous amount of work has been go­ing on,” he prom­ises.

Andrew con­tin­ues: “When it comes to set­ting a date, we’re keep­ing an eye on de­vel­op­ments, frankly there’s not been much guid­ance. There’s been a lot of blus­ter around wa­ter droplets.

“But we’ve al­ways said we would hold the con­cert when all re­stric­tions are lifted. We’re des­per­ate to get back as soon as we know it’s safe.”

What au­di­ences can ex­pect when Read­ing Town Hall is filled once again with the sound of mu­sic is cur­rently un­der wraps.

“We’re keep­ing it a se­cret,” Andrew says. “We have a pro­vi­sional pro­gramme, and the opening piece that’s been cho­sen is some­thing that I’d never have thought of do­ing with­out that sug­ges­tion.”

What­ever it is, we’re the per­for­mance will be mes­meris­ing.

For more on the APO, log on to www.ald­worth­phil­har­monic.org.uk

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