The People’s Orchestra

The People’s Orchestra believes that live orchestral music should be truly accessible for everyone. They are the only orchestra in the Midlands that offers amateur musicians of any age opportunities to play.

The orchestra has over 70 members (all Grade 7 and above) who enjoy over 200 hours of professionally-led music performance training a year. They hold four big concerts each year and run regular ‘community care’ concerts in local venues including a growing number of elderly care homes, with live audiences exceeding 6,000 and a digital reach of over 1.5 million people. The orchestra also runs a successful volunteering programme which offers intensive employment mentoring and work experience to around 60 unemployed people a year, with over 80% of volunteers going on to secure paid work.

The orchestra had ambitious plans to increase their reach further with mobile phone technology and to expand their volunteering programme. Their application was clear, contained a realistic budget and funding plan that demonstrated a sensible range of funding sources including memberships, local sponsorships, ticket income and support from Trusts. They showed their social and financial impact, a steady rate of growth and that they were achieving a great deal with a relatively small budget.

“The Garfield Weston Foundation grant was a catalyst to enable our charity to offer more placements in a wider variety of music and arts subjects and strengthening The People’s Orchestra as a cultural resource at the heart of our community, making live music accessible to everyone.” Sarah Marshall, Founder & Trustee