Building on its extensive work with Special Educational Needs Schools, BBC National Orchestra of Wales (BBC NOW) will present its first Relaxed Concert at St David’s Hall on July 2. Led by conductor Grant Llewellyn and musician Andy Pidcock, the concert has been created to be suitable for children and adults with autism, sensory and communication impairments and learning disabilities as well as individuals who are Deaf, hard of hearing, blind and partially sighted.
Ty Coch School in Pontypridd, which caters for children with severe learning difficulties and those with Autistic Spectrum Disorders, will perform alongside BBC NOW as part of the concert.
BBC NOW will then take the concert to the BBC Proms, for the first ever Relaxed Prom on July 29 at the Royal Albert Hall, in collaboration with the BBC Proms and the Royal Albert Hall Education & Outreach team.
The aim of the Relaxed Concert is to provide an inviting, friendly environment with a relaxed attitude to movement and noise, where audience members can move about, dance, sing or just listen. Picture communication systems will be projected on large screens as well as audio description and British Sign Language interpretation. At times, with 80 musicians on stage, the auditorium will be quite loud so ‘chill out’ spaces outside the auditorium will available. The concert will feature popular classics and music from TV and film, for all the family to enjoy.
Waterloo Road actor Richard Mylan, who recently presented the BBC Wales documentary Richard & Jaco: Life with Autism said “Music is very important to my family. Jaco & I spend a lot of time together sharing our passion for all genres; so it’s incredibly important that live music is accessible for Jaco & people like him. This relaxed concert will be his first experience of live orchestral music. To say he’s excited is an understatement!”
Conductor Grant Llewellyn continues “BBC NOW has over many years developed a pioneering approach to presenting music for all audiences, particularly those with special needs. These individuals have a unique connection with music and present a wonderfully responsive and interactive audience for symphony orchestras.
BBC National Orchestra of Wales performs its first Relaxed Concert on Sunday 2 July at St David’s Hall, Cardiff at 3pm. For further information and tickets visit bbc.co.uk/now or call the BBC NOW Audience Line on 0800 052 1812.