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iOrchestra hits the right note at Torquay

By Herald Express  |  Posted: August 24, 2014

CONDUCTING: Sam O'Neal tries his hand at conducting at the iOrchestra at Torre Abbey Meadows earlier this summer Andy Styles TQAS20140527B-03_C

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THE Philharmonia Orchestra's free programme of interactive digital music activity has been declared a 'resounding success'.

The project reached around 10,000 schoolchildren, a wide range of community groups and more than 45,000 people during its 13-week stay in Devon.

The project, which has been devised and delivered by a consortium of arts and education providers in Torbay, Plymouth and Cornwall, and led by the Philharmonia Orchestra, brought a pioneering programme of digital music activity to all three areas from April to July.

Philharmonia Orchestra's managing director, David Whelton, said: "We are quite simply blown away by the warmth of the reception this project has received across Plymouth, Torbay and Cornwall.

"It has been thrilling and often genuinely moving to see the effect this immersive, accessible way of offering an insight into the world of an orchestra and into the visceral, exciting experience of orchestral music has had on the audiences we've welcomed to iOrchestra over the last 13 weeks. We are so grateful to all our local partners and we can't wait to continue building on everything we've achieved."

The project continues for a further year, with another 13 weeks of activity planned for April to July, 2015, including the Philharmonia's major digital successor installation to RE-RITE, Universe of Sound, based on Holst's The Planets.

It is hoped this project will become a catalyst for changing attitudes to orchestral music, reaching the communities for whom it has been designed.

Cllr Dave Butt, Torbay Council's executive lead for culture and the arts and regional board member of Arts Council England South West, added: "The first year's residency for iOrchestra in Torbay at Torre Abbey Meadows has been a resounding success. This innovative digital music programme was welcomed by young and old and I have heard nothing but praise for the project.

"I look forward to next year's programme which will once again bring an orchestral music feast to our residents, visitors and children and young people."

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