More than 5000 visitors experience iOrchestra in Torbay
The iconic Philharmonia Orchestra and its free programme of digital music is touring the South West and for a month in May they visited Torbay. Promoting classical music to all ages and abilities, the iOrchestra RE-RITE installation and accompanying projects engaged with primary schools, secondary schools, community groups and the public, reaching thousands of people across the district.
The centerpiece of the project, the RE-RITE installation – a large scale, walk-through experience of a digital virtual orchestra based on Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, -took pride of place at Torre Abbey Meadows, Torquay for two weeks. More than 5000 visitors experienced first-hand the thrill of being inside an orchestra and playing amongst more than 100 professional musicians. Surround sound, giant projections and interactive stations ensured a full sensory experience: in one area, the audience had the opportunity to perform on real instruments as part of the percussion section and in another they could take on the role of conductor, mixing the sound and visuals of the Orchestra.
With visits from more than 30 schools and community groups, and thousands of members of the public, Torbay’s residents certainly made the most of the experience. “Wow, how fantastic and exciting we found RE-RITE to be” commented one primary school teacher. “The children really enjoyed their time in the tent – I loved watching their faces light up as they walked through. They especially liked conducting in the coat and tails whilst seeing themselves on screen. It really did blow us all away.”
Other activities in the free programme of events included MusicLab, a mobile interactive digital installation housed in a purpose built trailer. Employing innovative interactive design, MusicLab offered visitors a series of hands-on musical experiences – putting them in the shoes of a composer, performer, producer and conductor. The opportunity to learn more about classical music in such a practical and interactive style appealed to many: MusicLab spent two weeks’ in Brixham and Barton and hosted ten local primary school visits, five SEN school visits, six secondary school visits and seven community group visits, in addition to over 400 members of the public. And Orchestra Unwrapped, a special key-stage concert for schools, attracted over 1,200 concert attendees.
Marianne Harper from Eden Park Primary enthused “We really enjoyed the MusicLab so much and many of the children and myself visited it again after school. The children could not stop talking about it when they got back to school and they inspired children in other year groups too.”
On Sunday 8th June at Torre Abbey, Torquay (the final day of the RE-RITE installation in Torbay) the full Philharmonia Orchestra played a free hour-long live concert. Consisting of a specially chosen programme to appeal to families and those new to orchestral music, the success of its appeal was apparent as more than 2,000 people came to listen to the music of Pirates of the Caribbean, Romeo and Juliet and much more.
A resounding success, the Philharmonia Orchestra’s world class musicians triumphed in Torbay in enthusing and exciting new audiences about classical music, the reverberations of which will be enjoyed for some time.
iOrchestra is currently touring the South West and RE-RITE will be in Truro from Monday 30 June until Saturday 12 July, with a free live performance on Sunday 13 July. The project returns from May-July 2015 for a second year, with activities based around Universe of Sound, a digital installation based on Holst’s The Planets Suite.
iOrchestra is an ambitious two-year audience development and education project, part funded by Arts Council England’s Strategic Touring Programme, based in the South-West Peninsula region (Cornwall, Plymouth and Torbay). Led by the Philharmonia Orchestra and a Consortium of leading arts and education providers in the region, iOrchestra has three key objectives:
• To act as a catalyst to ignite interest in orchestral music within the South-West Peninsula region.
• To increase the audiences for live orchestral/classical music played in the South-West Peninsula for future concerts and tours.
• To increase engagement particularly amongst people who have not before attended live classical/orchestral concerts or attend very little; and to test out the pathways to engaging with classical music for different population segments, including the use of digital resources as pathways.
For further information about iOrchestra contact Jess Collins at Type Communications on [email protected] or 01326 567236
Pioneering digital music project led by national orchestra comes to Torbay
A free programme of digital music activities, led by the Philharmonia Orchestra will take place across Torbay during May and June as part of a tour of the South West.
The Philharmonia Orchestra, working in close collaboration with Torbay Council and Torbay Music Education Hub will launch iOrchestra in various locations around the town. The centrepiece of the installation will be based in Torre Abbey Meadows for two weeks (26 May – 7 June) culminating in a free hour-long open-air concert performed by the Philharmonic Orchestra (8 June).
“It is really wonderful that Torbay has been able to be part of this exciting digital music project,” says Councillor Dave Butt, Torbay Council’s Executive Lead for Culture and the Arts and Regional Board Member of Arts Council England South West. “We particularly welcome and support initiatives which introduce new audiences including children and young people to arts and culture in the widest sense. We look forward welcoming the iOrchestra in June 2014.”
iOrchestra comprises of a range of different activities ranging from large-scale experiences to outreach in communities and schools.
