Orchestra can make concert plans
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