Sutton Music Trust continues to be committed to inclusion and meeting our core role of providing opportunities for young people to play in ensembles and perform from an early stage. On 18th July, the Sherwood Park Open Orchestra gave its inaugural performance at the school’s end-of-term Citizenship Assembly.
Sherwood Park’s Citizenship Assembly was an opportunity for the seven members of the Open Orchestras group to perform in front of their classmates, teachers, governors, and special guests from Cognus and Sutton Music Trust. It allowed for the whole school community to see how far the pupils have come with their music-making and see (and hear) the impact of the Open Orchestras project. This year, the orchestra consisted of members from both Sherwood campuses. This means pupils with autism, severe learning disabilities, and/or significant social and emotional difficulties have had the opportunity to make music in a supportive and inclusive environment. For most of the pupils, this was the first time they had given a musical performance to an audience, and it was an opportunity they all embraced and excelled at; despite the odd performance nerves.
This performance raised the profile of Open Orchestras at Sherwood Park School further and demonstrated how instruments, music and rehearsal style can be adapted to be fully inclusive. Sutton Music Trust is delighted that, in collaboration with Sherwood Park and with support from the HR Taylor Trust, Open Orchestras is continuing for a third year at the school.