BBC announces major Get Playing initiative and launches search for UK's most inspirational amateur orchestra

This fantastic initiative is set to inspire amateur music-making across the length and breadth of the UK Bob Shennan, Director BBC Music, Controller BBC Radio 2, 6 Music and Asian Network
Date: 20.01.2016     Last updated: 20.05.2016 at 11.11
BBC Music today announces a major initiative, Get Playing, aimed at shining a light on amateur music of all kinds across the nation, and launches a search for the UK’s most inspirational amateur orchestras.

Through a series of initiatives and programmes across national and regional BBC radio and television and BBC online throughout summer 2016, Get Playing aims to inspire people to pick up instruments and celebrate a new wave of amateur music-making across the UK. Partners of the project, also announced today, will be ABRSM, Making Music and Music for All. Full details of BBC Music Get Playing will be announced in the summer.

At the heart of the initiative, BBC Four and BBC Two will present two landmark four-part series that will shine a light on Britain’s grass-roots amateur musicians.

The BBC today announces a nation-wide search for the orchestra that best captures the spirit of great British amateur music-making in the UK. Amateur orchestras can apply now to be part of the series, which will see five orchestras selected to compete against each other, each battling for a place in the Grand Final, to be broadcast on BBC Two. One orchestra will be crowned the UK’s most inspirational amateur orchestra and will perform at a major public event in 2016.

Applications are currently open at amateur.orchestras@bbc.co.uk and orchestras have until Friday 12 February 2016 to apply.

A complementary series, The UK’s Best Part-time Band, a nation-wide search for the best non-professional bands in the country will broadcast on BBC Four and BBC Two. Further information can be found here.

Bob Shennan, Director BBC Music, Controller BBC Radio 2, 6 Music and Asian Network, says: “BBC Music is committed to music on all levels. This fantastic initiative is set to inspire amateur music-making across the length and breadth of the UK, with the help of our esteemed partners."

Cassian Harrison, Channel Editor, BBC Four, says: “This year BBC Four and BBC Two are championing amateur music-making like never before. From searching for the most inspirational non-professional orchestra in the UK, to celebrating the passion of amateur music makers in Britain’s Best Part-Time Band, the two channels are shining a light on the tens of thousands of committed music-makers who captivate, entertain and transport audiences up and down the country every week, and hoping to inspire a new generation to pick up a musical instrument to discover - or remind themselves - of the sheer joy of making music.”

Both series are commissioned by Jan Younghusband, Head of Music TV Commissioning, for Cassian Harrison, Channel Editor, BBC Four. The series producer of the amateur orchestra series is Chi Ukairo, the executive producer is Claire Whalley, the series is developed by Celina Parker and Mark Cooper is Head of Music Television. 

BBC Music
BBC Music is the corporation’s strongest commitment to music in 30 years – comprising of new partnerships and ground-breaking music initiatives led by Director Bob Shennan. Since launching with the stunning recreation of God Only Knows in autumn 2014, initiatives have included regular music performances on BBC One’s The One Show, the BBC Music Awards on BBC One, the classical music initiative for schools, Ten Pieces, and BBC Music Day, bringing communities across the UK together through music.

MC4