As student musicians it is important to offer something back to the community, especially as the local Durham community are always so keep to support us. At Music Durham we are committed to our Outreach projects and student involvement in the community. If you would like to be involved in outreach work then we have something for you.

The Durham University Palatinate Orchestra invite over 500 local primary school children to the Gala Theatre to perform to them and teach them about the instruments of the orchestra in an exciting and interactive way.

Northern Lights, Durham’s a cappella ensemble, performed to the Children’s Ward of Freeman’s Hospital over Christmas.

The Durham University Brass Band have created a Schools Team to visit local primary schools and give assemblies about brass banding and some short performances, as well as working with beginner brass players.

Outreach Round-Up of 2016-17

In the 2016-17 academic year great developments were made in music outreach, both at a society and university wide level.

Music Durham created a partnership with Student Community Action (SCA), the university volunteering body, to organise a joint outreach project in therapeutic music. This team of volunteers visited Pelton Community Centre to work with their service users, predominantly adults with learning difficulties, on their existing music project, and to prepare the music for a performance of ‘The Wizard of Oz’. The team helped to develop communication, emotional understanding, creativity, and confidence.

A number of our societies also completed their own outreach, some also working with SCA. Durham University Voices and DU Flute Choir both performed at SCA ‘Tea Parties for the Elderly’ providing entertainment and a chance to meet members of the community, share stories, and build relationships. The Palatinate Orchestra once again hosted its concert for primary school children, but this year extended their outreach work by turning their tour into an outreach trip, providing workshops and masterclasses for children at Jersey Music Service. Brass Band continued to foster community relationships by performing at Durham Young Carers Christmas Party and at a Remembrance Sunday march in a local village.

The Chamber Choir and Orchestral Society took part in two large-scale, educational performances; Somme100 and the Defiant Requiem. The Somme100 projects in the Gala Theatre saw DUOS provide live music for the 1916 film of the tragic battle. Later in the year they joined forces with the Chamber choir for the ‘Defiant Requiem’; a performance of the Verdi Requiem dedicated to preserving the memory of prisoners in Terezin Camp during World War Two. The prisoners, despite suffering, disease, and the constant presence of death, found hope in the arts and themselves performed this Requiem from memory, learnt with only one score. These two poignant performances provided life-changing experiences for performers and audience alike.

A number of groups also continued with smaller scale, consistent work to both engage with the community and help worthwhile causes throughout the year. Choral Society provided free tickets for school children, the Gamelan group opened every weekly session to members of the public so they could try out playing new instruments and learn new skills, and Voices gave termly concerts each raising money for charity, rather than making a profit. These charities were usually local, allowing the choir to form a relationship with the charity.

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If you have an idea for a music-related outreach project, contact us and we will fully support you. Equally, if you are a member of the public or community organisation looking for musicians please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Fill in the contact form to let us know how you want to be involved.

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