The British Paraorchestra

The British Paraorchestra

Charity information

The British Paraorchestra

The British Paraorchestra is the world’s first professional ensemble of 25 talented, disabled musicians. Founded in November 2011 by Charles Hazlewood and television director Claire Whalley the orchestra is pioneering a global movement to recognise and showcase disabled musicians with extraordinary abilities. Its mission is to end the limitations placed on them, not by their physical ability, but by lack of opportunity.

Founded 2011

  • Mission statement

    Paraorchestra will showcase the incredible musical talent that lies undiscovered. Our vision is to create a platform for the best and most able musicians with disability to perform and excel at the highest level; to create a world stage for a whole community of gifted people whose enormous potential is currently overlooked.

    Many musical ‘projects’ for people with special needs have been about the taking part, rather than any ambition for true excellence. This is not the mission of the Paraorchestra.

    This orchestra will be world class because of the calibre of the musicians in it. It will make world-class music, create a platform for great talent and ultimately transform the perceptions of an entire generation, through the universal language of music. The Paraorchestra will fundamentally change expectations of what disabled people might be capable of.

    “I would rather be able to play and instrument again than walk. There’s so much joy that I can get from playing an instrument and performing. It’s removed some of the paralysis. ”

    Clarence Adoo; who played trumpet with Courtney Pine, before a serious car accident in 1995, performs with Paraorchestra

  • Aims

    The British Paraorchestra aims to:

    • To create and maintain professional, world-class opportunities for talented disabled musicians to perform as part of a ground-breaking ensemble
    • To increase the profile and visibility of disabled musicians on the world stage
    • To challenge perceptions of disability and remove barriers to music-making for disabled musicians
    • To encourage greater investment in the development of pioneering assistive technology for disabled musicians
  • Overview

    Established: November 2011

    Registered Charity Number: 1163725

    Board members: 5

    Part time staff: 3

    Volunteers: 5

    Phone number: 07779258547

    Address: At Bristol, Harbourside, Bristol BS15DB

    View charity accounts on the Charity Commission website