RE-RITE is the Philharmonia’s award-winning centrepiece is a digital ‘virtual orchestra’ installation based on Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring. It is a large scale; walk- through experience that offers visitors the chance to step inside an orchestra to feel the sensation of being among more than 100 expert musicians and the thrill of playing among them. Visitors to the installation walk through a series of projections on huge screens, and will be surrounded by players in some areas and faced by conductor (and project co-creator) Esa-Pekka Salonen in others. In one area, the audience can perform on real instruments as part of the percussion section, guided on-screen by the Philharmonia’s Principal Percussionist David Corkhill. In another, the control centre, they can take on the role of conductor, mixing the sound and visuals of theOrchestra. The installation ends with a free concert for all.
The Big Finish is the free live open-air concert at the RE-RITE site. The full Philharmonia Orchestra will play for all to enjoy on Sunday 8 June in Torbay. Presented by Tim Steiner, the concert, A Traveller’s Guide, will consist of a specially chosen programme to appeal to families and those new to orchestral music, all around the theme of transport and destinations – keep an ear out for the music of Dambusters, The Padstow Lifeboat, Romeo & Juliet, the Blue Danube, Pirates of the Caribbean and a few surprises in between! The concerts will be fun and informal – with plenty of chances to join in or just sit and take it all in.
MusicLab is a new mobile installation housed on a purpose-built trailer, is a flexible, pop-up orchestral experience that offers visitors a series of hands-on musical experiences – as a composer, performer, producer, and conductor. MusicLab will visit Brixham, Barton, Paignton and Foxhole, spending a week at each location. There will be opportunities for visits by schools and community groups as well as local residents.
Orchestra Unwrapped is a special key-stage concert for schools based on its successful Orchestra Unwrapped Series that takes place annually in Leicester and Basingstoke. This will take place at the Princess Theatre on 9 June.
iOrchestra has been funded by the Arts Council England under its Strategic Touring Programme. It takes place over two years and is designed to use the Philharmonia’s expertise in interactive digital installations and technologies to ignite enthusiasm and participation in classical music among new audience.
For more information visit www.iorchestra.co.uk
Full schedule of events for Torbay
Torre Abbey Meadows, Torbay Road, Torquay, TQ2 5JE (approx.) Monday 26 May – Saturday 7 June, 12-8pm
Brixham College (main car park), Higher Ranscombe Road, Brixham, TQ5 9HF
Monday 12 – Friday 16 May: 3-5.30pm
Saturday 17 May: 10am-5.30pm
Sunday 18 May: closed
Acorn Youth Centre, Lummaton Cross, Torquay TQ2 8ET
Monday 19 – Friday 23 May: 3-5.30pm
Saturday 24 May: 10am-5.30pm
Sunday 25 May: closed
Parkfield, Colin Road, Paignton, TQ3 2NR
Monday 26 – Friday 30 May: 3-5.30pm
Saturday 31 May: 10am-5.30pm
Spencer Road, Foxhole, off Fernicombe Road, Torbay, TQ3 3SX (North East end, outside the shops)
Monday 2 – Friday 6 June: 3-6pm
Saturday 7 June: 10-6pm
Sunday 8 June: closed
The Big Finish – Live Open Air Concert
Torre Abbey Meadows, Torbay Road, Torquay, TQ2 5JE (approx.) Sunday 8 June, 5-6pm Presented by Tim Steiner, the concert, A Traveller’s Guide, consists of a specially chosen programme to appeal to families and those new to orchestral music, all around the theme of transport and destinations – keep an ear out for the music of Dambusters, The Padstow Lifeboat, Romeo & Juliet, the Blue Danube, Pirates of the Caribbean and a few surprises in between! The concerts will be fun and informal – with plenty of chances to join in or just sit and take it all in.
Prior booking is essential and space is limited. For more information or to enquire about places at our schools performances, please contact Laura Forster on or 07943 376 893
School & Community Group Visits
MusicLab can host up to 30 visitors at a time (or a class of 30 school children with accompanying teachers and adults) and will be open for curated visits for school and community groups outside public opening times. Advance booking is essential. For information on all school and community group visits and related resources and training, please contact our Project Coordinator Laura Forster on or 07943 376 893