RPS Award Winners

Posted on May 10, 2018

RPS Music AwardsOrchestras Live in partnership with East Riding of Yorkshire Council, Manchester Camerata and Sinfonia Vivia last night won the RPS (Royal Philharmonic Society) Music Award for Audiences and Engagement for their flagship project, Classically Yours.

The annual RPS Music Awards, presented in association with BBC Radio 3, are the highest recognition for live classical music in the UK. The Audiences and Engagement category recognises outstanding initiatives by organisations or individuals who engage new and existing audiences with classical music.

Classically Yours set out to engage new audiences by addressing the inequalities of opportunity to access high quality live orchestral music in the East Riding of Yorkshire, transforming beliefs in isolated coastal and rural communities that culture happens elsewhere.

The programme was part of East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s contribution to Hull UK City of Culture 2017 and formed part of a wider plan to engage more people in music across the county and achieve significant audience development in the region.

The partnership involved four orchestras – Manchester Camerata, Sinfonia Viva, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Britten Sinfonia – four venues and the Music Education Hub and included 8 concerts, 3 participatory projects and 46 workshops reaching over 2,000 people.

Manchester Camerata and Sinfonia Viva were embedded in two communities – Stamford Bridge near Pocklington and Withernsea – working with schools, choirs and care homes. Uniquely, they worked together as one combined orchestra to produce a large-scale community concert at Bridlington Spa attended by an additional 800 people. Orchestras Live championed these two orchestras to work in these new and collaborative ways across a varied programme and create an orchestral ecology which secured significant new audiences for the long term.

The RPS jury said in its citation “Classically Yours set out to engage people with high quality live orchestral music: young people; families; older people; people with disabilities; and voluntary music-making groups living in isolated coastal and rural areas, This project stood out for its clear aims and aspirations, impressive range of local and artistic partnerships, links between participation and concert activities, careful marketing, and its meticulous evaluation.

Sarah Derbyshire, Chief Executive Orchestras Live said “To have won a Royal Philharmonic Society Music Award is significant for Orchestras Live and in our view signals a game-changing moment, as the classical music sector acknowledges that orchestras’ work off the platform is as critical as their performances on the platform. The RPS Music Awards define sector excellence, and we’re pleased to share this award with the communities who have contributed to the excellence of Classically Yours through their creative spirit. This programme has enabled us to demonstrate that, far from pricing themselves out of the market, orchestras can maximise their impact and become an invaluable resource, serving a huge geographical area and building long lasting engagement amongst new audiences.”

Rachel Whittaker, Choir Leader, Stamford Bridge Choir said “Thank you for letting my music makers be part of this amazing project. We have thoroughly enjoyed the experience. It has rekindled my desire to get music out to communities and made me realise that what I do in my corner of the county is valuable and essential in bringing people together”

Councillor Richard Burton, East Riding of Yorkshire Council (portfolio holder for leisure, tourism and culture) said “I am absolutely delighted by the well-deserved success of Classically Yours in these awards, which represents the culmination of some superb partnership work by our officers and the team from Orchestras Live. The award reflects the great achievement of Classically Yours to bring classical music to venues and places in the East Riding where you would not normally get the chance to appreciate it.”

June Mitchell, Community Arts Officer, added “This award is an absolutely wonderful achievement, and is amazing news. I never imagined when writing the bid to Arts Council England for Classically Yours that we would achieve national recognition on this level. It’s great to bring this award home to the East Riding!”

Peter Helps, Chief Executive, Sinfonia Viva said ““I am delighted that this special partnership, the work it delivered and the contribution from groups in the Pocklington area has been recognised by this most significant national award. I would like to thank all the musicians involved, both professional and nonprofessional, for their amazing work. The award is shared between us all.”

Bob Riley, Chief Executive, Manchester Camerata said ” Projects like this are some of the most important work we do, inspiring us all to think differently about the social impact we can make, and how we might support & collaborate with other communities such as Withernsea in future.”

Musician, Classically Yours project “I thoroughly enjoyed working on this project. The liaison between the groups has been great and the overall feeling is of mutual support and appreciation. Of course, the final product was slick, professional and ultimately inclusive.”