Orchestra to perform for deaf audiences

Tony Evans, Andy Pidcock, Grant Llewellyn A test event in October proved popular with audiences

The BBC National Orchestra of Wales is to perform a series of concerts aimed at deaf, deafened and hard of hearing audiences.

The events, which will take place in Cardiff later this month, will feature British Sign Language and live subtitles. Audience members will also be invited to sit within the orchestra to feel the vibrations from the instruments.

The free concerts will showcase the different instruments within the full symphony orchestra and demonstrate musical concepts like pitch, tempo and dynamics.

Audience member feeling the vibration of the instruments Audience members are invited to feel the vibration of the instruments

The theme tunes to The Apprentice and Doctor Who will be played alongside more traditional works.

Suzanne Hay, the orchestra's education and community outreach manager, says the concerts are an important part of the outreach programme which aims to make music more accessible to everyone in Wales.

'We're aiming to proactively reach deaf, deafened and hard of hearing adults and children by providing an experience that's both accessible and fun,' she says. 'We hope that these concerts will also help to raise deaf awareness amongst the hearing audience, and above all, be entertaining events for everyone.'

There will be five free concerts that take place on February 26 and 27. Four will be for specially invited audiences of children at primary and special schools and adults in care homes and day centres. A fifth concert will be open to the public, allowing people with hearing difficulties to experience the music alongside hearing friends.

A local children's deaf choir will perform, as well as pupils from a special school who will play a piece of music they create at a NOW workshop prior to the event.

The concerts, which follow a successful pilot in October, will be led by creative musician Andy Pidcock and conductor Grant Llewellyn and presented and signed by Paul Whittaker, artistic director of Music and the Deaf.

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