Musical Chairs

Musical Chairs 2017 took place at Cecil Sharp House in Camden, alongside young musicians from the National Orchestra for All and our professional tutor team. Thanks to all of the fundraising support from our participants and their friends and family, we've raised a fantastic £18,000 so far - all to be used to support our work with young musicians with complex lives across the UK. And there's still time to donate - visit our Donate page to find out more.

What is Musical Chairs?

Are you a musician who dreams of playing a different instrument? A flautist who always wanted to play the cello? A violinist who'd love to have a go at the trumpet? A double bassist who wishes they'd only ever had to carry a piccolo around? Maybe you haven't played for years, and this is an excuse to dust off that old viola sitting under your bed, or perhaps you never even had the chance to play and would love the opportunity to take up an instrument for the first time.

Orchestras for All offers you the chance to come and play in a real-life symphony orchestra for a day, under the baton of Orchestras for All Artistic Director Marianna Hay. You'll spend a day working with our team of professional music tutors and alongside a young member of our innovative National Orchestra for All, before performing pieces from our repertoire. All of the music is specially arranged, so caters for all abilities - whether you're a complete beginner or virtuoso.

What did we do at Musical Chairs 2017?

Musical Chairs was the third year of the event - bigger and better than before! Our intrepid participants worked on two arrangements of Dance of the Knights from Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet and Lullaby and Finale from Stravinsky's Firebird - both famous pieces of dance music in honour of our upcoming season of work starting in July 2017, Music and Dance: The Rhythm of Life, giving our young members the chance to explore the links between music and dance.

After a day of rehearsals, friends, family and supporters joined us for a free concert and ceilidh from 4pm. We were also very honoured to be joined by two-time Tony Award Nominee and Lyricist of some of West End’s best-loved musicals including Starlight Express, Sir Richard Stilgoe, as compere for the concert. Alongside his work with the Orpheus Centre, which he founded in 1998, Sir Richard Stilgoe is a long time supporter of Orchestras for All and it was really great to have him join us for the day.

Orchestras for All exists to help young people access the life-changing experience of playing music with others. We believe that music is a powerful tool to help improve a child's quality of life - particularly children who are already facing challenging circumstances, whether that is due to personal or socio-economic barriers. All of the money raised through Musical Chairs is used to offer opportunities to help enrich the lives of more young musicians across the country.

See below how our participants got on at Musical Chairs 2016 back in January 2016 - with special guest conductors Sian Edwards and Sue Perkins - and take a look at our Facebook page for photos from all three years of Musical Chairs.

Interested in taking part in future? Plans are underway for the future - register your interest in taking part through our quick online form!